Why choose this trip to Central Otago?
Hosted by owner Natasha Sinclair, this Crafted Journey – Central Otago is, like her tours in India and Africa, designed to take you through an immersive experience with a delightful combination of hands-on workshops and food and wine experiences, all at a pace that is not rushed.
What’s the Activity level?
This is a laid back and relaxed itinerary. There is a 25km e-bike ride , which is very leisurely but the rest of the tour is discovering Central Otago by private van and exploring villages on foot.
What’s the transport and accommodation like?
We will be travelling in a private van for the tour. Our accommodation is 4 star motel with en-suite rooms.
*All our tours are non-smoking/vaping
Duration: 6 days from Queenstown to Queenstown (or Cromwell)
Trip focus: An immersive hands on exploration of Central Otago
Accommodation: 5 nights in Cromwell Motel with en suite facilities.
Transport: Private van, e-bike
Group size: Maximum 10 + tour leader, minimum 6
Operator: This tour is run by one of our trusted local partners
- An exclusive full day workshop with studio potter Victoria Claire Dawes
- E-bike the Cromwell Gorge section of the new Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail and explore historic Clyde
- Full day wine & food tour
- An exclusive honey experience with Forage & Gold artisan honey
- Port tasting with Central Otago’s “Port Lady” Debra Cruickshank at Tannacrieff Wines
- Private grand finale dinner by Moreish Kitchen at Victoria Claire Dawes’ lakeside home.
- Tour host so you get the best out of your trip
- 15% GST
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
- Travel insurance
- Meals not listed
- Pre and post trip accommodation
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL DAY QUEENSTOWN
Your Crafted Journey starts from Queenstown*. Your transfer will depart at 3pm and we will drive to Cromwell to check into your accommodation for the next five nights.
Natasha will return to collect you at around 6pm to drive to the Bannockburn Hotel for dinner.
We will enjoy a tapas-style meal that perfectly marries Central Otago’s produce with worldwide flavours. We will finish with a briefing about the following day and your choice of dessert from the menu.
*For those already in the Cromwell, Pisa Moorings, Lowburn, Bannockburn and Northburn areas, Natasha will collect you for each day’s activities from where you are staying.
Meals Included: Tapas-style dinner and dessert at the Bannockburn Hotel + two glasses of Central Otago wine.
DAY 2 - FULL DAY POTTERY WORKSHOP
This morning we will head to Victoria Claire Dawes’ studio, nestled in a sheltered cove of Lake Dunstan in Pisa Moorings.
Today you will be creating your own terracotta slipware plate. The workshop is suitable for absolute beginners and pottery enthusiasts.
Ceramics cannot be rushed so, for lunch, we will take a break from forming our pieces and Natasha will share her love of Indian cuisine with a group cooking class. Indian food fits perfectly in the narrative of shared tableware. Natasha will guide you through how to cook a delicious meal that matches Indian spices and cooking methods with New Zealand store cupboard staples and Central Otago produce.
After lunch, we return to the studio to decorate our pieces under Victoria’s expert tutelage. We will leave them with Victoria who will fire and add a clear glaze over the next couple of days. We will be reunited with our finished artworks on Monday evening at our grand finale dinner.
Late afternoon, Natasha will transfer you back to your accommodation. Natasha can help with suggestions for local restaurant for your dinner tonight.
Meals Included: Lunch
DAY 3 - E-BIKE THE LAKE DUNSTAN TRAIL TO CLYDE
Today we will drive towards Bannockburn, following the road to the beautiful Bannockburn Inlet.
Here we will be fitted with e-bikes. The newest and most spectacular section of the Lake Dunstan Cycle and Walking Trail is the 25km stretch from Cornish Point to Clyde. It is the only trail in New Zealand to feature cliff-face bridges. These unique bridges are literally bolted on to the steep bluff faces that dominate some parts of the gorge.
On arrival in Clyde you will have plenty of free time to browse the shops and galleries, take photographs and visit the local cafes.
When everyone is ready, we will transfer back to Cromwell and your accommodation.
Natasha can help with suggestions for local restaurant for your dinner tonight and you are welcome to join her or make your own arrangements.
*This section of the Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail is scheduled to open in December 2020/Early January 2021. If for some reason it is not open or is closed due to circumstances beyond our control, we will ride one of the other trails in the area and still visit Clyde as part of our day.
Meals Included: Special morning tea and picnic lunch.
DAY 4 - FULL DAY WINE AND FOOD TOUR
After all the activity of the yesterday, today will be a relaxing exploration of the Cromwell Basin wine and food scene.
Our day will start at the Cromwell Food & Craft Market (February and March departures only) for a wander before we visit a selection of smaller wineries, many in special locations with stunning views, that are not on the main wine touring route. The day isn’t rigidly planned so we won’t be rushed with our tastings or stops along the way.
Late afternoon we will finish at Scott Base Vineyard – a firm local favourite – for some substantial platters to accompany our final tasting of the day.
Afterwards, you will be transferred back to your accommodation.
Meal Included: Light lunch and substantial late afternoon platters at Scott Base Vineyard.
DAY 5 - BUSY BEES AND INNOVATION
After a busy weekend, we will start the morning a little later with a visit to Forage & Gold honey.
We will tour the bee shed and apiary before being welcomed into the Wood family home for a honey tasting experience that is not available to the general public. Over a refreshing, honey-based beverage or herbal tea, one of the family will guide us through an experience of honey tasting and food pairing. Included is a 250g pot of Forage & Gold honey of your choice, and a recipe to take home. We will stop for lunch at a local café (at your own cost).
After lunch we visit Debra Cruickshank at Tannacrieff. Debra has single-handedly developed a boutique contract winery and is widely recognised as “The Port Lady” of Central Otago.
After our time with Debra the rest of the day is your own and Natasha will happily drop you where you want to go within the Cromwell area.
Later Natasha will pick you up to return to Victoria’s home and studio where they will host you for our grand finale private dinner. Here will be the unveiling of your unique piece of tableware that you created on Friday.
After dinner you will be transferred back to your accommodation
Meals Included: Private dinner catered by Moreish Kitchen including a selection of Central Otago wines.
DAY 6 - DEPARTURE DAY
For those catching a flight home today, Natasha will transfer you to Queenstown Airport, arriving in time for flights departing after 11.00am or alternatively to your booked accommodation in Queenstown.