Southern Odyssey: Stewart Island & the Catlins

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Southern Odyssey: Stewart Island & the Catlins

Southern Odyssey: Stewart Island & the Catlins

7 Day / 6 Night tour with stays in Invercargill, Stewart Island, the Catlins and Dunedin.

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. 

Tour at a Glance


$4,390 per person, share twin

$600 single supplement

Tour Dates:

2 – 8 Oct, 2021

31 Oct – 6 Nov, 2021 SOLD OUT

12 – 18 Dec, 2021

30 Dec, 2021 – 5 Jan, 2022

14 – 20 Jan, 2022 SOLD OUT

23 – 29 Jan, 2022

21 – 27 Feb, 2022 SOLD OUT

7 – 13 Mar, 2022


Fitness Level

Moderate walking with some uneven ground

Group Size Limited

maximum 18 travellers


• Return airfares from Auckland (please ask us about flights from other airports – there could be a price adjustment).
• 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”.


• Land Only price on application
• Travel Insurance

Tour Itinerary

For full details please request a Free Information Pack (Form to the right)

Day 1Fly to Queenstown - Mandeville - Gore - Invercargill

Your flight 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 with, Jim Geddes as our guide, we see the stunning art collection at the Eastern Southland Gallery, sample a dram of whisky and catch up on the history of the prohibition days at Hokonui Moonshine Museum.

Day 2Invercargill - 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 3Stewart Island Sightseeing

Wake up to the sounds of bird calls – kaka and tui. We visit the intriguing Rakiura Museum then drive most of the Island’s 28km of road – including Oban and the surrounding beaches to the gateway to Rakiura National Park. Our on board local guide provides insights into the 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 to dine back at the South Sea Hotel this evening.

Day 4Stewart Island - Catlins - Kaka Point

We fly back to Invercargill and visit the lighthouse at Waipapa Point, the petrified forest at Curio Bay and Porpoise Bay where Hector dolphins play in the waves. This region’s history includes whaling, logging native forest and farming yet seals, penguins and bird life abound.

We lunch at sweet Niagara Cafe and have fun winding “rustic automata” at Blair Somerville’s creative Lost Gypsy Gallery in Papatowai. We stay at Kaka Point and dine by the sea at the Point Café and Bar

Day 5Kaka Point - Otago Peninsula - Dunedin

We start our day with a visit to the stunning views at Nugget Point / Tokata 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 is the 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 6Dunedin 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 to take in the views and stop at the bottom of Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world. We lunch in Port Chalmers 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 and dining in this evening.

Day 7Dunedin sightseeing - Larnach Castle and Gardens - Return flight

We drive out along the Peninsula to visit Larnach Castle and Gardens and learn about the chequered early history of this local landmark. Returning to the inner city where Robbie Burn’s statue takes pride of place in the Octagon, we call into Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and lunch nearby in the Warehouse Precinct.

In the early afternoon we transfer to Dunedin Airport in time for our onward flights.


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.

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