Stewart Island and Dunedin   - a 7   day New Zealand Tour

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Day 1 - We are off!  After picking you up at your door we board our flights to Invercargill. Arriving mid afternoon in this our southern most city, we take a short city sights tour, including the famous "Burt Munro" exhibition at the iconic E.Hayes Store, before checking into our hotel. We dine together this evening at one of Invercargill's top restaurants.

Day 2 - Today we explore more local sights, starting with a short drive to the amazing Bill Richardson Transport World, a real Southland icon. Their Grille Cafe is our breakfast venue today; great food in a truly unique ambience. Afterwards we explore the extensive museum and no matter where your interests lie, Bill Richardson Transport World promises to captivate. Discover a treasure trove of the rare and colourful, and take a nostalgic walk back in time.

Another must visit location is the town of Bluff, so before we take our flight to Stewart Island we head out to this port town. Time here for lunch where you may be tempted by the renowned Bluff oysters, plus the obligatory photo with the famous signpost.

Our short (20 minutes) flight from Invercargill to Stewart Island is the best way to cross the often wild Foveaux Strait. The views of the island from the air are stunning and are a great introduction to our next 3 nights on the island. Our accommodation is at the South Seas Hotel, right on the waterfront which is "the place on the island" where we will dine each night and mingle with the friendly locals.

Day 3 - We awake to the birdsong on our first full day on the island. After a leisurely breakfast we will take a short tour of Stewart Island's villages and bays. See the famous chain link sculpture at Lee Bay (where the Rakiura walk starts), and visit Observation Rock with stunning views of the area. Our local guide will bring local stories to life and we will have learned a lot more about the island by the time we are dropped back in Oban ready for our next adventure.

Here we board our catamaran for an afternoon cruise to Ulva Island – a bird sanctuary located in Paterson Inlet. Keep an eye out for seals and penguins which are numerous in the area as we cruise through the sheltered waters. On the island, we take an easy walk through the native forest and our guide will educate us about the sanctuary and its flora and fauna, home to many rare and endangered birds.

We cruise back to the main settlement of Oban where you have some free time to simply unwind and stroll around the town with its scenic beaches and interesting local shops. Another island dinner awaits tonight at our waterfront hotel.

Stewart Island and Dunedin

Invercargill, Bluff, Stewart Island, Ulva Island,  The Catlins, Dunedin & Otago Peninsula, Larnach Castle, and much more…

Enjoy some southern hospitality as we venture to the very bottom of the South Island. Flying first to Invercargill, we explore our southern most city before heading to Stewart Island the next day by plane. Our island visit is the highlight of our trip as we immerse ourselves in the scenery, fresh food and local culture. After 3 nights in Oban we fly back to Invercargill to join our tour coach for a day exploring the Catlins on the way to Dunedin, our location for the final 2 nights.  

Whats Included:

  • 7 days of touring

  • 6 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service (Tauranga area)

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary by your guide

  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners

  • Air NZ flights to Invercargill

  • Returning flight from Dunedin

  • Guided tour of Larnach Castle

  • Lunch at Larnach Castle

  • Olveston House guided tour

  • Burt Munro displays at E Hayes store

  • Bill Richardson Transport World

  • Flights to and from Stewart Island

  • Cruise to Ulva Island bird sanctuary

  • Tour of Stewart Island with local guide 

  • Visit to the Stewart Island Museum

  • A Locals Tail film at the Bunkhouse Theatre

You will see:

  • Stunning scenery throughout

  • The City of Dunedin

  • The Otago Peninsula

  • The Catlins Coastline

  • Nugget Point lighthouse

  • Curio Bay & Petrified forest

  • Invercargill and Bluff

  • Stewart Island highlights

  • Patterson Inlet and Ulva Island

Day 4 - Today is all about soaking up the island's relaxed atmosphere and doing your own thing, which could be absolutely nothing, with just a few activities planned. We include entry to the islands new Rakiura Museum, which houses an extensive collection of items and photographs of Stewart Island's early history, including Maori settlement, muttonbirding, whaling, fishing, timber milling, mining, boat building, transport, schools and churches. You can visit at any time to suit you.

 

A must do on the island is a visit to the Bunkhouse Theatre, where we have a screening of "A Local's Tail". The film introduces local characters, community colour and the struggles and triumphs of the island pioneers - past and present. This delightful, quirky 40 minute film answers the myriad of questions visitors have about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of Stewart Island from the most reliable of all sources - the pub (or more accurately, from the yarns overheard at the pub by a local dog).  

Here are a few options you can consider as well (additional costs apply):

  • Fancy a bit of fishing, then we can arrange a trip on one of the many small private fishing charter boats.  Head out for 3 or 4 hours (morning and afternoon options) and see if you can land the Blue Cod that are abundant around the island.

  • Want some exercise, then grab the free walking map and head off on the well signposted trails, or take a water taxi out to explore another part of the island.

  • Don't want a long walk, then e-bike's are available for hire - a great way to explore.

  • Book a workshop with local master carver, sculptor, and experienced art tutor, Dave Goodin. Craft your own jade memento at his studio on the Oban waterfront.

  • Go kiwi spotting, book in for a night walk (after dinner this evening) to see our national icon in it's natural habitat.

  • Play a round of golf on New Zealand's most remote golf course.

Day 5 - Today we have to leave the island and we make an early start for our short flight back to Invercargill. We join our coach and guide for a drive along the stunning Catlins coastline, a place of natural beauty, abundant wildlife, forests, sandy beaches, waterfalls and both hilly and rolling green farmland. 

Our first stop will be at Curio Bay, where the fossilised remains of an ancient forest is exposed during low tide. This is one of the most extensive and least disturbed examples of a Jurassic fossil forest in the world - time here for morning tea. We continue north to Owaka, our lunch stop today. This small settlement of 400 is the main centre of the north Catlins and offers a range of cafes and stores.

Our final stop today before reaching Dunedin is the iconic Nugget Point, with its lighthouse perched high above the wave eroded rocks. Look out for the wildlife on the short walk to the viewing platform as fur seals, leopard seals and many seabirds make this area their home. We then continue on to Dunedin, our destination for the next two days. We dine out tonight at the famous Speights Ale House, a Dunedin icon. 

Day 6 - Today we explore the sights of Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula. Joined by our local guide, we will take in all the main sights such as the Railway Station, Otago University, Baldwin Street and more. A highlight for many will be our visit to Larnach Castle. Situated in a commanding location, the impressive homestead is full of intriguing stories of scandal and tragedy, and is set amongst a garden of international significance. We will have a guided tour of the castle and conclude our visit with a special lunch in the ballroom before departing for a scenic drive along the harbourside road back to the city.

This evening is free for you to do as you wish. Explore the vibrant city central district with many bars and restaurants (there should be something to suit), or just relax in the hotel and prepare for our departure in the morning.

Day 7 - Today is our last day and we will farewell Dunedin, but first we have one more visit to enjoy - a guided tour of Olveston House. This authentic and original historic home depicts the life of a wealthy merchant family in the early part of the twentieth century. Olveston is a time capsule as little has changed inside the house since it was occupied as a family home from 1906 to 1966.

We then head out to the airport for our flights home where the Hinterland team will meet us and drop you safely at your door, having enjoyed a special time with new friends. This is a great trip and we are sure you will have loved your journey with us.

Not included:

  • Any lunches unless specified* 

  • Morning/afternoon tea stops*

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

Options at extra cost:

  • As specified on the left

* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.