5-Day Stewart Island Tour with Small Group from Dunedin

Dunedin & The Otago Peninsula, South Island

This is a very small group tour packed full of adventure but not requiring a high level of fitness. While there is plenty of action for all ages, we often have older retired people on our tours who are still active and love the out doors. We aim to pack in as much as possible each day without compromising on the comfort and rest you’d expect from a holiday like this. We often run the tour for just 2 people. The maximum would be 6 people. We can cater for larger groups on a private tour basis only.
You will have your own local guide for the duration of the tour, as well as meeting a number of Stewart Island local guides with all the activities included. We book everything for you and are well prepared for dealing with any unforeseen changes by weather or other circumstances. You will enjoy exploring some of NZ’s most remote, pristine and beautiful environments, unique wildlife, hear interesting stories and discover local history. Great food and Stewart Is hospitality is second to none.

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Dunedin & The Otago Peninsula, South Island
Adventure and Sports, Cruises
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Day 1: Dunedin City and Catlins Coast

Stop At: Dunedin, Dunedin, Otago Region, South Island
Embark on a brief sightseeing tour of Dunedin City, visit Baldwin Street (World’s Steepest Street), Dunedin Railway Station and St Clair Beach before we depart for the Catlins.
Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Kaka Point, Kaka Point, Otago Region, South Island
Our first stop in the Catlins, the beautiful seaside township of Kaka Point. A stunning sandy beach littered with driftwood, often captured best in the morning sun. We stop here for coffee or morning tea at the Point cafe on the beach front.
Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: The Catlins, The Catlins, South Island
We continue our day exploring the many scenic sights offered by the Catlins coast. Wildlife is often seen, but we cannot guarantee what we will see on any particular day. Must see stops will include Nugget Point Lighthouse, waterfalls, Cannibal Bay, Waikawa and Curio Bay. There is perhaps too much to list here, but we will tailor the itinerary to best suit your interests.
Duration: 5 hours

Stop At: Curio Bay, Curio Bay, Southland Region, South Island
Curio Bay is one of the most amazing places. There’s a remarkable fossil forest, an abundance of marine life, dramatic coastal scenery and a great its where we stay overnight for our 1st night of the tour. Our accommodation is a high end beach front lodge with panoramic sea views, private rooms with well appointed ensuite. Beach access a short pathway from the back garden. For activities we may see penguins and seals here, and the night sky is incredible on clear nights. If you like we can organize a surf lesson or paddle boarding experience here.
Duration: 18 hours

Meals included:
• Lunch: We include a light lunch at the Catlins Cafe
*Dinner is own cost; Curioscape Restaurant or full kitchen at accommodation
Accommodation included: Overnight at private beachfront lodge

Day 2: Catlins to Invercargill and Stewart Island

Stop At: Waipapa Point Lighthouse, Waipapa Point Road, Otara New Zealand
After breakfast (included) we depart Curio Bay for the southern city of Invercargill. Along the way we will stop at the oldest wooden lighthouse still in operation in NZ. A true historic relic, there’s a good ship wreck story about this place and another chance to spot marine life during the short walk.
Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Invercargill, Invercargill, Southland Region, South Island
We arrive in Invercargill for a quick sightseeing look about. There are great museums here, espeically if you are interested in motoring and motor racing. Let us know and we will make time to visit. Otherwise its a quick cafe stop for morning tea before heading to Invercargill Airport. Return flights (with Stewart Island Flights) to and from Stewart Island are included. We usually depart around 1pm. Its a 20 minute flight across Foveaux Strait to the town of Oban in Stewart Island
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Oban, Oban, Stewart Island, Southland Region, South Island
Touch down on the air strip in Oban is quite an experience. A shuttle van meets us on arrival for a short drive to the town center. Here we will be met by the owners of our local accommodation in Oban. We’ll have a short tour of the town before the transfer direct to the Motel, which is elevated for views yet centrally located.
After check-in, you will have free time for the rest of the afternoon. Lovely short walks around the township, shops and information centers open until 5pm. We will meet up for dinner (*own cost) at the South Sea Hotel restaurant later in the day.
Duration: 18 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast: Full breakfast included
• Lunch: Light lunch included
Accommodation included: Overnight in Oban township Stewart Island. Warm comfortable centrally located Motel, private studio room with ensuite.

