Four day tour to Flock Hill via the Rainbow Valley


Will Parsons invites you on a four day alpine flora tour of Marlborough and Northern Canterbury. Will has been guiding history and eco-tours for over a decade and as an ex farmer is an experienced rural driver.  The tour is for alpine flora enthusiasts who also enjoy scenery, local history and photography.

The tour will take you by 4wd air conditioned van into some of the most breath taking high country landscapes in New Zealand. Stops along the way will provide easy to medium access to alpine flora growing in screes and herb fields near the roadside.

Flora you may see dependant on the season include: Carmichaelia crassicaulis [leafless alpine broom] on Porters Pass,  Thelymitra cyanea [blue orchid] on Jacks Pass or Lake Tennyson, Leptinella atrata on Mt Cheeseman,  Notothlaspi rosulatum on Island Pass and large species on Mt Cheeseman,  Myosotis australis [yellow] on Mt Cheeseman.

Reference books will be made available so that the team can identify the alpine specimens together.

On the first night you will stay at the Hanmer Springs and on the other two nights at cottages at Flock Hill near Lake Pearson, Arthurs Pass.

This tour is self-catering, there are cafes and restaurants at Hanmer Springs. Cottages at Flock Hill provide a shared kitchen and a meals can be supplied at Flock Hill by prior arrangement.


Twin share $836 per person or $936 single supplement, morning and afternoon teas included.


Maximum number:
Eight per tour

Duration and Departure:
4 days, departs and returns to Blenheim on 15th January 2018


What to bring:
A comprehensive list of what to bring will be given at time of booking.


Fitness required:
You will need to be able to get in and out of a van and walk short distances on uneven ground if you want to see alpine flora and views from lookouts.


Gorge and Rainbow Valley
Gorge and Rainbow Valley

Flock hill
Flock hill cottages










Before booking this tour we recommend that you email us to check availability.

“Definitely one of the highlights of my trip to New Zealand.”-- Connie Nelson, Fremont, CA


00.00 safety and environmental breifing

00.20 Short lesson on paddling and practice paddle.

00.30 Kayak down the Opawa river which winds to join the Wairau River. See Royal Spoonbill and other wading birds.

01.00 Make landing at the sand island or near the cormorant colony for a break and a cup of tea and muffin.

01.20 Return to kayaks for return paddle up the Opawa River.

01.50 Make landing at Driftwood home base.

2.00 Debrief and farewells.


• A 95% chance to get close to the dazzling Royal Spoonbill.
• One tree is planted for every tour to offset our carbon footprint.
• Department of Conservation Concessionaire since 2004.
• Driftwood is an audited tourism provider.
• You can bring your own picnic, visit our eight hectare wetland and meet our alpaca family.

Before booking this tour we recommend that you email us to check availability.