Fiordland & Stewart Island Escorted Tour
9 days / 8 nights Escorted Tour
Queenstown, Te Anau, Invercargill, Stewart Island
Eight nights in excellent centrally located accommodation including Breakfast Daily (B)
Modern air conditioned vehicle as per Itinerary outline
Meals as stipulated in Itinerary include 4x Dinners 1x Lunch
• TSS Earnslaw Cruise
• Back Road Adventure through Von Valley
• Ata Whenua — Shadowlands Film screening
• Fiordland Jet Pure Wilderness journey
• Milford Sound Day trip including cruise
• Bill Richardson’s Transport Museum
• Stewart Island return ferry
• Stewart Island Village & Bay tour
• Ulva Island guided tour
• Kiwi spotting
DOC Concessions where applicable included
Day 1 Arrive Queenstown (D)
Upon arrival into Queenstown (own arrangements) you will be transferred from the Airport to the Copthorne Lakefront Hotel for your stay for one night in a Lake view room. This 4 star hotel sits over-looking the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is only a short 5-10 minute walk to the town centre via the picturesque Queenstown gardens. This evening meet your tour escort and the rest of your group for a welcome drink at the hotels’ Impressions Cocktail bar followed by dinner at Impressions Restaurant. Hotel: Copthorne Lakefront Hotel 1 night
Day 2 Queenstown to Te Anau via Von Valley Road (B,L,D)
Following breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to Steamer Wharf in Queenstown where you will board the TSS Earnslaw steamship for a cruise across to Walter Peak Station. Enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains as you steam across Lake Wakatipu, taking time to explore the vessel, view the engine room and study the historic displays of the steamships former life. From Walter Peak Station enjoy a road less travelled – the back road through the Von Valley and via the Mavora Lakes to Te Anau. You will travel along a scenic road into the remote Southland high country. The area is vast and unique with rolling hills covered in red tussock, with the occasional scattering of cattle and sheep, crystal clear rivers famous for fly fishing and distant snow-capped mountains. Due to the remoteness of this area you will see few people – the occasional game cyclist or hardy farm hand. There are ample opportunities for photographic and scenic stops, as well as short walks along the way. A picnic lunch will be included in a rustic hut or open grassland along the way. On arrival into Te Anau you will visit the Fiordland Cinema for a viewing of ‘Ata Whenua – Shadowland’ a 30 minute film showcasing the Fiordland World Heritage Status wilderness you would otherwise never see. Mysterious, evocative and utterly spectacular, filmed mostly from a helicopter across extremes of season, climate and terrain. It will take you on an unforgettable journey through one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on earth. Leaving Fiordland Cinema we travel a short distance to Fiordland Jet for a ‘Pure Wilderness’ jet boat experience exploring Fiordland National Park. Beginning with an exhilarating ride down the Waiau river, lined by ancient beech forest and featured in the Lord of the Rings movies. You will emerge from the river onto the breath-taking Lake Manapouri, surrounded by mountains that have been carved by snow and ice over centuries before returning to Te Anau. After a full day, check into the Distinction Luxmore Hotel in Te Anau for two nights, located in the centre of Te Anau township. Dinner is included tonight. Hotel: Distinction Luxmore Hotel 2 nights
Day 3 Milford Sound Excursion (B)
After breakfast at the hotel travel to Milford sound on a leisurely day where you will get to experience some of Fiordland most famous locations. Glacier carved valleys, perfect mirror lakes, towering granite faces and the impressive Homer tunnel. There will be plenty of photo opportunities. On arrival into Milford Sound join your cruise in one of the most spectacular parts of our beautiful country in the Fiordland National Park. Get close to New Zealand fur seals basking on the rocks, massive cliff faces rising for hundreds of metres out of the sea and witness waterfalls cascading from ancient rainforest high in the mountains. Following the cruise return to Te Anau to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in this small Southland town. You may wish to take an optional trip to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (not included). Dinner will be included at the hotel this evening.
