Southern Odyssey: Stewart Island & the Catlins

Explore the wonders of the Catlins coast and Stewart Island.

Deal Details

Travel Dates

23 Nov 2020 & 22 Feb 2021

Sale Ends

Dec 7, 2020

Priced From


Trip Information

Invercargill has fascinating transport museums and Stewart Island and Ulva Island bird sanctuary are a nature lover's playground. See the natural wonders of the Catlins Coast and discover the Scottish heritage of Dunedin and its mainland albatross colony. 

What's Included

General Inclusions

  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
  • Services of your knowledgeable guide.
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place".
  • Return airfares ex Auckland.

All Meals Are Included

  • All breakfasts (B).
  • All lunches (L) including special lunches at: Niagara Falls Cafe in the Catlins, Carey’s Bay Hotel at Port Chalmers
  • All dinners (D)  including special dinners at unique The South Sea Hotel, Stewart Island

All Activities & Entrance Fees Are Included

  • Tour the Croydon Aviation Heritage Trust factory and museum, Mandeville.
  • Enjoy a dram of whisky from the Hokonui Moonshine Museum, Gore.
  • East Southland Gallery, Gore.
  • Bill Richardson Transport World, Invercargill.
  • Classic Motorcycle Mecca & Burt Munro’s Indian Scout, Invercargill.
  • Take the return scenic flight from Invercargill across the Foveaux Strait to Stewart Island.
  • On Stewart Island sightsee by coach with a local guide.
  • Cruise the sheltered waters of beautiful Paterson Inlet.
  • Land at Ulva Island sanctuary to see the birdlife.
  • Lost Gypsy Curios and "rustic automata", Papatowai.
  • Visit the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head.
  • Guided tour of historic Olveston House built in 1904.
  • Visit the Discovery World Tropical Forest at the Otago Museum.

Included Sightseeing & Exploring

  • Wind alongside Lake Wakatipu to Kingston.
  • Drive most of Stewart Island's 28km of road.
  • Explore the Catlins including dramatic Nugget Point lighthouse.
  • Tour along the coast to the Taieri River mouth.
  • Explore the Otago Peninsula.
  • In Dunedin tour the city sights, bays and beaches.


Day 1

Auckland - Queenstown - Mandeville - Gore - Invercargill

Your included flight from Auckland 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. 

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 Sea Hotel.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Day 7

Dunedin sightseeing - Dunedin Airport

There's time for further sightseeing this morning - visiting Toitu Otago Settlers Museum,  Lan Yuan, the Chinese Garden and the inner city where Robbie Burns' statue takes pride of place in the Octagon.

In the mid afternoon we transfer to Dunedin Airport for our flight to Auckland. 

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