Date: February 12 - 24, 2023
Duration: 13 Days
With: Deborah Jarchow


Price per person:
Twin share: $5,160
Single supplement: $1,230
Deposit: $500

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Call: 877 235 3767

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  • Tour New Zealand's South Island to explore a weaver's dream destination. Who can resist a journey that includes sheep and finely crafted spinning wheels? A visit to Middle Rock Farm, a family-run sheep farm in the high country, confirms it all starts with the fleece. And at Ashford Handicrafts Ltd, looms, spinning wheels, and other tools are manufactured so that artisans can create their own yarns and finished goods from wool. There is also plenty of opportunity to find readymade wares on this trip. At various emporiums, artisans offer a wealth of yarns, garments, and homewares. The weaving establishment of McLean & Co., turns out tartan and tweed fabrics on antique Hattersley looms. Adding interest are skilled craftspeople, including Christine Keller, who shares her knowledge at Dunedin's LoomRoom, and Doe Arnot of The Oamaru Textile Emporium, who is known for dyeing, spinning, and crocheting. Plus, discover South Island's breathtaking alpine peaks while you cruise Milton Sound and enjoy tea at Larnach Castle, the only castle in New Zealand. This adventure truly captures the heart of South Island.

  • Day 1   Sun   Feb 12        Arrive Christchurch
    Kia ora and welcome to New Zealand. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight. (D)

    Day 2   Mon   Feb 13       Christchurch
    This morning, walk through the city to the Christchurch Art Centre, an Aotearoa New Zealand landmark. En route, visit the Cardboard Cathedral – a transitional structure built after the 2011 earthquake--as well as the memorial to those who lost their lives in that natural disaster, and learn about rebuilding efforts. This afternoon enjoy a demonstration on Maori Culture and Weaving before visiting the beautiful botanical gardens. (B)

    Day 3   Tue   Feb 14          Christchurch-Ashburton
    After breakfast, depart hotel for a visit to Middle Rock Farm, where we view life on a working, family-operated sheep farm in New Zealand's scenic South Island high country. Bordered by the braided Rakaia River, the property farms over 7,000 sheep, producing fine wool for the apparel trade and lamb for export to international meat markets. After this interesting tour, travel onto Ashburton in the heart of South Canterbury. (B, L)

    Day 4   Wed   Feb 15            Ashburton
    Visit Ashford Handicrafts, founded in 1934 by Walter Ashford. It is now a world leader in the manufacture of quality spinning wheels, weaving looms, and textile equipment. The company uses only the finest native New Zealand silver beech hardwood, sourced from sustainably managed forests with Forest Stewardship Council approval. Enjoy a special weaving workshop in the historic Mill House, built in 1914 in the arts and crafts style. (B)

    Day 5   Thu   Feb 16            Ashburton-Oamaru
    Continue south to Oamaru to meet Rod and Sue McLean of McLean & Co. Their company specializes in weaving tartan and tweed fabric from locally sourced New Zealand wool--especially merino and alpaca fiber--and crafting limited edition textile pieces. The afternoon is free time to enjoy the Victorian Precinct and to visit attractions such as the famous Steampunk HQ, an interactive museum that has a collection of retro-futuristic sci-fi art, movies, sculpture, and sound. After dinner, visit the Little Blue Penguin Colony. (B, D)

    Day 6   Fri   Feb 17           Oamaru-Dunedin
    Visit The Oamaru Textile Emporium, which offers textile products made by local artisans. Here you will meet Doe Arnot, a spinner, weaver, and dyer, who will introduce you to the emporium and talk about her work. The tour then continues south, stopping for lunch in Moeraki at chef Fleur Sullivan's famed restaurant, Fleur's Place, before arriving in Dunedin. The first stop in this city is Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world. (B, L)

    Day 7   Sat   Feb 18            Dunedin
    Visit Dunedin's LoomRoom where owner Christine Keller gives you a tour and talk about the community weaving studio that offers classes and workshops. In the afternoon, visit Larnach Castle & Gardens for a tour of the grounds and high tea. (B)

    Day 8   Sun   Feb 19          Dunedin-Queenstown
    Travel through the country towns of Lawrence, Roxburgh, and Alexandra before arriving in Clyde to visit Touch Yarns. This family- owned and -operated business was founded in 1991 by Marnie Kelly, who produced a comfortable yarn by combining softer superfine kid mohair, merino, and polwarth wools. Continue to Queenstown with an en route opportunity for wine tasting. (B)

    Day 9   Mon   Feb 20         Queenstown-Milford Sound-Queenstown
    Start bright and early to enjoy a daylong excursion to Milford Sound where a nature cruise takes you through breathtaking fjords. Sheer cliffs, gorgeous dark water, and majestic mountain peaks combine for a glorious outing in this pristine setting. (B)

    Day 10   Tue   Feb 21         Queenstown
    Enjoy exploring this lovely town on your own this morning before riding the gondola to the top of Bob's Peak for a special dinner. (B, D)

    Day 11   Wed   Feb 22        Queenstown-Lake Tekapo
    The morning begins in Arrowtown, one of the first locales where gold was found in the mid-19th century. Then continue north through the Kawarau Gorge and over Lindis Pass to Lake Pukaki to take in the view of Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Arrive at hotel on the shores of Lake Tekapo for overnight. (B)

    Day 12   Thu   Feb 23        Tekapo-Christchurch
    Return to Christchurch with an en route stop in Geraldine at Maniototo Wool. In Christchurch, meet members of the Christchurch Guild of Weavers and Spinners at The Tannery, a boutique shopping emporium on the banks of the Heathcote River. Enjoy a farewell dinner. (B, D)

    Day 13    Fri   Feb 24        Tekapo-Christchurch
    Tour concludes after breakfast. (B)

  • Dates:  February 12 - 24, 2023

    Price per person:            

    Twin share: $5,160
    Single supplement: $1,230
    Deposit: $500


    • Luxury coach with air conditioning throughout the tour
    • Group arrival & departure transfer between airport and hotel
    • 12 nights twin-share accommodation at well-appointed hotels with private bath or shower
    • Meals as stated in the itinerary
    • Visits and workshops as stated in the itinerary
    • Experienced tour manager throughout the trip


    Not included:

    • International flights
    • Optional activities
    • Gratuities
    • Travel insurance
    • Items of a personal nature


    Fitness to participate:

    In order to get the most from your travels and keep up with the group, a reasonable level of fitness is required. You will need to be able to walk for a few hours at a gentle pace; use combined shower/bath facilities (it is impossible to guarantee walk-in shower facilities); undertake walking tours of 1-2 hours duration, including using stairs, walking over cobblestones, and other uneven surfaces; stand for long periods in museums and other sites; embark/disembark coaches, trains, and other methods of transportation without assistance; and handle your own luggage.

  • For hotel details, please contact Opulent Quilt Journeys 877 235 3767 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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