Day 4 Te Anau to Invercargill via Southern Scenic Route (B,D)
Following breakfast at the hotel you will be collected for your journey to Invercargill. Travel via Western Southland along the Southern Scenic route. The journey begins through an area tucked between the towering peaks of Fiordland and the Takatimu range, before crossing rural hinterland, an important dairy farming region, and on to Tuatapere before reaching the wild and raw southern coast line at Te Waewae Bay. Continue to Colac Bay, one of New Zealand’s top surfing spots and through the affectionately known Riviera of the South – Riverton, a small town populated by an interesting mix of locals, artists and fishermen. Once in Invercargill, visit the Bill Richardson Transport World. With literally hundreds of motor vehicles and petrol pumps on display throughout 15,000sqm there is a lot to take in. An impressive body of work you will come to see a lifetime of passion on display. Be amazed by a restoration journey that has taken fifty years to establish. It is an absolute must see for anyone with a passion for wheels. Highlights include retro Kombi’s, Henry Ford Letter Cars, Model T’s, Diamond T Trucks, stunning 1930’s V8’s and over 200 vintage petrol pumps. This evening stay at the centrally located Kelvin Hotel where dinner will be included. Hotel: Kelvin Hotel 1 night
Day 5 Invercargill to Stewart Island (B)
Follwing breakfast transfer to Bluff for your ferry to Stewart Island. During the one hour crossing of Foveaux Strait on board an express catamaran keep a look out for wildlife, especially seabirds such as mollymawks (albatross) skimming above the waves. There will be a commentary on-board highlighting interesting landmarks including Dog Island lighthouse, Ruapuke Island, The Titi Islands and Mt Anglem – Stewart Is-lands highest point. On arrival to Stewart Island you will join an orientation sightseeing tour of the island which will showcase the small settlement of Oban and surrounding bays, including a stop at Observation Rock with expansive views across Paterson Inlet. An informative commentary will be provided, and there will be time for a short walk at Lee Bay – the gateway to Rakiura National Park. Check in to the Bay Motel for your 3 night stay. Centrally located and handy to all amenities, the Bay Motel units offer gorgeous views of Half Moon Bay or the surrounding bush. A continental Breakfast will be provided for each morning.
Day 6 Ulva Island & Kiwi Spotting (B)
After a short walk to Golden Bay you will board your water taxi to Ulva Island for a guided walk. Ulva Island (Te Wharawhara), is renowned for its diverse and abundant birdlife with a forest dominated by Rimu, Southern Rata and Kamahi, surrounded by marine reserve. It was visited by Ngai Tahu Maori as part of their food gathering trips and in the 1890s it became one of New Zealand’s first reserves. After a lot of hard work this 267 hectare island is now predator free, allowing the bird and plant life to thrive. The afternoon is yours to enjoy at leisure – maybe go for a walk, hire a bike, or settle in at the South Seas Hotel to enjoy a few quiet drinks and meet the locals. This evening we include Kiwi Spotting where you will have the chance to see Kiwis in their natural environment. We offer exclusive access to private land where the precious kiwi come out to feed. For many visitors to Stewart Island this will be a lifelong highlight.
Day 7 Stewart Island at Leisure (B)
A full day at leisure to enjoy Stewart Island. There are many walks close to the village, local artists, cycling, kayaking and many other activities available or you might choose to relax in your room and enjoy the peaceful surrounds. We recommend the Port William and Maori Beach Walk with ‘Beaks and Feathers,’ one of the most popular coastal and native bush walks on Stewart Island. Water taxi to Port William, site of early Maori settlement, before continuing on to beautiful Maori beach, where early Maori settled. With your ex-pert local guide, make your way to Lee Bay via Little River. The Port William and Maori Beach walk is $260pp, operates with small groups and we suggest pre-booking to secure your space for this while on the island.
Day 8 Stewart Island to Queenstown (B,D)
Board the early Ferry this morning back to Bluff where you will be collected and transferred back to Queenstown for an afternoon at leisure. Check in again to the Copthorne Lakefront hotel for the final night of your tour. Following an afternoon relaxing in Queenstown enjoy a farewell dinner with your group at Blue Kanu restaurant.
Day 9 Depart Queenstown B
After breakfast this morning you will be provided with individual transfers to your departure flight from Queenstown Airport.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Full Terms and conditions are listed on the Inspired New Zealand Tours website. When a booking is made it is accepted that these are agreed to. They include the following: Itineraries are correct when initially published, however are subject to change due to circumstances outside our control. Flights are the responsibility of the passenger and Inspired New Zealand Tours takes no responsibility for costs involved for any changes to flights that might be required due to necessary amendments in itineraries.