Join us on a small group tour to discover the scenery and beauty of the Southern Lakes and Central Otago. A picture of red and gold autumn glory with the magnificent backdrop of Southern Alps and southern lakes this tour will be a wonderful experience. Two night’s stay in Wanaka, be part of the Arrowtown Autumn Festival, visit Lake Hayes, Lake Ohau, Waitaki Valley, Kurow, Lake Tekapo, Lake Dunstan, and Cromwell and Queenstown. A special experience and an unforgettable journey. Tour starts in Blenheim or Christchurch and finishes in Queenstown, Christchurch or Blenheim. Group size 4-9 people.
Day 1 Pickups from Blenheim 10am enjoy the scenery on the drive along the Pacific Coast on the way to Kaikoura, stopping for lunch in the seaside town. Alternatively we can meet you in Christchurch with airport pickups about 5pm. Overnighting in Christchurch with a restaurant meal tonight. D
Day 2 On leaving Christchurch we travel through the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps as the back drop, to visit the spectacular Mt Potts nestled deep in the high country, it is one of the most glorious locations of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. We then stay on the southern scenic inland route where the landscape changes from rolling hills to spectacular towering majestic snow covered mountains and turquoise blue lakes as we travel down the island. We stop at Lake Tekapo for photos and lunch at a cafe. Visit 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. You might like to buy some salmon and crackers to have while sitting at a picnic table looking across the lake to the views of the snow-capped Southern Alps We overnight in Twizel at a lodge hotel dine in the hotel. BLD
Day 3 Visit the salmon farm and feed the salmon at Lake Ruataniwha before taking the short drive to the stunning Lake Ohau to enjoy morning tea overlooking the lake and the mountain scenery. We will pass through the small towns of Omarama and Otematata and drive over the Benmore hydroelectric Dam and take the scenic route around the shores of Lake Benmore and Aviemore in the Waitaki District. We will visit the township of Kurow, have lunch and enjoy a wine tasting at a cellar door. We will then drive to Wanaka for a two night’s stay with Lake Views. BLD
Day 4 After breakfast today you can visit some local attractions in Wanaka, for example classic car and aircraft museum with a cafe, art galleries, and vintage toy museum have free time for shopping. BD
Day 5 A drive through to Cromwell to see the historic precinct village and explore the unique array of shops ,we can drive to Bannockburn and have lunch at Mt Difficulty winery with its, great food and award winning wine, fantastic views then a visit to the International Highlands Motorsport Park with its museum, take a ride in a vehicle round the circuit, have a wine and enjoy the atmosphere, later in the afternoon stop for a fruit ice cream at a fruit stall a must do if you like ice cream then drive to Lake Hayes and onto Arrowtown for your overnight experience. BLD
Day 6 Enjoy the Arrowtown Autumn Festival today. Now running for 30 years the festival attracts people in droves to take in the stunning scenery and see festival attractions such as art exhibition, vintage cars, Shotover country music concert just to name a few and not to mention the wonderful Autumn colours. There are cute cafes and a walkway beside the river. Late afternoon drive to Queenstown for the night at Earnslaw Lodge in outer Queenstown, dinner at a local restaurant. BD
Day 7 After a farewell breakfast we can transfer you to Queenstown Airport, or drive to Christchurch with your guide. B
Tour includes 6 nights’ accommodation, 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 evening meals. Pick up from Blenheim or Christchurch, and drop off in Queenstown or Christchurch or Blenheim by arrangement.