A new itinerary to Otago, the southern region of the South Island: Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch to see stunning private gardens and spectacular natural landscapes.
Meet your Ross Tour Leader Sandra Ross at Sydney International Airport for your flight to Queenstown. Kia ora! Welcome to New Zealand!
We will be transferred to our hotel for four nights on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Celebrate together tonight at the Welcome dinner.
A slice of heaven this morning at Chantecler Garden, one of New Zealand’s finest! Sitting at the base of Coronet Peak and surrounded by snow covered Remarkables, it’s the dream come true for Mike Henry. Guided tour of the garden that he has so skillfully executed here. Fiery maples, oak, beech, rowan, birch and smoke bush are sublime at this time of year. Glorious hydrangeas, dahlias, nerines and late roses. Discover Arrowtown this afternoon, a picturesque settlement on the gold-bearing Arrow River, just 20 minutes from Queenstown.
A gentle walk through the Queenstown Gardens this morning, and on to Lake Wakatipu to catch the afternoon cruise. This is the best way to see Queenstown’s superb landscape, on board the century-old steam-powered TSS Earnslaw. The vintage steamer will drop us at Walter Peak High Country Farm for lunch at the homestead. Walter Peak was founded in 1860, a 25,758ha working high country sheep station on the southern shore of Lake Wakatipu. It runs 18,000 Merino and Perendale sheep and 800 beef cattle.
Morning visit to Birchwood Garden set against a magnificent mountainous backdrop. Designed by Australian garden designer Paul Bangay this garden is an excellent example of his signature style. The garden features a serene green, white and mauve colour palette, and is set out as a series of rooms, each with their own character, that grows less formal as you move away from the house. Free afternoon at leisure.
Depart Queenstown and travel south, across rolling hills of sheep country.
Another superb garden this morning, Maple Glen; 10ha of garden, nursery, aviary, woodland and wetland; a peaceful beautiful garden, created and managed by plantsman, Rob Davison. We are hoping to catch a field of autumn flowering crocuses. Lunch included today. Our destination today is Dunedin – the “”Edinburgh of the South””. Check into our hotel for two nights. Dinner included tonight.
Explore the Otago Peninsula today, flanking the southern edge of Dunedin’s extensive harbour; high and rugged on the ocean side; warm and sheltered on the harbour side. Volcanic in origin, the peninsula is part of the crater wall of a large, long-extinct volcano. Guided tour of the historic Glenfalloch Gardens with a special lunch included. Afternoon visit Larnach Castle, celebrating 150 years, high on the hills overlooking the peninsula. Afternoon visit to Larnach Castle, celebrating 150 years, high on the hills above Otago Harbour with panoramic views and beautiful gardens.
Travelling north today to Christchurch. Photo stop at Moeraki, see the giant marble like boulders on the beach. Next a stop in Oamaru with time to check out the heritage listed Victorian Precinct and the 5 star rated Garden of National Significance, Oamaru Public Garden. Continue through Timaru to the Canterbury Plains to the famous Trott’s Garden, a 6 star Garden of International Significance.
We will see the stunning 110m herbaceous border with perennials in full flower. Dahlias will be flowering in the Red Border. Check into our hotel in Christchurch for three nights. Dinner included tonight. Explore the picturesque Victorian precinct.
To Governors Bay, and the historic homestead of Ohinetahi. The garden was restored to its former glory by Sir Warren Miles and gifted to the City of Christchurch in 2012. Ohinetahi is loved for its art, architectural works and sculptures as well as its magnificent grounds.
A very special lunch today at Otahuna Lodge, at the foot of the Banks Peninsula. The legacy of Sir Heaton Rhodes, a central figure in Canterbury’s history, and now an elegant Victorian mansion. Guided tour of the extensive formal gardens.
Last stop is Margaret Long’s exquisite Frensham Gardens, another extraordinary plants person, who will explain and interpret her garden for us. Autumn colour will be well underway and her roses and dahlias in flower, at their best in autumn…as well as its magnificent landscape.
This morning we travel to North Canterbury to visit Penny Zino’s Flaxmere Garden, established over 50 years ago on a sheep farm. Boldly designed to frame breath taking mountain vistas, Penny’s plantsmanship has been awarded a 6 star Garden of International Significance from the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture! Lunch included at Flaxmere Garden. Coldstream is next, a lush tranquil oasis, with permanent water the life force for beautiful mature trees and ponds, awarded a 5 star Garden of National Significance. Farewell Dinner this evening in the Botanic Gardens, with produce served from their own kitchen garden.
Explore the Christchurch Botanic Gardens this morning, founded in 1863. Afternoon transfer to Christchurch International Airport to connect with your homeward flight.
You will be contacted by a Ross Tours Travel Manager to confirm your details and preferred method of payment.
Please refer to the Ross Garden Tours standard terms and conditions