10 Day Tour from 8–17 November 2020
Come with me on this small group, bespoke tour for 10 fabulous days as we find the best the region has to offer and go off the beaten track to discover some of the hidden gems of Central Otago. You won’t find another tour like this one!
Queenstown • Clyde • Cromwell • Wanaka • Arrowtown • Glenorchy
We’ve taken a couple of weeks to put this carefully planned itinerary together to ensure we cover the most beautiful towns and wide open spaces of this fab region of New Zealand.
We’ll be wine tasting, eating out, pottering through old towns, ogling at stunning scenery, browsing markets and boutiques and we’ve thrown some wonderful surprises and delights in there too.
We will have our own driver in a luxury coach and will be staying at 4 and 5-star hotels and boutique accommodation that are within easy walking distance of the action.
This tour needs a minimum of 10 to go ahead and we’ll take a maximum of 14. It is fully refundable if Covid restrictions prohibit travelling, but we advise taking out insurance in case you need to cancel for other reasons.
Here’s the full itinerary!
Day 1 : Queenstown & Clyde
Meet together and depart from Queenstown to our historic accommodation in quaint Clyde. Along the way we’ll stop in and watch the bunny jumpers leaping off the bridge over the Kawarau River. If you’d like to have a go, let me know and I’ll make a reservation for you!
Settle into our rooms and enjoy free time wandering through the town before a beautiful three-course welcome dinner with wine matching at Olivers.
Accommodation at Olivers Lodge and Stables for 3 nights including breakfast
Day 2 : Maniototo
After breakfast in the hotel we head out on a day tour exploring the Maniototo region. This is Otago Rail Trail country and we will see much of the Big Sky landscape – without the cycling.
There is an option to rent bikes/ebikes and enjoy a 1-day cycle with a guide (let me know at time of booking if you’re interested in this).
For the rest of us, think tussocked hills and Graham Sydney paintings as we delve into the gold rush history of Omakau, Ophir, Wedderburn, St Bathans, Ranfurly and Naseby including the Ida Valley skirting the Rock & Pillar range famous for its unusual limestone outcrops, which featured heavily in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
But if you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at curling, today is your chance (for an extra cost of $40). I personally hate slipping and sliding on ice, but this looks like fun! We’ll have a casual lunch (own expense) and be back to Clyde about 5.30pm for a free evening.
Day 3 : Wine tasting day!
Today we’ll have a leisurely start over breakfast and head out to sample of Central Otago’s finest wineries including Domaine Thomson to taste the difference between their grapes grown in Burgundy and their grapes grown in Central Otago.
We’ll head to Mt Difficulty for lunch and a tasting with sweeping views over the Bannockburn valley and try my namesake, the roaring Meg (!!)
But we’ve saved the best till last when we return back to Clyde and have a private tour and tasting at actor Sam Neill’s Two Paddocks. We’ll meet Sam’s famous pets, view his personal art collection and hear of his conservation work and the viticulture model of his wineries. Then we’ll have a tasting of some rare Two Paddocks wines with bread and oil.
Dinner is own arrangements, and there are several places to try in Clyde. Of course, as with all my tours, if you’d like to join me you are welcome.
Day 4 : Cromwell & Wanaka
We check out of the hotel after breakfast and head into the quaint old town of Cromwell. This is what remains of the town after it was relocated in the 1990s for the Clyde Dam to flood it. You’ll have time to browse the shops and visit the local museum, then grab some lunch.
On our way we’ll pop into Mrs Jones Orchard for a fresh fruit ice cream or to pick up some bits and pieces to share over happy hour at our hotel in Wanaka!
Accommodation is at Edgewater Lake Wanaka for 2 nights including breakfast.
Day 5 : Wanaka
After breakfast we will make a plan for optional activities (I will send that list with your booking form) or just have free time to shop and explore the galleries and cafes or go on one of the many walking tracks in and around the area.
Dinner is on our own, but as always, people are welcome to join me.
Day 6 : Cardrona & Queenstown
After a leisurely morning we’ll depart Wanaka and head over the Crown Range Road to the iconic Cardrona Hotel, established in 1863 and one of NZ’s oldest hotels, for lunch (included).
We’ll arrive in Queenstown in the afternoon where you’ll have free time including this evening.
Accommodation is at Sofitel Hotel and Spa for 4 nights including breakfast
Day 7 : Queenstown & Glenorchy
After breakfast we’ll take the Skyline gondola up to the most astonishing views over the city and remarkable Remarkables! You can choose to go luging if you’re daring enough – while the rest of us enjoy the buffet lunch with arguably the best backdrop in New Zealand (included).
This afternoon we’ll drive to picturesque Glenorchy heading deeper and deeper into Mt Aspiring National Park. This is a special part of the world – Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit movies, Top of the Lake and countless other movies all were made in this remote and entrancing area.
Dinner on our own in Queenstown.
Day 8 : Queenstown
This is a free day for you to choose from our extensive list of options, which will be provided with your registration form. Things like the Shotover Jet, Heli tours, Milford Sound day tour, Dart River Safari, Spa at the Sofitel, Gibbston Valley wineries…
Or just potter around town or catch up with friends you might have in Queenstown.
Day 9 : Arrowtown
After a free morning we’ll drive through to Arrowtown for lunch and a walking tour through this quaint old gold mining town. Late this afternoon we have a treat in store in Arrowtown (I’m not telling!) before heading back to Queenstown for a decadent farewell dinner at Botswana Butchery.
Day 10 : Departure
After our final breakfast together there will be one coach departure time to suit the majority of flights. If you need to leave earlier or later, we can arrange separate transport to the airport (at your own expense).
Cost for this 10-day tour:
$5,195 per person in own room. Bring a mate to room share and they pay just $2,500!
- Boutique hotel accommodation as per itinerary
- Meals as outlined – 9 x full breakfast, 3 x lunch, 2 x dinner
- Entry fees/activities as per itinerary
- Transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle with driver guide throughout
- Your host Megan Singleton
- Loads of fun and laughter guaranteed
Ts & Cs
A $500 deposit per person will confirm your spot. Full payment is due by 10 October 2020. Group size is 14 max, 10 minimum.
Covid information: If for any reason this tour is cancelled or individuals from this tour must cancel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, there will be no cancellation fees for the tour or individual persons and all your monies will be refunded. This includes, for example, if a guest is joining from Wellington and Wellington is placed into Level 3 or 4 lockdown, restricting travel.
However we do strongly recommend you take out insurance to cover other unforeseen circumstances that might prevent you from travelling, or should you need to leave the tour early for any reason.
If you need to cancel for personal reasons prior to 20 days before departure, there will be no cancellation fee. Cancellation within 7-14 days of the tour will incur a $1500 cancellation fee. Cancellations within 7 days of the tour departing will incur a 80% cancellation fee. If you’d like you can get a free insurance quote from 1 Cover using my affiliate link >
Alcoholic beverages will be at your own expense at included meals.
This tour begins and ends in Queenstown, you’ll need to make your own way to the pick up point, to be confirmed. Queenstown Airport pick ups can be arranged.
We can also provide great deals on Queenstown hotels if you choose to stay on or arrive earlier.
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If you’d like to join my Bay of Islands and Northland tour in October, click here for the details!