Central South Island Highlights
Duration: 3 3/4 hours
Tour Code: tiu-004
A splendid overview of the countryside, this delightful tour presents the artistic village of Geraldine, magnificent Rangitata Valley and endless panoramic views.
It's a picturesque drive inland to Geraldine, an artistic village nestled among rolling hills and farmland. Upon arrival, enjoy some free time to explore the art galleries and museums. If you're mechanically minded, you'll find the Vintage Car & Machinery Museum fascinating, especially the exhibit devoted to the world's only 1929 Spartan biplane. Foodies will love the village's al fresco cafés and shops carrying locally produced cheeses and fruit preserves. Stepping into the Giant Jersey, you will find the world's largest sweater mounted on the wall and a stunning piece of metal tapestry made out of two million pieces of steel. For a glimpse into Geraldine's past, stroll the Historic Town Trail.
Continuing on, the South Island's glorious natural beauty is on display as you drive further north into the Rangitata Valley, an area so visually stunning that it served as a backdrop for several Oscar-winning "Lord of the Rings" movies. This is classic New Zealand sheep country, as you'll discover during a brief stop at the Tin Shed, a wonderfully unusual store that was once a grain shed. You'll have time here to shop for fine woolen goods ranging from sweaters to blankets and then amble through the farmyard, where you'll see alpacas, native kunekune pigs and, of course, sheep.
Returning to the pier, you'll pass through Washdyke, supposedly named because it was once a center for sheep dipping, and then along the lively Caroline bay beachfront before ending at the pier.
Please note: Walking on this tour is mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops. There are some uneven and natural surfaces and a few inclines to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The order of the sites viewed or visited can vary.