Stewart Island and Catlins Tour

(6 Reviews)
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9 Days
Availability : Nov 25-Dec 3 FULL, Feb 22-March 1, March 22-30, April 18-26
Max People : 2 - 8
Tour Details

On this 9 day Stewart Island and Catlins Tour you will discover the great Southern region, from the Otago Peninsula’s Royal Albatross colony to the Catlins rugged coastline.

Highlights of the tour include a two night stay on Stewart Island, Kiwi spotting tour, a visit to Ulva Island, Catlins wildlife guided tour, a visit Transport World in Invercargill, experiencing an afternoon Te Anau Lake cruise and the following day a nature cruise in Milford Sound.

Departure & Return Location

Tour starts and finishes in Christchurch

Departure Time

10am-10:30pm pick up from your Christchurch accommodation

Price Includes

  • 8 nights accommodation
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 2 morning tea
  • 3 lunches
  • 8 evening dining experiences
  • Royal Albatross tour
  • Catlins Guided Eco-Tour
  • Return Stewart Island flights
  • Ulva Island guided tour
  • Stewart Island bus tour
  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise
  • Te Anau Lake Cruise
  • Kiwi spotting tour on Stewart Island
  • Ovelston Historic House and garden tour

Day 1Dunedin

Departing from Christchurch to travel to travel south on our way to Dunedin. Stopping at Dunsandle, Temuka and Oamaru. Enjoy dinner together at our central Dunedin Hotel for a two night stay.

Day 2Dunedin - Otago Peninsula - Larnach Castle-Dunedin

After breakfast we will drive to the end of the Otago Peninsula to Taiaroa Heads to see the world’s only mainland breeding colony of the Royal Albatross. Enjoy a guided tour and see the spectacular views on the Otago Peninsula. A wonderful opportunity for up close viewing interactions with all manner of seabirds and mammals. Arriving at Larnach Castle we have extended our time to enjoy lunch, an audio tour of the castle and plenty of time to explore the gardens, returning to our Dunedin hotel and diner.  B.L.D

Day 3Dunedin - Catlins

Enjoy a guided tour of Dunedin’s Ovelston historic house built in the early 1900’s, which is a time capsule experience. Enjoy exploring the wonderful garden of national significance and have morning tea here. We start our journey towards the secluded Catlins region, with walks at the famous Nugget Point lighthouse and Pukaraunui Falls, before arriving at our overnight accommodation located in the heart of in the Catlins. BLD

Day 4Catlins

After breakfast today we meet our local eco-tour guide for an in-depth look at the Catlins. See treasures of fossils, find out about the history, the middens left by Maori communities, the ancient podocarp forests full of rimu, totara, matai and rata, and the kingfishers, tuis, and bellbirds. We return to our Catlins accommodation for a second night. BLD

Day 5Catlins-Invercargill-Stewart Island

Today we follow the southern coastal route to Invercargill stopping off at Slope Point, the southernmost point of NZ, and Waipapa Bay where the sea lions live. Arriving in Invercargill to visit the Bill Richardson Transport Museum and get a bite to eat. We later catch our flight to Stewart Island for a two night. In the evening, we will experience some southern hospitality with dinner at the South Seas Hotel. B D

Day 6Stewart Island

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast with views of native bush and the friendly kaka who visit the Lodge veranda for treats before we visit Ulva Island, strolling around the excellent walking tracks amongst predator free podocarp forest, home to many endangered species.  Return to Oban township where you can get a bite to eat.  Depart for a minivan tour exploring landmarks and hear the history of Oban, then spend time exploring, or just absorb the tranquility of the island.  Dinner tonight is at the South Seas Hotel, the blue cod is highly recommended. Enjoy a guided Kiwi spotting adventure in the evening. B D

Day 7Stewart Island-Invercargill-Te Anau

After breakfast we depart Stewart Island to fly back to Invercargill airport. We will drive to Te Anau in time for an relaxing afternoon Lake Cruise with afternoon tea served in style, after the cruise we will settle into our lakeside accommodation for the evening and have a meal out. B D

Day 8Te Anau-Milford Sound-Queenstown

Depart Te Anau and drive to the uniquely beautiful and truly awe-inspiring Milford Sound.  Discover its beauty on a 2-hour nature cruise, spot wildlife such as Bottlenose Dolphin and Penguin while you cruise around the sound and see the fresh glacial water straight from waterfalls around you, lunch onboard is arranged for you today. After your cruise, we depart for Queenstown to our central hotel accommodation and have our last meal together. BLD

Day 9 Queenstown-Christchurch

After breakfast we will depart for Christchurch with stops at Cromwell, Tarras, Omarama, Lake Pukaki, Tekapo, and Geraldine. Approximate arrival time in Christchurch will be 5.30pm. B


6 Reviews
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Janice Mac

Group Traveller

Thank you to you for a wonderful trip. My highlight was flying into Stewart Island and having a seat behind the pilot and wonderful views, and of course the wonderful tiny birds on Ulva Island that I would have missed if it hadn’t been for our wonderful listening guide.

May 8, 2023

Josephine P

Group Traveller

It such a great trip with so many wonderful activities to do. The accommodation and meals were all very good and Geoff is such a knowledgeable driver/tour guide.

My favourite activity was the Te Anau boat trip. Not only was it a great trip with wonderful hosts and a lovely walk through the bush but who wouldn’t enjoy a trip with wine, tea, a lovely platter and the chance to pilot a boat across the lake? It was a great trip and a lot of fun!

Having said that was my favourite activity I enjoyed all of the others; informative guides, beautiful houses and gardens, and stunning, wind swept beaches. I couldn’t fault any of it.

May 3, 2023

Prudence B. Darwin. Australia

Solo Traveller

I did an 8 night 9 day return tour from Christchurch to Stewart Island with South Island Tours. I loved every minute of it, it’s a must do tour. It offers a well organised varied and interesting itinerary. The accommodation was excellent as were the restaurants and cafes we visited. There were highlights everyday, but the biggest for me was seeing 9 kiwis in a natural environment on Stewart Island.

May 2, 2023

Robynne F.

Couple Traveller

We both thoroughly enjoyed this trip. It was so nice not have to organise anything , just turn up on time. No cooking , no dishes, feeling spoiled, having a break from everyday life.
Randall is a great guide and an excellent driver and we felt he looked after us well.

I think my favourite part was the bird life and sea lions, the bush walks. But also seeing places I havent been before. getting out of the van and walking , participating in adventures suitable to our abilities and not just observing.

The whole adventure, small group, good food and accommodation, the places we visited, It was exactly what we wanted to experience.

It was just a great trip, well organised and suited our interests.

March 21, 2023

Judi Hadfield

Couple Traveller

The trip was all and more than we expected, a wish list trip come to fruition. We had not visited either the Catlins or Stewart Island before so every day was a surprise.
There was so much variation in the trip, no day was the same, the scenery changed daily, and so did the stories. Thank you Geoff.
As well as the scenery highlights we enjoyed meeting local people and hearing their stories and the story of the area they live in. In particular Fergus & Mary in the Catlins; Matt on Stewart and Ulva Islands and George on Lake Te Anau. Such characters to be with.
Every aspect of the trip was well considered, the travel, the accommodation, the meals making for a relaxing time.

March 19, 2022

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