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Two Days Queenstown to Christchurch via Cromwell

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Approximate drive times
Queenstown to Cromwell 50 min (SH6)
Cromwell to Tarras 15 min (SH8)
Tarras to Christchurch 5.15 hour (SH8)

Hot, dry climates cultivate golden fruits and award winning wines below tawny hills, where fine-wool Merino sheep graze. Wildflowers line roadsides, and powerful rivers cut awesome gorges to Lake Dunstan and the expanding town of Cromwell.

Tarras, a small rural community at the head of Lake Dunstan, has a reputation for high quality Merino wool products.


Day One: Depart Queenstown mid-morning to Cromwell
Savour the Distinction of Central Otago Pinot Noir
New Zealand’s fastest growing wine region, Central Otago is the world’s southernmost wine production area, with many of its vineyards in gorgeous, dramatic settings. Although small, Central Otago is a rapidly developing wine growing region, with an international reputation for Pinot Noir. Take a personally guided wine tour offering professional expertise and local knowledge.

Discover Otago’s Goldmining History
Glimpse past goldmining at Carrick and Bendigo goldfields, and in nearby Bannockburn, a historic town, where sluicing has left its mark. Goldfields Mining Centre has an operational sluice gun, and opportunities to pan for gold. For a different view, take a spectacular jet boat ride on the mighty Kawarau River, through the heart of one of New Zealand’s most historic goldmining regions with Goldfields Jet.

Old Cromwell Town
The reconstructed buildings of Old Cromwell Historic Precinct are today alive with artists at work. Wander through the buildings and watch the artists at work, taste the produce inspired by the abundance of Central Otago’s wonderful stonefruit from Provisions or sit and have a coffee at the Grain and Seed café.

Pack a picnic and relax on the shores of picturesque Lake Dunstan. Experience the thrill of fishing for trout, walk or cycle one of the many trails that follow the lake’s shoreline.

Day Two: Depart Cromwell late morning for Christchurch
For retail therapy stop at The Stables, Rocky Point Pottery just south of Tarras or The Merino Shop in Tarras for high quality Merino wool products.
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