Canterbury Foothills and Rivers Tour

(6 Reviews)
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February 23, 2025
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  • Per person twin/share room
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6 Days
Availability : Feb 23-28
Max People : 8
Tour Details

See up close for yourself the grandeur of the towering Southern Alps and Canterbury braided rivers, near the home of Mona Anderson.

Explore deep into Canterbury’s high country, Lake Coleridge, the headwaters of the Rangitata River on both sides, to the legendary Mesopotamia on the southside and Erewhon Station on the northern side. Experience farm hospitality and enjoy tours hosted by local guides to Peel Forest, and Orari Station to hear the fascinating history. Enjoy unique accommodation staying on a station at Lake Coleridge for two nights and at The Vicarage in Geraldine for three nights. This tour combines history, visiting iconic stations with lovely gardens, meeting high country folk. There will be free time to explore the charms of Geraldine from cheese to a boutique gin distillery, art galleries to speciality shops. Geraldine “One of the prettiest inland towns in the Dominion” as quoted in the Press, Countryside Wanderings, March 1911. Come and discover it with us.

Departure & Return Location


Departure Time


Price Includes

  • 5 nights’ accommodation in unique places
  • 5 breakfasts
  • 5 evening dining experiences
  • Guided farm visit with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea
  • Half day historic tour
  • Guided tour to Mesopotamia
  • Horse and wagon tour at Erewhon Station
  • Tour starts from Christchurch and finishes in Christchurch
  • 4 Morning Teas
  • 4 Lunches

Day 1Christchurch to Lake Coleridge

We pick you up from Christchurch and travel north towards the township of Rangiora Waimakariri’s largest town, to start our tour of Route 72 heading towards the Canterbury high country.

We will stop at some of the small townships along the way. In Cust we will enjoy a cuppa at the renown Route72 Café and Emporium, then off through Oxford, Sheffield.

We head west over Porters Pass, then turning off the main highway we skirt past Lake Lyndon as we get closer to Lake Coleridge, stopping off at various places of interest. After arriving at Lake Coleridge we will explore the north side of the lake and view the awe inspiring Southern Alps and dam, before returning to settle into our farm stay accommodation for the night. We will enjoy a meal at the well known Terrace Downs.

Accommodation at a high country station, in quality shearers quarters.

Day 2Lake Coleridge Farms and Gardens

Breakfast prepared for you this morning by your guide. Today we will be exploring the local area, meeting the farmers, and enjoying country hospitality, after a farm tour we return to our accommodation for a homestead lunch, then onto another station to see their garden and enjoy a cuppa.

Inclusions Accommodation second night at our high-country farm. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner tonight is a BBQ at our accommodation.  


Day 3Lake Coleridge to Geraldine

We leave our accommodation and travel south stopping off at a local gorge for a photo opportunity before heading to a classic country store. We travel off the scenic highway and again head for the hills to another high-country station for lunch and a garden tour. In the afternoon we drive to Geraldine to stay at the Vicarage, historic luxury accommodation for 3 nights.

Inclusions Accommodation at The Vicarage, Breakfast, Lunch Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4Peel Forest to Mesopotamia

After breakfast at a nearby popular café, we travel back up country to discover a whole valley with a local guide explaining the history, farming, stories etc. We stop off at different points of interest including Lord of the Rings film locations. We visit an iconic station to view the gardens, historic buildings, and tour around part of the farm. We return to Geraldine with dinner at our accommodation.

Inclusions Accommodation at The Vicarage, Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5Geraldine to Erewhon Station

We leave Geraldine after having another fabulous breakfast and travel up country to follow the Rangitata River to visit another historic farm to see the Clydesdale horses, meet the owners and hear about their station life on the farm. A wagon ride is possible. Returning to Geraldine you are free to explore the town, with its many speciality shops, a wonderful museum, Gin tasting facility, art gallery, cheesery [the only place in NZ that sells deer cheese], or a walk into original bush accessed from the town centre and much more.

Inclusions Accommodation at The Vicarage, Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6Geraldine to Orari to Christchurch

After breakfast we meet up with a local farmer who takes us on a tour to one of the iconic places of the Geraldine area. Loads of history and wonderful gardens, historic buildings all from a little-known area of Canterbury. A spot of lunch in Geraldine before we drive back to Christchurch Airport by 3pm for your fight or we will drop you off at your accommodation.

Inclusions Breakfast, and Morning Tea.


6 Reviews
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Couple Traveller

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Geoff.
The favourite part of the trip was the sheer magnificent views and scenery from Mesopotamia Station and Erewhon not to mention the Clydesdale experience that was awesome and amazing to learn about the breeding programme and the fact the Horses are working on Erewhon.
The tour took us to places we never would have dreamed of going to and experiencing the amazing views of Rivers and Hills.
Accommodation was superb.

March 13, 2024

Liz D

Solo Traveller

Thank you for a wonderfully interesting trip. I loved the high country stations and I think my favourite part was the picnic on the hill above the river sitting in the sunshine. I also loved the Clydesdales at Erewhon Station.

March 7, 2024

R White

Solo Traveller

Really enjoyed the company and the hospitality of the high country farming community. The Clydesdales were beautiful, and I loved the picnics high up on them there hills!
Very keen on another adventure with you

February 15, 2024

Grant and Barbara

Couple Traveller

Loved the whole trip. Especially the family involvement in developing the land and how the stations were run. Loved the picnic lunches out in the grass. So much to say about how good it all was. We have done a lot of travelling both domestic and international and this trip rates highly. Accommodation was excellent. Loved the Barker story. That was special too. Very much appreciated being able to visit the houses at the stations.

March 13, 2023

Rod Cameron

Solo Traveller

This is the big tour without big distances: big mountains, big spaces, big skies, big rivers, big horses, big back country men and capable country women, within two hours of Christchurch. It supports the adage, “One cannot do it on their own. We can only get to see these things by being an organised group”. The tour includes two big rivers: Rakaia and Rangitata, at a time of year when they are subdue, but their capacity to flood is evident. And the tour includes the lives of locals who are willing to share their ‘Big Country’ lives. We learn of their lives while enjoying all the comforts one expects ‘out on the plains’, including the gourmet delights of Geraldine

March 13, 2023

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