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Royal Albatross

South of the South – NZ

South of the South - NZ

HIGHLIGHTS

Visit the Albatross colony, the Catlins, Stewart Island, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Mt Cook

FROM

NZ$3,940

DURATION

13 Days

Why choose this trip to the Southland region?

Our South of the South trip gives you an overview of the stunning scenery in the South of New Zealand. Enjoy such things as a Royal Albatross Tour, short Catlins scenery walks, exploring Stewart Island and an up close and personal stopover on a Clydesdale Stud farm, plus much more.

What’s the South of the South Activity level ?

This is quite a laid back and relaxed itinerary on most days. The day walks are mostly scenic and are an easy to moderate walk, which require a moderate fitness level.

What’s the transport and accommodation like?

We will be travelling in a private 12 seater minivan for the majority of the trip, plus a flight from Invercargill to Stewart Island and return, and a return bus and boat trip to the Milford Sound. Our accommodation is a 3 star standard hotel and motels, with comfortable rooms and ensuite facilities, except at Erewhon Station where you will be in a 4 bed bunk room with outside toilet and bathroom.

*All our tours are non-smoking/vaping

TRIP SUMMARY

Duration: 13 days from Dunedin to Christchurch
Trip focus: A moderately active sightseeing, nature and walking tour
Accommodation: 11 nights in local hotels and motels with en suite facilities, and 1 night at Erewhon Station in a 4 bunk room with share outdoor bathroom.
Transport: Private 12 seater minivan, flights, bus and boat.
Group size: Maximum 10 + tour leader
Single supplement: NZ$TBA.

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • Accommodation in hotels, motels and one night in a high country hut with basic facilities
  • All transport throughout the tour
  • Royal Albatross guided tour
  • Visit and independent walks in the Catlins
  • Guided tour of Stewart and Ulva Island
  • Guided tour of the Te Anau Glow Worm caves and Milford Sound
  • Visit to Arrowtown and Chinese settlement
  • Independent talks at Aoraki/Mt Cook
  • Erewhon Station 6 horse Clydesdale wagon ride
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Tour leader / driver so you get the best out of your trip
  • 15% GST

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • Transport to Dunedin / from Christchurch
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not listed
  • Pre and post trip accommodation

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL DAY DUNEDIN

We ask that you arrive in Dunedin in the morning and make your way to the hotel to meet your fellow travellers.

This afternoon we’ve planned a visit and guided tour to Olveston House, Dunedin’s most impressive historic house. 

This evening enjoy a welcome drink and briefing, to find out more about the exciting days ahead. Then we’ll head out to a nearby restaurant for our welcome dinner. If you would like more time to discover Dunedin, we are more than happy to book extra nights for you. 

Meals Included: Dinner

DAY 2 - DUNEDIN TO KAKA POINT

After breakfast, we’ll head to the Royal Albatross Centre, the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross in the world. Here we will enjoy morning tea, before experiencing a 60 minute fully guided Albatross tour and viewing. 

Then we start off onto the scenic coastal route today as we travel on to the Catlins. We’ll travel off the beaten track via Brighton beach and Taieri Mouth to Waihola. Then enjoy our first stop in the Catlins at beautiful Kaka Point. A highlight today is the short walk to Nugget Point Lighthouse. 

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 3 - KAKA POINT TO CHASLANDS

Today we will take a leisurely drive through the Catlins with multiple scenic stops. The area is quite small but there are too many scenic stops to count here! Waterfalls, lagoon and estuary walks, beaches and much more to explore and enjoy. 

A highlight of the more eclectic kind is sure to be the Lost Gypsy Curios at Papatowai. You’ll be amazed at the incredible inventions and gadgets on display. 

We’ll also head past our accommodation down to Niagara and stunning Curio Bay for the a chance to see Hectors Dolphins as they come into the bay in the evening. You may also like to visit the Curioscape interpretation centre or relax and have a coffee there. 

Meals included: Self made Breakfast

DAY 4 - CHASLANDS TO STEWART ISLAND

On our way to Invercargill we will stop at Slope Point. This is an easy 15min walk across farmland to the southernmost point on mainland NZ. Next is the Waipapa Lighthouse, with its truly amazing windblown Macrocarpa trees. It’s a very wild and windy place! 

Then we head on to Invercargill for our flight to Stewart Island, departing at 1pm. On arrival into Oban (Stewart Island) we will collected and taken to our accommodation. There is time today to explore Oban and take one of the short walks nearby. This evening we’ll mingle with the locals, check out the Oban pub and restaurant for dinner. 

Meals included: Self made Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 5 - STEWART ISLAND

This morning we’ll head off early for a guided tour of the amazing Ulva Island. Ulva Island is part of Rakiura National Park and is now free of introduced animals. Several species of threatened birds have been reintroduced to this open sanctuary and are flourishing. The orchids are particularly impressive during their flowering seasons. 

We’ll then head back to Stewart Island for a short lunch break, then we’ll split into 2 groups and enjoy an Island Discovery Road Tour. This unique tour will inform you of the history of the island, right up to how it is to live there in current days. 

In the evening we’re off to spot Kiwi, which many of us Kiwi’s have never seen in the wild. This is one of the best places in NZ to see them.

