Stewart Island and Southland   - 6   day New Zealand Tour

Stewart Island and Southland

Dunedin, Larnach Castle, Nugget Point, The Catlins, Curio Bay, Invercargill, Stewart Island, Ulva Island, Kiwi birds and more…

Enjoy some southern hospitality as we venture to the very bottom of the South Island. First we visit Dunedin – ‘The Edinburgh of the South’ before we travel to Invercargill via The Catlins. All this before we even start the highlight of the tour and cross Foveaux Strait to Stewart Island. On the island we will immerse ourselves in the scenery, fresh food and wonderful local charm. This is a tour not to miss!

Day 1 We are off!  After picking you up at your door we board our flights from Tauranga to Dunedin. Arriving mid afternoon in this historic city, we are joined by our local guide as we head out onto the Otago Peninsula to visit the famous Larnach Castle. This impressive homestead is full of intriguing stories of scandal and tragedy, and is set amongst a garden of international significance. Our guide will show us through this stately home & grounds before we head back to the city and our hotel and get ready for dinner together. 

Day 2 Before leaving Dunedin we take a short tour to see the highlights of this impressive city - The Railway Station, Otago University, The First Church and of course the world's steepest street - Baldwin Street.  It's then time to depart Dunedin and head south to Invercargill – where our Stewart Island adventure will begin the next day.

For the drive to Invercargill we will travel via The Catlins, a remote and intriguing part of the South Island. We stop at Nugget Point to view the famous lighthouse and hopefully spot some seals on the rocks below. Other highlights in this area include Purakaunui Falls, and the petrified forest in Curio Bay. A resident pod of Hectors Dolphins live in the bay and can often be seen surfing the waves. We arrive in Invercargill in the evening – ready to enjoy a sumptuous dinner and prepare for our trip further south in the morning.

Day 3 Stewart Island awaits today, but before we take our flight we will explore New Zealand’s most southern city Invercargill, which has a warm charm and even warmer hospitality. We also explore the port town of Bluff which commands views out to Stewart Island, before heading back into town to learn about the city’s motorsport hero Burt Munro at the iconic E Hayes store.

Then, it is off to the airport for our short flight over Foveaux Strait. The views of the island from the air are stunning and are a great introduction to our next 3 nights that await. Tonight we will enjoy our first dinner on the island at a famous local spot.

Whats Included:

  • 6 days of touring

  • 5 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service [home pickups]

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary by your guide

  • All breakfasts and dinners

  • Air NZ flights to Dunedin

  • Returning flight from Invercargill

  • Guided tour of Larnach Castle

  • Burt Munro Museum at E Hayes store

  • Bill Richardson's Transport World

  • Flights to and from Stewart Island

  • Cruise to Ulva Island bird sanctuary

  • Tour of Stewart Island with local guide 

  • Guided night walk to see the kiwi

You will see:

  • Stunning scenery throughout

  • The City of Dunedin and Otago Peninsula

  • The Catlins - Nugget Point lighthouse

  • Purakaunui Falls & Petrified forest

  • Invercargill and Bluff

  • Island highlights - Lee Bay sculptures

  • Observation Rock - Ulva Island

Day 4 Awake to the birdsong as we have our first full day on the island. After breakfast it is time to visit Ulva Island – a bird sanctuary located in Paterson Inlet, home to many rare and endangered birds. Our guide will teach us about the sanctuary and its flora and fauna and keep an eye out for seals and penguins which are numerous in the area. 

Back to the main settlement of Oban you have some time to simply unwind and stroll around the town with its scenic beaches and interesting local shops. Another island dinner awaits tonight at the waterfront hotel, after which we will embark on a night time short walk where we hope to see the resident kiwi birds when the forage at night.

Day 5 Our last day on the island dawns and 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. The local guide will bring stories to life and we will be sure to learn a lot more about the island by the time we are dropped back in Oban.

The afternoon is again your chance to unwind on ‘island time’, perhaps try some fresh seafood, or enjoy talking to the locals in the town's pub. What a beautiful spot to simply relax. Our last dinner tonight as a group – where we will be sure to share our favourite memories of this incredible island. Optional Fishing trip also possible this afternoon. 

Day 6 The last day of the tour sees us making the trip home to Tauranga. After the short flight to Invercargill we have time in the city to explore the amazing Transport World Museum, now a Southland icon. We leave Invercargill midday on our connecting flights north to Tauranga. The Hinterland team will be there to meet us and drop you safely at your door, having enjoyed a special time with new friends. This is a trip of a lifetime 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:

  • Fishing trip from Oban on Stewart Island

Please note that after careful research on the island, we have swapped the usually included fishing trip for the night walk to see the kiwi birds which we feel is more suitable for our clients. The fishing trip is now a cost option, minimum numbers apply.

* 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.