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SCENIC SOUTHERN SPLENDOUR

9 Days

$4,399 pp
9 Seats Left!

SCENIC SOUTHERN SPLENDOUR

Departures

  • November 26, 2022
Only 9 Seats Left!
  • March 3, 2023
Only 9 Seats Left!
  • March 25, 2023
Only 9 Seats Left!
  • April 20, 2023
Only 9 Seats Left!

Prices

  • $4399 per person (share twin)

What's included?

  • Return airfares from Auckland / Tauranga/Wellington/Christchurch
  • 3 nights accommodation Dunedin
  • 1 nights accommodation Invercargill
  • 2 nights accommodation at Bay Motel, Stewart Island
  • 2 nights accommodation Queenstown
  •  Breakfast daily—note continental breakfast in Stewart Island
  • Cruise to Paterson Inlet with packed lunch included—Stewart Island
  •  Kaka Point, Nugget Point—The Catlins
  • Light lunch in the Catlins
  • Dinner each evening
  • Royal Albatross Colony Dunedin
  • Larnach Castle with high tea
  • TSS Earnslaw Dinner Cruise Queenstown
  • Sightseeing as detailed on the itinerary
  • Services of a Tour Manager from Auckland back to Auckland
  • (FREE home pick up and return in the greater Auckland/Wellington/ Tauranga or Christchurch areas (within 25k radius of the airport)

B – Breakfast     CB – Continental Breakfast     LL – Light Lunch       HT – High Tea                  D – Dinner   SD – Special Dinner

Day 1: Fly to Dunedin (D)

Today we join our flight to the heritage city of Dunedin. On arrival we are met by our driver and coach and transferred to our hotel where we stay for 3 nights. Join your Tour Manager for dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Dunedin Sightseeing (B D)

This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour of this fabulous city. Visit Dunedin’s Botanic Garden—NZ’s first botanic garden & a Garden of International Significance. It has hill views from sunny lawns, more than 6,800 plant species and the song of wild native bellbirds, wood pigeons and tui. We’ll also visit the Chinese garden—a garden of National Significance. A perfect miniature of a traditional Chinese landscape painting, this garden encapsulates the essence of nature. The afternoon will be at leisure for you to enjoy your own interests. Your tour Manager can assist with options.

Day 3: Dunedin (B HT D)

Depart the hotel this morning for one of the highlights of our Tour—a Guided Visit of Larnach Castle including a fabulous High Tea in the Castle’s historic ballroom. The castle was built in 1871 by William Larnach, merchant baron and politician, for his beloved first wife Eliza. It took more than 200 workmen three years to build the Castle shell and master European craftsmen spent a further 12 years embellishing the interior. The Castle is still privately owned and cared for by the Barker family who purchased it as their home in 1967. Decades have been spent on the Castle’s restoration, with the family having restored empty buildings from ruin and assembled a large collection of original NZ period furniture and antiques.

This living collection showcases the craftsmanship and spirit of NZ. And then there is the fabulous gardens at Larnach Castle— rated by the NZ Gardens Trust as a Garden of International Significance. Today, the Castle is surrounded by 7 acres of maintained Gardens and 5 historic buildings. There is always something to see in the gardens at Larnach Castle. A visit to Dunedin is not complete without taking in the outstanding natural beauty and wildlife of the Otago Peninsula & the Royal Albatross Colony. Here you will be able to see the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross

Day 4: Dunedin/Catlins/Invercargill (B LL D)

This morning we’ll head out along the Southern Scenic Route to the Catlins. On our journey today we’ll travel through rural heartland and podocarp forests, past rugged coastlines, hidden lakes and stunning waterfalls. The natural landscapes are enthralling and the wildlife is extraordinary. We’ll make a stop at Kaka Point a small settlement at the northern edge of The Catlins before heading to the Department of Conservation Wildlife Reserve at Nugget Point where you will be amazed at the dramatic views of “The Nuggets”.

These wave-eroded rocks, which are likened to the shape of gold nuggets, can be seen from the viewing platform at the Nugget Point Lighthouse.

