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Autumn Splendor

April 24 @ 8:00 am - May 6 @ 2:30 pm


Autumn Splendor
(24th April – 6th May 2019)


Day 1. (Wed. 24th April) Home – Picton

If departing from Wanganui meet at the Wanganui Racecourse for an 8am departure, and travel south to Levin for some home baked morning tea. We then head into Wellington CBD and drop you off at Te Papa museum around 11.15am. Here you have time visit Te Papa, stroll along the waterfront or head into town to grab yourself some lunch. The coach will head out to Wellington airport to collect the flying travelers, returning to Te Papa around 1pm.

If departing from Auckland, your shuttle will collect you at the designated time and transfer you to the Auckland Airport in plenty of time to catch your flight to Wellington. The tour leader and coach will meet you at Wellington airport then collect your fellow travelers. (All tickets and details will be provided in your personal information pack sent two weeks prior to travel).

As a group, we then head to the Interislander Ferry terminal to catch our 2.45pm sailing over to Picton. When we arrive, it is just a very short drive to our accommodation, the ASURE JASMINE COURT MOTEL. Tonight’s dinner is next door at the RSA.

Day 2. (Thur. 25th April) Picton – Kaikoura

This morning you have the opportunity to show your respect to the fallen by attending the Picton dawn parade. This starts from the top of High Street, which is near our accommodation, and down to the waterfront for the official speeches. We are also invited in to the RSA after the parade for finger food and there is breakfast provided in your room at the motel.

We then board the coach and take the sort drive south to Blenheim, where we head out to the outstanding Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Here you have the chance to wander at your own leisure and view the WW1 Exhibition ‘Knights of the Sky’ and the WW2 Exhibition ‘Dangerous Skies’. You also have the chance to visit Omaka Classic Cars which is a working collection from the 1950’s to the 1980’s which forms a rare and important piece of New Zealand motoring.

We then visit Upton Oaks Garden which is a garden of National Significance, that has been developed over many years and has been created to harmonize and compliment the style of the 1911 Victorian Villa. We enjoy morning tea and a guided tour of the beautiful setting.

A quick drive see’s us arrive at the Saint Clair Family Estate winery with the chance to sample their award-winning wines with a wine tasting, followed by a magnificent lunch.

Those with a sweet tooth will love our next stop as we visit Makana boutique chocolate factory. You can watch how the chocolates are made, taste a few samples and, of course, shop for delicious chocolates.

Next is the Blenheim train station where its all aboard the Coastal Pacific train. With the sea stretching to the horizon in the east and the Kaikoura mountains stretching to the sky in the west, the Coastal Pacific is one of the most astonishingly beautiful journeys in New Zealand.

You travel down the stunning Kaikoura coastline and observe the major changes and great engineering feats after the damage caused by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in November 2016.

The train arrives in Kaikoura just after 5pm where you disembark, meet the coach and are transported to our accommodation for the evening, the LOBSTER INN MOTOR LODGE. Tonight, we dine at the Lobster Inn tavern where and recap on a fantastic day.

Day 3. (Fri. 26th April) Kaikoura – Hamner Springs

This morning is your chance to experience the excellent activities Kaikoura has to offer. These are all optional extra activities (own expense). Your tour guide will discuss these options at the start of the tour and take bookings but if there are any activities you would like to do and want to ensure you don’t miss out please contact the office and we will make the early booking for you.

Recommended activities are:

 Whale Watch Kaikoura
 Dolphin Encounter (swim with or view dolphins)
 Albatross Encounter
 Scenic flights (Helicopter or fixed wing options)
 Kaikoura Kayaks
 Fishing
 Kaikoura Museum

There are also good free activities such as short walks in the area and Kaikoura town is a lovely spot if you would prefer to sit back for the morning and ‘take it easy’.

After lunch once everyone has finished their activities and collected, we depart Kaikoura and make our way via the inland road to the resort town of Hamner Springs.

We are looking to arrive with time for you to have a good look around the lovely town before meeting for a fabulous group dinner. The famous Hot Pools are located just over the road from where we are staying so for those who are keen can soak their night away relaxing in the many hot pools. Our accommodation tonight is the ALPINE LODGE MOTEL.

Day 4. (Sat. 27th April) Hamner Springs – Christchurch

Today we continue south to Christchurch with a great first up morning visit to the famous Flaxmere Garden. Another Garden of National Significance that is breathtakingly bold in its design and reflects the change of seasons with each spelling its own magic, especially in Autumn. We have a guided tour of the grounds and are treated to a light morning tea before we continue our day.

