Canterbury Springtime Gardens

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Canterbury Springtime Gardens

Canterbury Springtime Gardens and Hanmer Springs Fete

7 Day / 6 Night tour with stays in Hanmer Springs, the Canterbury countryside and Akaroa plus a visit to the Hanmer Springs Fete.


On this springtime New Zealand garden tour the blooms are at their very best. You’ll enjoy private farmhouse lunches with country hospitality from the Hurunui to Mt Somers and Banks Peninsula too. Among the numerous highlights are lunches at Flaxmere Farm, Akaunui Farmhouse and Fisherman’s Bay and the  gardens at Giant’s House and Ohinetahi. 


Tour at a Glance


$3,890 per person, share twin

$600 single supplement

Tour Date:

25 – 31 Oct, 2021 WAITLIST ONLY


Fitness Level

Moderate walking with some uneven ground

Group Size Limited

maximum 18 travellers


• Return airfares from Auckland (please ask us about flights from other airports – there could be a price adjustment).
• All meals
• Entrance fees
• All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
• Services of your knowledgeable guide.
• Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”.


• Land Only price on application
• Travel Insurance

Tour Itinerary

For full details please request a Free Information Pack (Form to the right)

Mon 25 OctFly to Christchurch - Flaxmere Farm - Hanmer Springs

Your flight departs mid-morning and after arriving in Christchurch, we drive north through Waipara and onto lunch at Penny Zino’s Flaxmere Farm, Hawarden. Penny’s stunning seven acre garden sits on a terraced riverbed. Penny has devoted 47 creating this six star Garden of International Significance.

Later in the day we continue through the Hurunui farmlands to Hanmer Springs, our home for two nights. We dine in this evening.

Tue 26 OctHanmer Springs - Hurunui Gardens - Hanmer

After a leisurely start at Hanmer this morning we explore three very different farm gardens of the Hurunui – visiting Doreen and Michael Dryden at Loch Leaven, enjoying a picnic lunch with Vicki Collett and Andrew Dalzell at Coldstream and meeting Anita and Richard Todd at Saddlewood,

In the afternoon we return to Hanmer in plenty of time to enjoy a soak in the hot pools or check out the boutique shops

Wed 27 OctHanmer - Hanmer Springs Fete - Mt Somers

Relax and enjoy this new one day event – the Hanmer Springs Fete. In the leafy grounds of the historic Princess Mary Hospital browse the stalls, including fine arts and crafts, local wine and food. South Islanders like to shop early for Christmas and this is the perfect place on our New Zealand garden tour.

In the mid afternoon we travel down the Canterbury Plains to Mount Somers where we stay two nights at Stronechrubie and nearby B&Bs. We dine at Stronechrubie’s restaurant.

Thu 28 OctMt Somers - Rangiatea - Coniston Gardens - Akaunui Farm - Mt Somers

We visit Sara and Blair Gallagher’s garden at Rangiatea sheep and cattle farm. Their jewellery shop and gallery display agate rocks found on the property. Then we call into Carol and Donald Williamson’s Coniston Gardens with its vintage, classic cars and farm machinery collections.

Nearby at Akaunui we join Ian and Di Mackenzie for lunch in their 115 year old farm homestead set in magnificent gardens. There’s time to relax and enjoy country hospitality. Sean and Madeline Brown host us again at Stronechrubie this evening.

Fri 29 OctMt Somers - Blythcliffe House - Giant's House - Akaroa

We visit Paul and Sara Grigg’s garden nearby at Surrey Hills Station before heading for Akaroa to lunch with John and Lesley at Blythcliffe. Built in 1857, the architecture and expansive garden reflects its colonial history.

Later we visit The Giant’s House, a six star garden of International Significance that’s alive with sculptural mosaics. This unique garden is always a highlight and our friend Josie Martin is there to show us around. We stay two nights at the Bruce Apartments on the waterfront.

Sat 30 OctAkaroa - Fisherman's Bay - Bank's Peninsula

After breakfast we set off for some local touring. We visit Jos and Stew Howden’s Potter’s Croft garden then drive to Fisherman’s Bay. Along a dramatic clifftop Richard and Jill Simpson have created a stunning garden with a variety of planting themes. We lunch with the Simpsons and explore the garden.

We return to Akaroa in time to wander this pretty village with its French connections. We dine along the waterfront this evening

Sun 31 OctAkaroa - French Farm - Ohinetahi - Christchurch

We visit Jendy and Pat Brooks’ garden at French Farm and call into Barry’s Bay Traditional Cheese shop nearby then return over the hill to lunch at Little River. We take Gebbes Pass to Governor’s Bay for afternoon tea at Miles Warren’s superb Ohinetahi, a garden of international significance.

From here it’s just a hop, skip and a jump back to Christchurch airport for our late afternoon flight.


Some great news… while we wait for international borders to re-open, there is no better time to see a bit of our own backyard and help our local communities get back to business. 

We’re excited to let you know that we have partnered with MoaTours, one of New Zealand’s leading and most trusted local tour operators since 1971. MoaTours offers a range of small group tours all over New Zealand that we think you’ll love — from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.  

A a family run business just like Tours Direct, MoaTours has great connections and unbeatable local knowledge of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. They also share common values so we know you will be well looked after and have a great experience.

“I love feeling like a local, not a visitor, and this is what makes this leisurely
wander through Canterbury’s stunning farm gardens so much fun. It’s like
meeting up with old friends, relaxing with the gardeners over delicious, long
lunches in beautiful locations.”

The Nevo
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The Charger Mixte

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Silver Spirit - La Terrazza

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