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.
$3,662 per person, share twin
$400 single supplement
31 Oct – 6 November, 2020 SOLD OUT
13 – 19 December, 2020 SOLD OUT
24 – 30 January, 2021
12 Feb, 2021 SOLD OUT
8 – 14 Mar, 2021 SOLD OUT
13 – 19 Apr, 2021
• All meals
• Entrance fees
• All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
• Services of your knowledgeable guide.
• Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”.
• Domestic airfares
From Queenstown we drive 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.
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.
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.
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.
We start our day with a 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
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 stop at the bottom of Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world. Take in the views from Signal Hill and lunch at Carey’s Bay historic hotel.
Later we return to the city and 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 the hotel this evening.
There’s time for further sightseeing this morning – visiting Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and the inner city where Dunedin’s Scottish ancestry shows and Robbie Burns’ statue takes pride of place in the Octagon.
Some great news… while we wait for international borders to re-open, there is no better time to see a bit of our own backyard and help our local communities get back to business.
We’re excited to let you know that we have partnered with MoaTours, one of New Zealand’s leading and most trusted local tour operators since 1971. MoaTours offers a range of small group tours all over New Zealand that we think you’ll love — from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.
A a family run business just like Tours Direct, MoaTours has great connections and unbeatable local knowledge of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. They also share common values so we know you will be well looked after and have a great experience.
Kaka on your balcony, fresh seafood at the South Sea Hotel, golden sand beaches and friendly locals are just a few of many reasons to fly over to Stewart Island. The Catlins coast is similar – untouched, raw beauty and a real sense of discovery.