When we arrive into the garden city, we will head to Christchurch’s largest Farmers’ Market located in the beautiful and historic grounds of Riccarton House and Bush. You will have free time to explore the markets and get yourself something to eat before all meeting at the entrance to Riccarton House for a guided tour of the property.

Our next stop is at the beautiful Christchurch Botanical Gardens where we climb aboard an electric vehicle and tour in comfort, exploring one of the world’s most historic Botanic Gardens allowing you to view some of the best examples of native and exotic flora in New Zealand.

It is then to our accommodation the HEARTLAND HOTEL COTSWOLD. You will be given some time to refresh before heading back out for a very special dinner. Tonight, we are dining aboard the only Tram Restaurant in New Zealand which offers you a unique way to view the inner city of Christchurch while enjoying a delicious evening dinner.

Day 5. (Sunday 28th April) Christchurch – Akaroa

This morning we head out to Akaroa, the historic French and British settlement nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. We will have a brief stop at Little River before arriving at French Farm Garden nestled in the historic French Farm Valley on the banks of the Te Waimangu Stream. The garden is designated a Garden of National Significance and also features a mature Pokaka which is listed as a Notable Tree of NZ. The owners will give us a guided tour and provide some lovely home baked morning tea before we continue into Akaroa.

You will be given free time to wander the quaint historic village and grab yourself some lunch before meeting back for our next unique visit. The Giant’s House – A historic house with original artworks, terraced gardens with sculptures and mosaics. A creative feast and a wonderful experience which will start with a short introductory talk by the artist and a visit through the historic art house, then you can view the garden at your own leisure.

Its then back on the coach as we head out of town well off the beaten track to the fantastic Fishermans Bay Garden, which is a haven in the rugged and dramatic landscape of the Banks Peninsula coastline. The structure and texture of New Zealand native plants combined with a diverse array of non-native plants are used to create a truly New Zealand ambience.

Back into town with time to settle into our accommodation at the AKAROA WATERFRONT MOTELS before we head out for a great group dinner to finish off the day.

Day 6. (Mon. 29th April) Akaroa – Tekapo

After a hearty group breakfast its time to leave the peninsula and start the journey over the Canterbury Plains. The first stop is not far from Ashburton where we visit Longbeach Estate Farm. Surrounded by picturesque gardens and grounds, The Longbeach Cookshop is an historic building and where we will be having lunch. Before departing we will explore some of the 7-hectare garden and pond along with some of the Historic Farm buildings.
This afternoon we travel through Geraldine to the quintessential rural town of Farlie, the eastern gateway to the Mackenzie region. This picturesque town comes alive in autumn with colour as the main street is framed by hues of gold and orange. You will be given some free time before heading to the heart of Mackenzie Country.

After making our way over Burkes Pass, we reach the beautiful Lake Tekapo. We visit the Church of the Good Shepherd before getting into our great central accommodation, PEPPERS BLUEWATER RESORT, for some R & R before our night ahead.

After and early dinner you have two superb optional activities to choose from. You can join the highly recommended Earth & Sky Observatory tour, where you can see the amazing southern night sky from two stargazing locations on the top of Mt John and be taken on a journey of discovery, learning and intrigue – a place where you will look, listen and learn about our incredible universe.

Alternatively, you can choose to go to the relaxing Tekapo Springs Hot Pools looking over the lake or simply enjoy the evening to yourself.

Day 7. (Tues. 30th April) Tekapo – Oamaru

After a relaxed start to the day, we make our way through the basin to the majestic Lake Pukaki for a photo stop looking down the shore into Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. We then carry on through to Omarama for a spot of morning tea, before heading to the east coast passing lake Benmore and lake Aviemore which form part of the Waitaki hydroelectric scheme along the way.

We arrive in Oamaru and head down to “old town” and have lunch before our guided tour of Whitestone City. This historical interactive museum located in the unique Victorian precinct has amazing displays about the history of Oamaru along with old-style collections from locals. We are then joined by a local historian and we tour the rest of the city in the comfort of the coach.

We then head to ASCOT OAMARU MOTEL for an early check in before we are out again to the visit the fabulous Blue Penguin Colony. As a group we will be in the Premium Viewing Stand with the best seats to view the penguins as they come ashore. We then dine at one of the highly rated restaurants in the district before heading back to the accommodation to rest our heads for the night.

