Southern Odyssey: Stewart Island & The Catlins

    enquire now 7 Days From NZD $4,390 pp twinshare
    Small group
    Terms & Conditions apply

    $4390 (NZD) pp twin-share, $4990 single

    Dates: 12-18 Dec 2021, 30 Dec 2021-5 Jan 2022

    Day 1: Auckland – Queenstown – Mandeville – Gore – Invercargill
    Your included flight arrives in Queenstown before midday. We lunch nearby and continue southwards to the Croydon Aviation Heritage Trust Museum and factory at Mandeville Airfield. Tiger Moth flights are a specialty and you could take a  quick spin at your cost.  In Gore we visit the Eastern Southland Gallery, sample a dram of whisky and catch up on the history of the prohibition days on a guided tour with Jim Geddes at Hokonui Moonshine Museum.  (L, D)

    Day 2: Invercargill – Transport World – Indian Scout – Bluff -Stewart Island
    It’s all about wheels at Invercargill’s two excellent museums –  Bill Richardson Transport World and Classic Motorcycle Mecca. Burt Munro’s Indian Scout is also on display at E. Hayes & Son, a classic old style hardware store in the centre of town.  We check out the famous signpost at Bluff then In the mid-afternoon we take the 20-minute flight from Invercargill to Stewart Island. We are met on arrival and transferred to the Bay Motel. We dine at the South Seas Hotel. (B, L, D)

    Day 3: Stewart Island Sightseeing
    Wake up to the sounds of bird calls – kaka and tui. After a leisurely breakfast enjoying the views of the bay we drive most of Stewart Island’s 28km of road –  including Oban and the surrounding beaches and the gateway to Rakiura National Park. Our on board local guide provides insights into Stewart Island’s community. This afternoon we cruise the sheltered waters of beautiful Paterson Inlet and land at Ulva Island, a world acclaimed open sanctuary, Wide and flat wooden walkways take us into the heart of the island. Returning to Oban that evening. (B, L, D)

    Day 4: Stewart Island – Catlins – Kaka Point
    We fly back to Invercargill and visit Waipapa Point, Curio Bay and Porpoise Bay. We take our time in the Catlins – strolling to lakes and waterfalls. This region’s history includes whaling, logging native forest and farming yet seals, penguins and bird life abound.  We lunch at Niagara Cafe and have fun winding “rustic automata” at the Lost Gypsy Gallery in Papatowai.  We dine by the sea at the Point Café and Bar at Kaka Point. (B, L, D)

    Day 5: Kaka Point – Otago Peninsula – Dunedin
    We start our day with a short visit to the stunning views at Nugget Point Lighthouse before winding our way to Balclutha and along the coast to the Taieri River mouth and onto the Otago Peninsula.  We drive out to Taiaroa Head on the tip of peninsula to visit the Royal Albatross Centre perched on the clifftops. This only mainland albatross colony in the world and there’s every chance you will see albatross chicks. Later we drive back down the peninsula and into the city to check into our inner city hotel. We dine in this evening. (B, L, D)

    Day 6: Dunedin Sightseeing
    We take a guided tour of historic Olveston House built in 1904 for a Dunedin merchant. We sightsee in and around Dunedin driving to Signal Hill and famously steep Baldwin Street. We lunch  at Carey’s Bay hotel before returning to the city. Founded in 1848, Dunedin’s Scottish ancestry shows and Robbie Burns’ statue takes pride of place in the Octagon.  Later we visit the Discovery World Tropical Forest at the Otago Museum home to exotic butterflies and a range of tropical plants and fish before returning to our hotel. We dine in this evening. (B, L, D)

    Day 7: Dunedin – Taieri Gorge – Dunedin Airport
    We board the Taieri Gorge train at Dunedin’s stunning Edwardian railway station to travel through the wildly scenic Taieri River Gorge. This classic train journey includes travelling through 10 tunnels and across numerous bridges including the unique Wingatui Viaduct to Pukerangi  or Middlemarch where your coach awaits. We continue on to Dunedin Airport for your return flight. (B, L)