Central Otago in Autumn Tour
Join us on a small group Autumn tour to enjoy the scenery and beauty of Central Otago, a picture of red and gold autumn glory. With the magnificent backdrop of the Southern Alps and southern lakes, this tour will be a wonderful experience.
© Southern Lakes Tours
Day 1: Christchurch - Lake Tekapo - Lake Ohau
On leaving Christchurch we travel through the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps as the backdrop, to visit a lovely garden and enjoy a tour and morning tea.
We then stay on the southern scenic inland route where the landscape changes from rolling hills to spectacular towering majestic snow-covered mountains and turquoise blue lakes as we travel down the island. We stop at Lake Tekapo for photos and lunch at a café. Visit the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd overlooking Lake Tekapo.
We drive on through to view the beautiful Lake Pukaki with spectacular views of Mount Cook. We overnight tonight near Lake Ohau Lodge tonight. B.D
Day 2: Lake Ohau - Cardrona Valley
Today our first stop is Omarama for morning tea where there is a beautiful clothing shop and a great café. We then drive over the beautiful Lindis Pass with towering hills covered in tussocks just as it has always been.
We stop off in Tarras to remember Shrek the sheep and have a quick look around The Merino Shop and discover the Perrium range of Merino clothing. We then drive off to Wanaka for lunch. A walk round town will show you how quickly Wanaka has grown in a very short time. See the Willow tree in the water [which used to be a fence post], the most photographed tree in the world.
Onto Rippon winery for a stunning view across the lake and some wine tasting, then its off to stay at the historic Cardrona Hotel. There are some interesting historic buildings in the township to view. The hotel has had a make over and is just stunning but in keeping with its period when it was built,  at the start of the Gold rush era. B.D
Day 3: Cardrona - Alexandra
Visit quaint Arrowtown looking gorgeous at this time of year, with its period shops, Chinese village. We have lunch at one of the lovely cafes. We then travel through the Gibbston Valley and Kawarau Gorge stopping off at Roaring Meg, and a winery for cheese and wine tasting.
We continue onto the olde world town of Cromwell’s stone buildings, a look around this resurrected part of town and enjoy a nice coffee. We arrive in Otago township of Alexandra famous for orchards, blossoms and gold mining where we stay for the night.B.D
Day 4: Alexandra - Danseys Pass
Today's highlight is travelling the towns breathed back to life through the Otago Rail Trail Cycle initiative, Omakau, Becks, Lauder with a special stop in St Bathan’s historic Vulcan Hotel. There is time for a drink and a wander through the haunted hall and walk to the Blue Lake which was formed from the mining days.
We travel through to Nasby and try our hand at curling at the international curling rink. We later drive to Danseys Pass for the night. Another beautifully renovated historic Hotel with loads of historic character with great cuisine and a friendly, warm atmosphere. B.D
Day 5: Danseys Pass to Dunedin
Returning to follow the Rail Trail route, we stop off at Waipiata before reaching Middlemarch. After lunch we will meet the Taieri Train to enjoy the journey from Middlemarch to Dunedin City in the beautifully appointed train with great gorge views. Arriving in Dunedin your guide will meet you to go to our city accommodation tonight.B
Day 6: Dunedin - Christchurch
Today we will explore the Port Chalmers side of the Otago Peninsula to see the beautiful bays, stop to visit Blueskin Bay garden centre café a feast for the eyes and then travel through seaside towns of Warrington and Seacliff on our way north to Christchurch. Lunch stop in the historic precinct of Oamaru where we will have time to look around the variety of historic shops. You may find something that takes your fancy. In the afternoon we drive northward into the rolling hills of South Canterbury then back into the Plains with the mountains as a back drop.
Your motel, in central Riccarton, is your evening stay and where you say your goodbye to your guide. Tonight you are free to dine as you wish, and experience the night life that Christchurch has to offer. B
After breakfast make your way to your connecting travel. B
Tour dates: April 22-28 2020
6 nights’ accommodation 4 star plus
6 evening dining experiences
Garden visit with morning tea
Curling in Nasby
Taieri Train journey
Tour starts and finishes in Christchurch