Stewart Island and Catlins Tour


Discover the great Southern region, from the Otago Peninsula to the Catlins, Stewart Island, Bert Monro collection, Te Anau, and Milford Sound to Queenstown. A special experience and an unforgettable journey. Tour starts in Dunedin.

The Stewart Island & Southern Explorer Tour

Join us on a small group tour to discover the great Southern region, its wildlife and nature. From the Otago Peninsula Royal Albatross colony to the Catlins, Stewart Island, Bert Monro collection, Te Anau, and Milford Sound to Queenstown. A special experience and an unforgettable journey. Tour starts in Dunedin and finishes in Queenstown. Group size 4-9 people.

Itinerary



Pre Tour Day 1

Meet your guide and tour members at our accommodation in Dunedin. 

Day 2
After breakfast we will drive to the end of the Otago Peninsula to Taiaroa Heads to see the world's only mainland breeding colony of the Royal Albatross. Enjoy a guided tour and see the historic Fort Taiaroa and the spectacular views on the Otago Peninsula. A wonderful opportunity for up close viewing interactions with all manner of seabirds and mammals. We will have lunch at Larnach Castle and a chance to look through the castle and grounds before heading into the Catlins region. We will stop at the famous Nugget Point lighthouse walkway before arriving at our overnight accommodation located off the beaten track in the heart of in the Caitlin's with its own dining and bar complex. 

Day 3

After breakfast today we meet our local eco-tour guide for an in-depth look at the Catlins. See treasures of fossils, find out about the history, the middens left by Maori communities, the ancient podocarp forests full of rimu, totara, matai and rata and the kingfishers, tuis and bellbirds. We return to our Catlins accommodation for a second night. 

Day 4

Today we follow the southern coastal route to Invercargill stopping off at Slope Point the southernmost point of NZ and Waipapa Bay where the sea lions live. Arriving in Invercargill for lunch and time for a visit to see Bert Monroe's motorbikes plus other historic bikes and a look around town before catching our plane to Stewart Island for a two night stay at the Stewart Island Lodge. In the evening we will experience some southern hospitality with dinner prepared by members of the local Lions for us. 

Day 5

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast with views of native bush and the friendly Kaka who visit the Lodge veranda for treats before we visit Ulva Island strolling around the excellent walking tracks amongst predator free podocarp forest, home to many endangered species. Return back to Oban town-ship where we will have lunch. Depart for a minivan tour exploring landmarks and hear the history of Oban, then spend time exploring, or just absorb the tranquillity of the island. Dinner tonight is at the South Seas Hotel the blue cod is highly recommended and enjoya second night's stay at the lodge nestled in native bush on the hillside. 

Day 6

After breakfast we depart Stewart Island to fly back to Invercargill airport. We will drive through the townships of Riverton and Tuatapere before arriving in Te Anau in time for an afternoon Glow Worm Cave Tour which includes a boat trip across the lake to see the astonishingly beautiful underground world. By geological standards the caves are very young (12,000 years) and are still being carved out by the force of the river that flows through them. The result is a twisting network of limestone passages filled with sculpted rock, whirlpools and a roaring underground waterfall. Deep inside the caves, beyond the roar of the water, you will be taken by small boat into a silent hidden grotto inhabited by thousands of glowworms, unique to New Zealand. In the subterranean darkness, they produce a glittering display that is nothing short of extraordinary. After your tour we will settle into our lakeside accommodation for the evening and have a meal out. 

Day 7

Depart TeAnau and drive to the uniquely beautiful and truly awe-inspiring Milford Sound. Discover its beauty on a 2 hour nature cruise,spot wildlife such as Bottlenose Dolphin and Penguin while you cruise around the sound and see the fresh glacial water straight from waterfalls around you. After your cruise we depart for Queenstown to our central hotel accommodation and have our last meal together. 

Day 8

After breakfast we will say our goodbyes.

Tour includes 7 nights' accommodation, 7 breakfasts, 1 morning teas, 3 lunches, 6 evening meals,Stewart Island return flights, Catlins Guided Eco-Tour, Ulva Island guided tour, Milford Sound Nature Cruise, Te Anau Glow Worm Cave Tour.  Pick up from Dunedin, and drop off in Queenstown (Christchurch transfers by arrangement)