Meals included: Breakfast.

DAY 6 - STEWART ISLAND TO TE ANAU

Enjoy the lesser travelled splendid south coast as you head west and stop in at the Riverton Museum a real local gem, perched on the edge of the beautiful Riverton Estuary. We’ll drive around to Howells Point for stunning views of Stewart Island and a short walk to a lookout. 

The Orepuki Beach Cafe is a great lunch stop at a lovely old villa. They serve delicious food and its a well known local haunt. Then enjoy a quick stop for a fossick at Gemstone beach with views of the mountains in the background. 

You can stock up on the best sausages in NZ as you pass through Tuatapere. You have cooking facilities in your motel tonight, so its a great chance to try these tasty morsels! 

Tonight we start exploring the area with a 7pm departure to the Te Anau Glow Worm caves.

Meals included: Breakfast.

DAY 7 - MILFORD SOUND

Today we continue with the “must do’s” of Fiordland in a guided day trip. Departing from Te Anau at 9am, we travel by small coach into the Fiordland National Park. Stop along the way for a 45 minute leisurely walk to Lake Gunn before continuing through the Homer Tunnel and to Milford Sound. Enjoy a Milford Sound Scenic Cruise (with lunch) before heading back to Te Anau. 

The evening is free for you to explore and try one of the local restaurants for dinner.

Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch.

DAY 8 - TE ANAU TO QUEENSTOWN

As it’s not too long a drive, we take our time today as we head to Queenstown. 

The Athol Art Gallery is a worthwhile stop and we’ll drop in to Kingston at the head of Lake Wakitipu. If we’re lucky the Kingston Flyer will be up and running again. However the pub cafe is a great place to stop for lunch. 

Driving the picturesque route along the lake to our accommodation in Queenstown. 

Meals included: None.

DAY 9 - QUEENSTOWN

This morning we will drive via the Shotover Gorge, to historic Arrowtown. We’ll be able to explore the Chinese settlement, walks along the river and old centre. 

Before lunch, we’ll drive back to Queenstown where we will have the rest of the day free to enjoy all there is to do there. 

We’ve included the ticket to up the Skyline Gondola. While you’re there, why not have a go on the luge! Or explore the Kiwi Birdlife park, go on a thrilling jet boat ride, or even try iFLY indoor skydiving, just to name a few. 

This evening we’ll embark on a stunning evening BBQ dinner cruise on Lake Wakitipu on the TSS Earnslaw. 

Meals included: Breakfast and BBQ Dinner Cruise on the TSS Earnslaw.

DAY 10 - QUEENSTOWN TO MT COOK

We will head off over the Crown Range to enjoy spectacular views before arriving into Wanaka around morning tea time. On our way out we can also visit the Lavender farm before continuing over the beautiful Lindis Pass to Omarama where we will stop for our lunch break at the Wrinkly Ram Cafe and Store. 

Once we arrive at Mount Cook village, there will be time to go on one of the spectacular walks in the area. Choose from the stunning 3hr Hooker Valley and glacier lake, or 2hr Kea Point lookout. Even a short 30min bush walk around Mount Cook Village is worth while. 

Meals included: Breakfast.

DAY 11 - MT COOK TO EREWHON

We may have time for another short walk in the morning before heading off towards Geraldine. Walk down the main street of Geraldine and you’ll find all sorts of unique shops to peruse and make purchases. Buy some delicious goodies from the Barker’s of Geraldine Shop, get some hand made chocolates from Coco Geraldine, or go for one of the walks through the parks and gardens. 

We then drive through to Erewhon Station, home to a Clydesdale Stud that still uses their horses as working horses. Here we stay in a shepherds, with outdoor loo, no shower!! and no ensuites. Be warned! 

Your tour leader will cook a BBQ dinner for you tonight. 

Meals included: BBQ Dinner.

DAY 12 - EREWHON TO CHRISTCHURCH

This morning we’re treated to a 6 horse wagon ride on the station, before we depart for Christchurch. 

Our first stop of the day at the Rakaia Gorge walkway. Depending on the time (and weather) we will be able to fit in a leisurely walk. 

Once in Christchurch, we will be able to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring. Visit the fabulous Riverside Market for an international array of food treats. Tonight we will enjoy a Farewell dinner together. 

Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner.

DAY 13 - DEPARTURE DAY CHRISTCHURCH

Today is departure day. Or you may like to stay longer and explore the new look Christchurch, full of eclectic shops, restaurants and bars. 

Meals included: Breakfast
HikingSightseeingWildlife WatchingCultural ExperiencesFood and CookingPlaneBoatNature

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Royal Albatross colony
  • Return flights from Invercargill to Stewart Island
  • Ulva Island and Stewart Island tours, with Kiwi spotting
  • Te Anau Glow Worm caves and Milford Sound tours
  • Queenstown and Arrowtown visits
  • Aoraki / Mt Cook village and walking trails around Aoraki
  • Erewhon Station shepherds hut stay and Clydesdale wagon ride
  • Your fabulous local guide and driver

DATES

Start Date End Date Availability Cost
29th Jan 2021 10th Feb 2021 GUARANTEED DEPARTURE $3,940
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