• Limited Spaces Available
  • Escorted Tour

Akaroa & High Country Gardens

This planned escape is to two outstanding areas of the South Island; Akaroa with its French influence and quieter atmosphere.  We have handpicked gardens for you to visit, allowing  time to wander and enjoy this corner of our country. From Methven, a gateway to the High Country, we have a day of garden visits as well as a  memorable  day of 4WD adventure to Mesopotamia Station.

Your travel itinerary

Saturday 09 November

Auckland - Christchurch

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On arrival transfer to a central city hotel and meet your guide for a walking tour of the regenerated city. Welcome dinner with fellow travellers this evening. 

Sunday 10 November

Christchurch – Akaroa

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This morning our travel is to Ōhinetahi Gardens at Governors Bay.  Ōhinetahi is situated at the head of Lyttelton harbour.The Ōhinetahi Homestead is considered to be a significant historic building, and considered to be one of New Zealand’s finest formal gardens. Sir Miles Warren, architect of the Christchurch Town Hall, was the last private owner and gifted it to New Zealand. Just up the road in Governors Bay is the Ōtomomiro Hotel where we will stop for lunch. Before we travel onto Akaroa, for a two night stay.


Monday 11 November


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After a leisurely breakfast, we drive out of town to Fisherman’s Bay to visit Jill and Richard Simpson’s garden established on the rugged coastline of Banks Peninsula. The strong focus is on evergreen native plants with many areas of daylilies, poppy paddocks, roses and much more. Return to Akaroa for the garden and gallery at the quirky mosaic ‘Giant Garden’ owned by Josie Martin. There is a cafe onsite for your own lunch if you wish. Josie is a painter, sculptor and artist alongside her horticulturist skills. This is a Garden of National significance. Rest of the afternoon to explore Akaroa.

Tuesday 12 November

Akaroa – Methven

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Today we plan to visit the 6 star 3.5 hectare garden ‘Broadfield Estates’, now 20 years old. Originality in design, planting and maintenance was the aim; the plantings include natives, a beech forest, kauri forest, a rose garden, lilies, peonies and a canal. On leaving, we continue via Darfield and Windwhistle and onto Methven for a three night stay.

Wednesday 13 November


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Today is the rural garden day, visiting gardens developed around the homesteads of sheep and cattle stations. We head out to Rangiātea Gardens at Mt Somers to Blair and Sara Gallagher’s hill country beef & sheep property. Their garden surrounds the homestead with great views of Mt Somers located in the foothills of the Southern Alps. The Tack Room Gallery displays the varied agate rock mined on the property and the Rangiātea jewellery shop is there to browse and buy. Next we visit Paul and Sara Grigg’s, at nearby Surrey Hills Station a garden of National Significance. A large country garden which makes the most of its foothills setting and relatively harsh climate. Sara and Paul have created an incredibly beautiful garden to wander around and soak in its history: a garden full of detailed, lush, perennial borders surrounding their beautiful home where we will have lunch. 

Thursday 14 November

Methven (Adventure Day)

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Today’s adventure includes 4WD vehicles best suited to explore the back country and appreciate  life in this part of New Zealand.  Our coach takes us to Peel Forest Park where we meet our local guides, then on to Mesopotamia (an iconic station) with the guide describing the landscape and history. The group now splits in two with a 4WD van taking you to the upper Rangitata River. Lunch is included at the now closed Mesopotamia School. This day is sure to be a highlight. 

Return to Methven late afternoon.

Friday 15 November

Methven – Ashburton

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Today’s journey takes us to Ashburton for a visit to Trott’s Garden on the outskirts of Ashburton. This is a six star garden of excellence. See some of the 650 rhododendrons in flower in the woodland area and the formal tightly trimmed hedges that form a backdrop for the border plantings. Then on to Akaunui for lunch and a garden visit. Diana and Ian Mackenzie’s 100 year old home and garden. This is a garden of such diversity – our visit is when some of the azaleas, roses and peonies are in flower - a day to remember. Overnight in Ashburton and a farewell dinner. 


Saturday 16 November

Ashburton – Christchurch - Auckland

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Coach return to Christchurch airport for your lunchtime flight home. 


• Air travel Auckland to Christchurch return

  (Please request other options)

• Coach transport as outlined

• Seven nights’ accommodation including breakfast

• Six dinners

• Four lunches

• Entry fees to the following gardens: Fisherman’s Bay, Óhinetahi    Giants Garden, Broadfield Estate, Rāngiatea, Surrey Hills, Akaunui and Trott’s Garden. 

  • 4WD adventure from Methven with local guides

• Pukekohe Travel escort subject to 15 passengers. 



Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
   $3,380  $4,088

*This is a cash price. Credit cards will incur a 1.5% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment


• Cancellation Insurance

• Items of a personal nature

Booking Conditions

• A non-refundable deposit of $300 per person will secure a place on the tour

• Full payment by 27 September 2024


• Deposit is non refundable

• After full payment 27 September 2024– no refund is available 

Travel Insurance

We recommend travel insurance. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

Terms and Conditions

• For full terms and conditions please visit our website   www.pukekohetravel.co.nz/termsandconditions or please ask our   tour consultant for a copy


Health and Mobility

•To ensure the tour is enjoyable for the whole group, a  reasonable standard of fitness is required.

• Mobility frames and wheelchairs are not practical orpermitted

• We expect you to arrive fit, healthy and ready to travel. 


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change