The lighthouse was built in 1869-80, is 9.5 metres high and situated 76 metres above sea level. The walk from the car park is 20 minutes (one way). Along the way you may see the fur seal colony on the rocks at sea level to the left of the track and also below the lighthouse, or the many seabirds that make The Nuggets their home. It’s then on to Invercargill, capital of the Southland region for an overnight. Known for its elegant old department stores and wide, easy-to-navigate streets, Invercargill is also well known for Bluff Oysters and blue cod.

Day 5: Invercargill/Stewart Island (B D)

After breakfast we’ll enjoy the sights of New Zealand’s southern most city and one of the southernmost cities in the world. We’ll make a stop at the pride of Invercargill—Queens Park, a magnificent public park in the heart of the city sprawling across 80 hectares of beautifully kept gardens. A visit to E Hayes Motorworks Store is a must ! This is the home of Burt Munro’s ORIGINAL World’s Fastest Indian motorcycle (made famous for the movie The World’s Fastest Indian” featuring Anthony Hopkins). We are then transferred to the airport to connect with our short flight to Stewart Island.

On arrival we will be met and transferred to our accommodation at the Bay Motel. This afternoon we’ll enjoy an entertaining insight into NZ’s southernmost community and learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island. Unspoilt, incredibly beautiful and steeped in stories, Stewart Island (known as Rakiura— glowing skies—by Maori) is well worth this informative introduction.

Local guides enjoy sharing their knowledge of the area on this mini-bus tour of the Island.

You will have plenty of time to get off the bus for photo stops and short walks. Dinner tonight is at the South Sea Hotel.

Day 6: Stewart Island (CB LL D)

Today we will discover Stewart Island from the water on a leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet and a guided walk in Ulva Island Wildlife Sanctuary.

The cruise will showcase some of Paterson Inlet’s stunning scenery with its hidden coves and unspoiled beaches. You’ll hear fascinating stories of early Maori history and European settlement from your guide. While on board, keep a look out for fur seals and penguins—we see a lot of them around this area. Paterson Inlet is home to renowned wildlife sanctuary Ulva Island and we’ll stop there for a 45 minute guided walk. The island is home to weka (native woodhen), bush robins, rare saddlebacks and yellowheads amongst other species. It is also a protected habitat for some of New Zealand’s rarest plant species. A regular highlight is to encounter an inquisitive weka on the beach. We enjoy a packed lunch. For the remainder of the cruise around Paterson Inlet, relax on board the modern catamaran and enjoy the coastal scenery. Return to our motel where we will have the remainder of our day at leisure.

Day 7: Stewart Island/Invercargill/ Queenstown (CB D)

An early start this morning as we join our flight back to Invercargill. Rejoin our coach as we make our way to Queenstown. Enroute we will follow the Oreti River, through a series of rural settlements. After Lumsden, the scenery becomes gradually more alpine.

Have a break in Kingston, the home of a remarkable vintage steam train. From here, the road clings to the edge of Lake Wakatipu nearly all the way to Queenstown, surrounded by incredible mountains and situated on the edge of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is New Zealand’s leading visitor destination.

 

Day 8: Queenstown (B SD)

Today we’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour of Queenstown including a visit to one of the most picturesque settlements—Arrowtown. This quaint gold-mining village by the Arrow River is only 20 minutes from Queenstown. It is famous for its wide variety of deciduous trees that turn the little township into a mass of golds, reds and oranges in the autumn. This afternoon is at leisure. Your Tour Manager will be able to assist with any additional sightseeing options.

This evening its all aboard the TSS Earnslaw.

Steeped in Queenstown’s pioneering history, our experience starts with a cruise across Lake Wakatipu in the 103 year old steamship. Then disembark at Walter Peak and enjoy a gourmet BBQ dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country.

On the magical night-time cruise home, you can enjoy the camaraderie of a sing a long with the ship’s pianist or breathe in the fresh night air on the moonlit decks as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer. A perfect end to our tour.

Day 9: Queenstown/Auckland (B)

Most of today is at leisure . Our baggage will be stored for us at the hotel after the 10.00a.m. check out. Time for a last wander round the lakeside or a coffee at one of the many cafes. Later today we are transferred to the airport for our flight home. On arrival we are transferred back to our home addresses.