Day 3: Stewart Island 1st Full Day

Stop At: Ulva Island, Stewart Island New Zealand
After and early breakfast we make a 5 minute walk to Golden Bay to meet our water taxi and tour guide from Ulva’s Guided Walks. The short boat ride on the tranquil waters of Patterson Inlet takes us to Ulva Island, a unique island bird sanctuary which is home to some of NZ’s rarest and most endangered bird species. Our tour always includes a guided walk here to take advantage of the local knowledge of Ulva’s guides. This also contributes to the predator control work by the Department of Conservation.
Duration: 3 hours

Stop At: Stewart Island, Stewart Island, Southland Region, South Island
After the guided walking tour of Ulva Island, there is time for a picnic lunch (included) before heading out for an afternoon pelagic wildlife cruise. This will take place along the shores of Patterson Inlet before heading out into the open sea, just far out enough to find a variety of albatross soaring over the waves. The pelagic bird life around Stewart Island is prolific and the huge birds often come really close to the boat. Full commentary is provided by your knowledgeable skipper. There is tea, coffee and a light snack served on board the boat, we return directly to the wharf at Oban in the evening.
Duration: 4 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast: Continental Breakfast (due to early start)
• Lunch: Picnic lunch provided by your guide.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Oban township Stewart Island. Warm comfortable centrally located Motel, private studio room with ensuite.

Day 4: Stewart Island 2nd Full Day

Stop At: Rakiura Track, Lee Bay Road, Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island New Zealand
On our 2nd full day there are a couple of options here depending on fitness and interests. If you are a keen walker and don’t mind a few steps and can handle a 7km walk, you will be rewarded with a lovely coastal walking experience in NZ’s southern most national park. We arrange a water taxi from Oban for a 25 minute boat ride to Port William on the Rakiura Track. This is where trampers (hikers) spend their fist night if they are doing the 3 day Rakiura Track circuit. From Port William you will have around a 3 or 4 hour walk back to the start of the Rakiura Track at Lee Bay. We provide you with a packed lunch and a clear map. Your guide will rendezvous at Lee Bay with a taxi for the drive back to Oban.
2nd Option is a 2 hour river cruise on the tidal Fresh Water River. There are only 2 companies on Stewart Island with permission to operate vessels on this river. It is just the most stunning scenic river cruise you could imagine, mountain views give way to lush river plains with manuka bush clad river banks. The river winds inland towards Fresh Water Hut, the last overnight stay for hikers doing the longer 10 day National Park track. Near the hut there is a little time to disembark and explore the area, including a chance to navigate yourself (single file) over a swing bridge if you wish.
Depending on the tide, it may is sometimes possible to do both the river cruise and Rakiura Track walk on the same day. If you prefer not to do the Rakiura Track, there are a number of shorter walks to choose from, you could rent a moped or e-bike and explore further a-field. There is a small golf course on Stewart Island which has clubs and gear for hire. Perhaps you might like to spend the rest of the day bird watching with your guide.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Stewart Island, Stewart Island, Southland Region, South Island
One of the most special things about Stewart Island is the Kiwi or Tokoeka in Maori. There are very few places in NZ where you can see Kiwi birds, let alone in the wild. However on Stewart Island there are literally thousands of them. You hear them at night near the township but they are quite elusive and it can be a bit of a lucky dip if you see one or not. So we include an evening Kiwi Spotting tour with a local Stewart Island guide. They take us to a private location where Kiwis are known to live. This is a small group tour which is vital in order to remain quiet enough for the Kiwis to come out from the bush. This may take place on our 1st or 2nd night depending on the weather forecast.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast: Full cooked breakfast
• Lunch: Picnic or light lunch
Accommodation included: Overnight in Oban township Stewart Island. Warm comfortable centrally located Motel, private studio room with ensuite.

Day 5: Stewart Island to Invercargill & Dunedin

Pass By: Oban, Oban, Stewart Island, Southland Region, South Island
We aim to take a midday flight back to the mainland on our 3rd day on Stewart Island. This allows time for a bit of a sleep in, a hearty breakfast and perhaps some last minute shopping.

*for those that are not so keen on flying, there is always the Foveaux Ferry as an alternative (cost is about the same). ITs approximately a 1 hour ferry crossing between Oban and Bluff.

Stop At: Invercargill, Invercargill, Southland Region, South Island
Arriving at Invercargill Airport, we will have another chance for a look at some of the city’s attractions. From here we will drive back to Dunedin arriving late afternoon (around 3 hours drive). Some people have opted for the direct flight from Invercargill to Auckland, or we can stop at Dunedin Airport on the way back if you have booked a flight to Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland that same day.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast: Full breakfast
• Lunch: Light lunch in Invercargill
No accommodation included on this day.


Dunedin & The Otago Peninsula, South Island

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Dunedin & The Otago Peninsula, South Island
Adventure and Sports, Cruises
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