No need to travel overseas to spend great holidays! I love the Southern part of New Zealand with its unique combination of landscapes shaped by awesome forces of nature. Not only you see them, but you also “feel” them, on foot, on a kayak and on a bike.. Join me for an active discovery of the south of the South!
Have you dreamed of actively exploring the spectacular scenery and native wildlife that call the bottom of the South Island home, but have never found the time?
Escape to the far south this summer on a guided tour that will fulfil this dream!
Your knowledgeable guide will lead the group on a journey to southern gems, such as the Catlins, Stewart Island and Milford Sound, where you will take an active part in creating lifelong memories, as you hike, kayak, bike and explore the south of the South.
You will meet your guide at the Dunedin Railway Station at 8:45 a.m., for a 9 a.m. departure.
(If you are from out of town, we can arrange for a pre-night stay at a local accommodation provider, as well as a city tour and peninsula discovery.)
Your journey begins as we head South following the Scenic Route through the ruggedly beautiful Catlins. This unspoilt region is renowned for its native rainforest, numerous waterfalls and abundant wildlife. We will make several stops: Nugget Point, Jack’s Blowhole, Purakaunui Falls, McLean Falls … to allow you to explore some of this region’s captivating scenery.
We will settle in for the night at the Whistling Frog Resort.
This morning, we continue our journey south to Invercargill and Bluff, making a stop at Stirling Point, the beginning (or end) of State Highway 1. We board the ferry for Stewart Island, where we spend the next 2 days exploring this authentic and unspoiled piece of paradise.
After sunset, we will take a guided tour to spot the largest of New Zealand’s iconic kiwi species, the Stewart Island Brown Kiwi (Tokoeka), in its natural habitat. Catching a glimpse of a kiwi in the ‘wild’ is a unique and memorable experience, not to be missed.
After breakfast, we take a water-taxi to Ulva Island, a beautiful predator-free sanctuary, where we will see endangered and rare birds and plants. Keep your eyes peeled, to see if you can catch a glimpse of the South Island Saddlebacks, Stewart Island Wekas, Kererus, South Island Kakas, Yellow- and Red-crowned Parakeets (Kakariki), Fantails, Stewart Island Robins, Bellbirds, Tuis…
We enjoy a picnic on the beach, before returning to Oban mid-afternoon. The rest of the day can be enjoyed at your leisure or we can take a walk on one of the many walking tracks.
This morning, we board the ferry to return to Bluff from this practically untouched slice of New Zealand, that is Stewart Island. We will make our way inland to reach Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.
We start our exploring with a transfer to Brod Bay by water-taxi, where we will begin our walk on the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand Great Walks. A challenging climb under impressive limestone bluffs takes us above the bush line to panoramic views of the Te Anau basin and surrounding mountains. We will return the same way, catching a water-taxi back to Te Anau.
We rise bright and early this morning to make our way to Milford Sound, where we will enjoy a 2-hour guided kayak tour of the sound. We get up close and personal with Lady Bowen Falls, the fiord’s tallest waterfall!
After our paddling, we board a 2-hour cruise to explore the fiord further. We cruise its 16km length, out past St Annes Point Lighthouse, while listening to an informative commentary from the skipper, who will highlight points of interest and the wildlife along the way.
On our return to Te Anau, we make several photo stops along the way: the Chasm, Lake Gunn, Mirror Lake…
Today is a bit of a rest day as we make our way into Central Otago.
We leave the lush Fiordland mountains for the bare landscapes of Central Otago. We’ll stop along the Lake Wakatipu shore for photo opportunities. Then we enjoy some free time in Queenstown, where you can go for a stroll in the Botanic Garden, do some shopping or maybe even step out of your comfort zone and try one of the exhilarating activities on offer in New Zealand’s adventure capital! We’ll make a short visit to Arrowtown, recently named the most beautiful small town in New Zealand!
We continue our journey through this wine & fruit growing region, along the Kawarau river and Lake Dunsta, before reaching our final destination for the day, the historic village of Clyde.
Tonight, we enjoy a beautiful dinner at Olivers, housed in buildings that were first established in 1869 by merchant Benjamin Naylor and are now one of Central Otago’s most significant heritage landmarks with a Category 1 Heritage New Zealand listing.
The van will transfer you to Lauder this morning, where you will begin your biking adventure on the Otago Central Rail Trail. Your guide will not join you on the Trail, as he will be driving the van to meet you at the end of your ride.
You will ride the section of the Trail from Lauder to Wedderburn, which is approximately 35km of the 150km Otago Central Rail Trail.
This trail is described as Grade 1, which means that it is suitable even for novice cyclists. As the trail was originally a railway line, there are no steep hills, but there are some long gentle climbs that will require some energy. Don’t worry, though, as there are no sudden dips that will require quick gear changes.
Your guide will then pick you up from Wedderburn, from where you will say goodbye to Central Otago and its dramatic scenery, and return to Dunedin.
(If you are from out of town, we can arrange for an extra night’s accommodation and an airport transfer, if required.)
NZD 3,390 per person (double/twin share)
Single supplement: NZD650
Two departures only:
From 13th to 19th December 2020
From 21st to 27th February 2021
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