Day 8. (Wed. 1st May) Oamaru – Dunedin

This morning we head south down the coast via the seaside village of Kakanui before stopping at the mysterious Moraki Boulders. Here you will have time, if you choose to, head down to the beach and see the boulders up close and we will have some morning tea at the café with wonderful views over the Pacific Ocean.

Continuing south we head towards Dunedin but will take the scenic route into the city via Mt Cargill and stop off briefly to view the steepest street in the world, Baldwin Street. From here it is a very short drive to Dunedin Botanical Gardens, New Zealand’s first botanic garden and holds the status of six-star Garden of International Significance. First, we will enjoy lunch in this great setting then we will be treated to a specialized garden tour on purpose-built vehicles.

This afternoons visit is the award winning Olveston Historic Home & Theomin Gallery.
This is known as New Zealand’s finest historic Home which is lavishly furnished with exotic artefacts, artworks and antiques, complete with all the original contents in 1966.

Our great central accommodation for the next two nights is the SCENIC HOTEL SOUTHERN CROSS which is also where we will be dining tonight.

Day 9. (Thur. 2nd May) Dunedin

This morning is just a short drive out to New Zealand’s wildlife capital, the Otago Peninsula. Enjoy great views of this magnificent harbor as we firstly make our way to Glenfalloch Gardens. We will have a guided tour through some of the 30 acres of historic garden which begun in 1871 and filled with splendid plantings. Stroll amongst the beautiful seasonal displays and enjoy the lush surrounds – native ferns, exotic imports and indigenous New Zealand trees.

It is then just a short drive one of New Zealand’s premier visitor attractions, Larnach Castle. On a guided tour we discover its rich history that dates back to 1871. We will explore the exquisite gardens, which have attained a Garden of International Significance award. For lunch we enjoy a delicious High Tea in the Castle before making our way right to the end of the peninsula.

We make our way to the Royal Albatross Centre for a truly unique experience. We will embark on a guided tour telling the story of the Northern Royal Albatross which we will also get to view.

This is combined with learning about the history of Pukekura/Taiaroa Head. From a small Maori camp in the 1300s to a large defense base in WWII, we are taken on a journey which will finish with a visit through Fort Taiaroa and view the Armstrong Disappearing gun.

We then make our way back down the harbor to our accommodation before meeting again for a great group dinner at the Speights Ale House.

Day 10. (Fri. 3rd May) Dunedin – Alexandra

After breakfast it is time to leave this great southern city as we head north into Central Otago. Up SH87 with our first stop being at Middlemarch where we will have a quick refreshment break and stretch the legs. We then get well off the beaten head to the northern reaches of the Manuherikia Valley to the former gold mining town of St Bathans. We have a great lunch organized at the famously haunted Vulcan Hotel before the short drive to the idyllic Blue Lake, which was once the deepest mining hole in the Southern Hemisphere.

After viewing the historic town which includes the oldest mud brick hall in the country, we continue our way to Alexandra. Here we will have a good look around town including the famous Mountain Clock and view point and the Alexandra bridges.

Tonight’s accommodation is at the CENTENNIAL COURT MOTOR INN which is where we will also be dining.

Day 11. (Sat. 4th May) Alexandra – Queenstown

After a relaxed start to the day we make our way to the quaint little town of Clyde where you will be given some free time to wander the main street. We then head up the road to view the Clyde Dam before making our way through the Cromwell Gorge to Central Otago’s best kept secret. We arrive at Cromwell Historic Precinct where we will step back in time to the gold rush and explore heritage buildings, many with artisan businesses in them, located on the shore of beautiful Lake Dunstan.

We have a great spot lined up for lunch (we have to keep something a surprise) before we make our way to the Goldfields Mining Centre. We have a guided tour of this special place where we will gain an appreciation of the life and working environment of those early miners who struggled against the harsh and sometimes dangerous conditions along Central Otago’s famed Kawarau Gorge. You will also have the chance to ‘strike it rich’ when you are taught how to Gold pan.
Carrying on through the magnificent gorge we will have a brief stop to view the original AJ Hacket Bungy Jump and the historic Kawarau bridge. From here we are into what is arguably the most beautiful area of New Zealand, ‘Chantecler’ is truly a garden for “all seasons” with Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter each displaying unique characteristics. In Autumn the leaves on the deciduous trees are staggeringly beautiful especially framed by the snow-covered Remarkable mountains. We will also see a large vegetable garden, berry garden, orchard, nut trees as well as Alpacas, Fallow deer, and other farm animals.

