Central Otago in Autumn Tour

(3 Reviews)
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April 30, 2024
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7 Days
Availability : 30th April-6th May 2024
Max People : 2 - 8
Tour Details

Join a small group tour for a relaxed tour to enjoy Central Otago in autumn. Explore from South Canterbury to Omarama to travel over the crown range and stay at the historic Cardrona Hotel. See Arrowtown, Wanaka and Cromwell clothed in their autumn glory. Pop into the Rail Trail towns of Nasby, St Bathans, the Blue Lake and Vulcan Hotel. Enjoy spending the evening in the city of Dunedin, followed by a fabulous day touring the bays and settlements of North Otago, a visit to Fleurs at Moraki with a relaxed stay in Oamaru. Explore the historic part of town the following morning begore returning to Christchurch mid-afternoon. Tour starts and finishes in Christchurch. Group size 4-9 people.

Departure & Return Location


Departure Time


Price Includes

  • 6 nights’ accommodation 4 star plus
  • 6 breakfasts
  • Garden visit with morning tea
  • Tour starts and finishes in Christchurch
  • Goldfields Town entry
  • 6 Evening dining experiences


Day 1Christchurch - Lake Tekapo - Omarama

On leaving Christchurch we travel through the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps as the backdrop, to visit a lovely garden and vintage car collection in Ashburton. We stop at Lake Tekapo for photos and lunch at a café. See 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. The next stop is Twizel the town that refused to die. We have afternoon tea at a salmon farm where you can feed the fish whilst enjoying a wine or cuppa. We then take a leisurely drive to overnight at Omarama. MT.D.

Day 2Omarama - Cardrona Valley

Today we 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 noticeably short time. See the Willow tree in the water [which used to be a fence post], the most photographed tree in the world.  Visit to the Wanaka Lavender Farm enjoy a tour of the complex and honey sampling. Our overnight stay is at the iconic Cardrona Hotel. There are some interesting historic buildings in the township to view. The hotel has had a makeover and is just stunning but in keeping with its period when it was built, [1863] at the start of the gold rush era. B.D.

Day 3Cardrona - 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 4Alexandra - 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 5Danseys Pass to Dunedin

We continue exploring the Central Otago rail trail townships of Ranfurly and Middlemarch. Before a leisurely drive to Dunedin for our city stay.

Day 6Dunedin - Oamaru

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 Oamaru. Lunch stop at the famous Fleurs Restaurant. Tonight, we will stay in Oamaru.

Day 7Oamaru-Christchurch

After breakfast, we will explore the old precinct of Oamaru, with interesting stops on our return to Christchurch by mid afternoon to fit in with your connecting travel

3 Reviews
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V. Hart

Solo Traveller

The tour was well oganised and took us to some out of the way places
that provided interesting and unique experiences. Geoff was an
attentive guide and made sure that we were all well looked after. The
food and accommodation was of a very high standard. The small number (8) promoted a friendly and relaxed atmosphere which added to the general quality of the tour. I have enjoyed the 2 trips I have been on with South Island Tours and would like to join you for others.

May 19, 2023

G Ellis

Couple Traveller

The whole tour was excellent – great accommodation choices, great lunch stops, and great restaurants for dinner. The unique things about your tour were the way that Geoff personalised the tour with his banter and his flexibility in giving us more time in a place if needed – we joined the tour as strangers and left as friends with the rest of our group. 8 people is a good size for people to get to know each other.

May 18, 2023

Lincoln & Denise

Couple Traveller

Thank for an absolutely brilliant trip from beginning to end, which well exceeded our expectations.

Once again we saw and experienced parts of NZ that were completely new to us – Omarama, Lindis Pass, Tarras, Cardrona, St Bathans Naseby & Danseys Pass and Middlemarch. All quite fascinating.

May 16, 2023

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