We are very excited to repeat this very popular tour, discovering some of the best sights the Deep South has to offer! Begin the tour with an overnight stay in Dunedin before travelling to Invercargill via the Catlins. We explore Bill Richardson Transport World and Classic Motorcycle Mecca before flying to Stewart Island. Here we enjoy a Kiwi Experience and tour to Ulva Island.
Then it’s on to Te Anau in the heart of Fiordland where we enjoy a day trip to Milford South and witness the majestic Mitre Peak.
We conclude the tour with 2-nights in beautiful Arrowtown, enjoy a leisurely cruise on Lake Wakatipu onboard the famous TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm, along with Chantecler Gardens.
For those that would like more time in Queenstown prior to the tour commencing, please let us know so we can make those arrangements.
- Overnight stays in Dunedin & Invercargill
- 2-night Stewart Island including a Wild Kiwi Encounter & Ulva Island cruise
- Te Anau and Milford Sound
- 2-nights Arrowtown at Millbrook Resort.
- Arrowtown, Chantecler Gardens & TSS Earnslaw
Thursday 10 March Dunedin (D)
Today, we meet at Dunedin Airport. Flights to arrive prior to 1pm.
This afternoon we enjoy a comprehensive tour of Larnach Castle and Gardens and Olveston Historic Home before we check in to our hotel for our overnight stay.
Tonight, we will all meet for our first dinner together at the hotel.
Friday 11 March Dunedin – Invercargill (B)
We depart Dunedin this morning and travel the route through the Catlins, and onto Invercargill. See Curio Bay, Fossilised Forest, the Lost Gypsy Caravan (if open), Purakaunui Falls, Owaka and more. We arrive in Invercargill this afternoon and are transferred to our overnight accommodation.
The evening is at leisure.
Saturday 12 March Invercargill – Stewart Island (B. D)
No visit to Invercargill is complete without visiting the Bill Richardson Transport World and Classic Motorcycle Mecca, a wheeled collection that has taken nearly 50 years to amass. Starting out as one man’s passion and further developed by his family, it now includes two world class automotive museums which house hundreds of classic cars, vintage trucks and motorcycles.
At the conclusion of the tour, we join an early afternoon flight to Stewart Island – New Zealand’s third largest island! Over 85% of the island is National Park and it is a prime destination for birdwatchers and those wishing to catch a glimpse of the famous Aurora Australis which often appears in these southern skies.
Tonight, for something special we join the Wild Kiwi Encounter for cruise and then walk to a wide sandy beach where Southern brown kiwi (Rakiura Tokoeka) are often found feeding among the grasses and seaweed.
Sunday 13 March Stewart Island (B.L.D)
We have a full day to enjoy this natural wonderland. Over 85% of the island is National Park and it is a prime destination for birdwatchers and those wishing to catch a glimpse of the famous Aurora Australis which often appears in these southern skies.
After a morning at leisure, after the late night yesterday, we discover Stewart Island from the water on a leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet and a guided walk in Ulva Island Wildlife Sanctuary. The cruise will showcase some of Paterson Inlet’s stunning scenery with its hidden coves and unspoilt beaches. You will hear fascinating stories of early Maori history and European settlement from your guide as we pass various landmarks. While on board, keep a look out for fur seals and penguins known to frequent this area.
Monday 14 March Stewart Island – Te Anau (B. D)
This morning we enjoy a morning Village & Bays tour. Gain an entertaining insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community and learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island. Highlights include a visit to the gateway to Rakiura National Park at Lee Bay and Observation Rock with its stunning views of Paterson Inlet.
We join a 1.30pm return flight to Invercargill mid-afternoon, before rejoining our coach for the drive to Te Anau.
Before dinner at a lovely local restaurant, we see the Ata Whenua – Shadowland movie at the Fiordland Cinema. A 30-minute film show casing the unique beauty and remote wilderness of Fiordland from the air to the screen for all to enjoy!
Tuesday 15 March Te Anau (Milford Sound) (B)
Milford Sound is the most famous and accessible of the grand glacier-carved fiords scattered along New Zealand’s south-western coast. The road to Milford is one of the world’s finest alpine drives and is an easy drive from Te Anau. The road follows the Eglinton and Hollyford valleys, then through the Homer Tunnel where you will meet Mitre Peak, towering from the glassy waters of Milford Sound. We join our cruise at 1pm and relax as we soak in the close-up views of awe-inspiring scenery. These cruises are often accompanied by playful dolphins and seals basking on rocks are a common sight.
We return to Te Anau with the evening at leisure.
Wednesday 16 March Te Anau – Arrowtown (B. D)
This morning we join a tour of the Te Anau Glowworm Caves. The tour begins with a cruise to the western shores of Lake Te Anau – at the entry to the caves at Cavern House, view the informative displays and learn about this geological wonder before we join our guide underground. On the tour of the caves, friendly guides will point out the highlights and share their knowledge of the caves and its history. Deep inside the caves, beyond the roar of the water, you will be taken by small boat into a silent hidden grotto inhabited by hundreds of glowworms, unique to New Zealand. In the subterranean darkness, they produce a glittering display that is nothing short of extraordinary.
(NB: Some bending is required at the caves entrance and steps are involved)
At the conclusion of the tour, we rejoin our coach and enjoy a leisurely drive through to Arrowtown, arriving late-afternoon.
Our home for the next 2-nights is the stunningly beautiful Millbrook resort. We enjoy dinner together at the resort this evening.
Thursday 17 March Queenstown (B.L.D)
After breakfast, this morning we pay visit to the Chantecler Gardens, a 40-acre property that includes 12 acres of mature gardens and nestled in the heart of the Wakitipu Basin.
At midday today, we set off on a cruise aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw across to Walter Peak High Country Farm (approx. 45-minutes) for lunch. Once at the lakeside Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant, savour the delicious aromas as the chef has the best of local produce sizzling away on the grill.
Overlooking Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown’s alpine scenery, the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak High Country Farm is the perfect place to spend a few hours. Its colonial architecture and sweeping grounds evoke the elegance of a bygone era. An entertaining farm demonstration is also included, or you can explore the beautiful lakeside gardens.
Before returning to our accommodation, we make a brief visit to Arrowtown (time permitting), a historic New Zealand treasure. Quaint and charming, the town gained a name for itself in the 1860s following the discovery of gold in the Arrow River. The heart of its history is Buckingham Street, a succession of more than 60 small-town heritage buildings and miners’ cottages stretching across the tree lined avenue.
Remainder of the afternoon is at leisure and tonight we come together for our final dinner together.
Friday 18 March Arrowtown – Home (B)
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Bid your fellow tour members farewell today as you transfer to Queenstown airport to join your flight home.