Central Otago in Autumn Tour

(3 Reviews)
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April 28, 2025
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7 Days
Availability : 28th April-4th May 2025
Max People : 2 - 8
Tour Details

Join a small group tour for a relaxed tour to enjoy Central Otago in Autumn. Explore from Canterbury to Otago to see Arrowtown, Wanaka and Cromwell clothed in their autumn glory. Explore the Rail Trail towns of Nasby, St Bathans, see 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, with a relaxed stay in Oamaru. Enjoy a privately owned castle tour before returning to 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
  • Wanaka Lavender Farm and Wanaka National Transport & Toy Museum entry
  • Arrowtown Museum entry
  • Ranfurly Day Tour
  • Riverstone Castle Tour
  • Totora Historic Farm Tour with Devonshire Tea
  • 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 to visit the National Transport & Toy Museum. See the famous willow tree in the lake [which grew from a fence post], the most photographed tree in the world.  Visit the Wanaka Lavender Farm enjoy smelling the oils 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 - Cromwell

Visit quaint Arrowtown looking gorgeous at this time of year, with its period shops and Chinese village and museum. We visit Queenstown’s latest fabulous attraction Ayrburn wine and food destination. We then travel through the Gibbston Valley and Kawarau Gorge stopping off at Roaring Meg historic power station lookout. We visit Goldfields Mining Town firstly for lunch then a gold mining talk, a walk around the complex and try your hand at panning for your own gold. We visit Cromwell’s olde world town before arriving at our accommodation in Cromwell with dinner out tonight. B.D

Day 4Cromwell - Danseys Pass

Today’s highlight is travelling the historic Central Otago towns of Clyde, Alexandra, Omakau, Ophir, Becks, Lauder with a special stop in St Bathan’s historic Vulcan Hotel for lunch, there is time for a walk to the Blue Lake which was formed during the gold mining days.  A chance to view Nasby’s international curling rink, and a look around the historic gold mining town of Nasby before driving to Danseys Pass Hotel for the night. Another beautifully renovated historic hotel with loads of character, enjoy great cuisine and the friendly, warm atmosphere. B.D

Day 5Danseys Pass to Dunedin

We continue exploring Central Otago with our private tour guide for the day. Enjoy the scenic drive through the Taire Plains to Dunedin for our overnight city stay. B D.


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. Afternoon tea at Totara Historic Farm with a guided tour. Tonight, we will stay in Oamaru overlooking the harbour. B D.

Day 7Oamaru-Christchurch

After breakfast, we will explore Riverstone Castle and have a chance for some boutique shopping, and lunch at the famous Riverstone Kitchen. Returning to Christchurch. B

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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