Just a short drive into Queenstown and into our centrally located accommodation for the next two nights, SCENIC SUITES QUEENSTOWN. Town and the Botanical Gardens are just a short stroll and we will dine at the hotel tonight.

Day 12. (Sun. 5th May) Queenstown – Arrowtown – Queenstown

A relaxed start to the day with a chance for an early stroll amongst the gardens before we depart for the charming and quirky town of Arrowtown. The famous autumn colours is a must see and there is also a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. You’ll be enchanted by the historic and beautiful town during your free time in this New Zealand treasure. For those slightly more active travelers you have the chance to stroll or bike (electric available) the famous cycle ways through this spectacular landscape.

Today’s lunch is at the renowned Millbrook Resort. This complex has been built on the site of the historic Mill Farm and features an internationally rated golf course magnificently planned in keeping with the surroundings.

This afternoon we head down to the frontier town of Glenorchy, a spectacular lakefront drive set amongst snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, rivers, national parks and is the epic backdrop for many international films, including Lord of the Rings. You will be given time to wander the village before making our way back to our accommodation to get ready for our final night treat!

We are in for a dining experience unlike any other in Queenstown, as we journey across Lake Wakatipu on the historic TSS Earnslaw to the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant at Walter Peak High Country Farm. After a farming demonstration we will be seated to enjoy one of the best gourmet barbeque buffet dinner’s in NZ. The night is finished off with a sing along to the classic songs as we steam back across the lake.

Day 13. (Mon. 6th May) Queenstown – Home

A relaxed morning and after our final breakfast as a group we pack our bags and make our way to the airport. We will be there in plenty of time to catch our 11.40am flight to Palmerston North. We transit for an hour in Christchurch which will be great timing to grab yourself some lunch. A coach will be waiting at the airport to take you on the final leg home.

*If you are travelling to another destination your travel arrangements will be made for you in your customized itinerary.

Total cost:

– $ 4795.00 per person – ex Wanganui
– $ 4975.00 per person – ex Akl (includes door-to-door shuttle and return Akl flights)

 Deposit: – $1000 due by the 28th January 2019.
 Final payment:
– Wanganui – $3795.00 due by the 28th March 2019.
– Auckland – $3975.00 due by the 28th March 2019.
 All amazing Garden visits stated in itinerary.
 Queenstown – Palmerston North flight (or return Auckland flights).
 All coach travel as stated in itinerary.
 Interislander Ferry travel (if joining tour in Nth Island).
 Two course dinners every night.
 Continental Breakfast every morning (cooked available most mornings).
 Lunch on day 2,6,7,8,9,10,11,12.
 Twin share accommodation (single supplement available).
 Coastal Pacific Train.
 All outstanding locations and activities stated in bold.
 Experienced Tour Leader

For Bookings: – Please ring 06 3447465 / 0508 482269 or
E-mail info@takeiteasytours.nz
Payments Methods: – Cheque / Cash
– Online Bank deposit – BNZ 02-0792-0090015-00
– Please use your name and trip name as code and reference.

Be in quick to secure your seats!

Take It Easy Tours cancellation policy

If after your booking has been confirmed and you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
• For cancellations up to 14 days prior to travel – loss of deposit.
• For cancellations 14 days – 48 hours prior to travel – 50% of total fare will apply.
• For cancellations within 48 hours prior to travel – 100% of total fare will apply.


Take it easy tours will make every effort to provide on time service. It does not guarantee its departure and arrival times, which may be delayed by various factors including weather, traffic, road conditions, mechanical problems and any other conditions Take it easy tours can’t control. Take it easy tours are not liable for any inconvenience or expense caused as a result of such delay. Take it easy tours assumes no liability or responsibility for property, delay or expense arising from or caused by weather conditions, acts of God, accident, government restrictions or regulations, from an act or omission of any individual, traffic, road conditions, mechanical problems, or any other cause or condition beyond its control. Take it easy tours reserves it’s right to cancel or change any tour, advertised schedule, or route without notice and assumes no liability or responsibility for any conditions beyond its control that may interrupt or cancel any tour.


April 24 @ 8:00 am
May 6 @ 2:30 pm
Event Category:


Take It Easy Tours
06 344 7465


Coaches leave from Wanganui Racecourse
211 Ingestre Street
Wanganui, 4500 New Zealand
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