Come and explore the back roads from Canterbury to Central Otago visiting historic sheep stations and meeting the gardeners. From Aoraki/Mt Cook we head down the Waitaki Valley to Danseys Pass following the old route taken by stockmen and miners over to the Maniototo and the goldfields.
$3,890 per person, share twin
$600 single supplement
16 – 22 Nov, 2021 SOLD OUT
3 – 9 Jan, 2022
20 – 26 Feb, 2022
5 – 11 Apr, 2022
• 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
From Christchurch airport we drive to Crispin and Fleur Deans’ Homebush Station near Darfield for lunch and visit their museum with its treasure trove of Kiwiana and the magnificent heritage farm buildings and garden developed by the family since the 1850s.
We continue on to the Rakaia River Gorge and stay in Mt Somers village at Stronechrubie Chalets and nearby B&Bs. We dine at Stronechrubie this evening.
Erewhon Station sits at the top of the Rangitata Gorge amid stunning Lord of the Rings scenery. Colin Drummond and Erin Cassie use Clydesdale horses for a lot of their station work and hitch up their team to take us for a wagon ride. We have a picnic lunch in their wool shed before returning back down the road to Lake Camp and Lake Clearwater and stopping at the historic farm buildings at Hakatere.
We stay two nights at Geraldine’s Scenic Route Motor Lodge and dine in town.
We meet Rosa Peacock at Orari Gorge Station to hear the stories of the historic farm buildings and stroll in the expansive garden.
We lunch with Rosie Morten at Orari Estate Station, a farm that has never changed hands except by inheritance since the run was taken up in 1854. Rosie’s garden features tall trees and is centred around a large pond.
We return to Geraldine in time to stroll around the artisan shops specialising in cheeses, preserves and woodworking to name a few
We head to Four Peaks Station to meet Jo and Steve McAtamney and drive out the back of their farm to Sutherland’s Hut, built in 1866 it’s the oldest shepherd’s hut in the high country.
At Burkes Pass we enter the Mackenzie Country and stop to enjoy the views from the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo and at Lake Pukaki views up the valley to Aoraki/Mt Cook. We drive up to Aorak/Mt Cook Village to stay at The Hermitage and dine in the Panorama Room with views out to the mountains.
We drive to Omarama then turn eastwards through the Waitaki Valley to Kurow and on to Hakataramea to lunch with and to hear the stories of the Pavletich family who have farmed at Station Peak since 1917.
The gravel road up Danseys Pass was the route traditionally used by stockmen and also miners as a short cut to Central Otago’s goldfields. We stop for refreshments at Danseys Pass Coach Inn and drive into Naseby, both were goldrush hubs, before reaching Hawkdun Lodge, Ranfurly where we dine in this evening.
We visit Ranfurly’s Art Deco buildings and then view the vast opencast gold mine at Macraes Flat, an astonishing sight. We lunch nearby at Stanley’s Hotel built in 1882. The scenery is classic Central Otago along the Moonlight Road and through the golden tussocks of the Rock and Pillar range to Middlemarch.
We take a back road to Lake Waipouri and on to Lawrence where we stay the night and dine in town. The locals have got together to restore their town which was the gateway to the goldfields.
We breakfast in town and meet up with our local guide, Barbara Kerr, to hear about Lawrence’s history, driving out to Gabriel’s Gully where in 1861 Gabriel Read discovered gold and the gold rush years began.
On the way back to town we visit the Chinese Camp, an historic reserve with the Empire Hotel and the Poon-Fah Joss House being restored.
Leaving Lawrence we lunch with Sarah Homer at Linlithgow Farm then drive on to Dunedin airport in time for your return 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.
Some farms we’re visiting have stayed in the same family with buildings and gardens dating back to the pioneers. At Erewhon Erin and Colin are passionate about horses and their magnificent Clydesdales plough the fields at the foot of the Southern Alps.
What an absolutely wonderful tour this was, just brilliant and what a great choice…… My travelling buddies on the bus were a lovely bunch of people and we all had a lot of fun together.
These high country stations were places we would never have been able to visit…
I think we are most privileged to have been able to visit them and it was a good time of the year to visit these areas as all the rhododendrons were out.