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The Deep South 2019

1 - 10 April 2019

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Double or Twin Share $3,980.00

Single Accomm $4,722.00

Deposit to confirm booking $455.00

Balance payable by: 11 Feb 2019
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Join us on this southerly sojourn as we travel the full Southern Scenic Route from Dunedin via the Catlins to Invercargill, and on to Fiordland via Riverton and Tuatapere. A stay on Stewart Island is a special highlight.

Day 1: Monday 1 April - Flying to Dunedin

An early start today as we are transferred to Wellington Airport to join our morning Air New Zealand direct flight to Dunedin.  Our tour driver awaits us at Dunedin Airport to take us on our first

excursion, to Larnach Castle on the Otago Peninsula. Taking the “high road”, a scenic drive providing magnificent views of remote beaches and bays, we enjoy a guided tour of NZ’s only castle and lunch in the old ballroom (included).  From here we drop down into Portabello to take the “low road” back to the city. We check in to our hotel for a well earned rest, before enjoying in-house a special Dunedin Haggis Ceremony - performed by the Piping Hot Haggis entertainers.  An evening of fun is guaranteed. 

Day 1

Monday 01 April - Flying to Dunedin

An early start today as we are transferred to Wellington Airport to join our morning Air New Zealand direct flight to Dunedin.

Our tour driver awaits us at Dunedin Airport to take us on our first
excursion, to Larnach Castle on the Otago Peninsula. Taking the “high road”, a scenic drive providing magnificent views of remote beaches and bays, we enjoy a guided tour of NZ’s only castle and lunch in the old ballroom (included). From here we drop down into Portabello to take the “low road” back to the city. We check in to our hotel for a well earned rest, before enjoying in-house a special Dunedin Haggis Ceremony - performed by the Piping Hot Haggis entertainers. An evening of fun is guaranteed.

Day 2

Tuesday 02 April - Dunedin Attractions

This morning we make the short journey to the historic Dunedin Railway Station (well worth a photo or two - both by day and by night) for our excursion on the Taieri Gorge Railway.

The journey takes us through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge, across wrought iron viaducts and through tunnels carved by hand more than 100 years ago, and is supported by full commentary, photo stops and on-board refreshments. The end of the line today is Pukerangi, where our coach and driver will meet us. We travel back to Dunedin to enjoy a short jaunt around this fine city to see a few of the sights Dunedin offers before being let loose to enjoy lunch (own choice and cost).

The rest of the day is ours free to enjoy at our own cost and leisure. Some of NZ’s finest museums are based here, e.g., the Otago Settlers Museum, or alternatively the Otago Museum - described as one of the world’s best museums - where we can discover the richness and vibrancy of the southern region through outstanding collections covering culture, nature and science. The extra special feature of this museum is their Discovery World Tropical Forest, including over 1,000 butterflies (an extra cost not included in the tour), together with their other galleries; Southern Land, southern People, Tangata Whenua - People of the Land, Pacific Cultures, People of the World, Maritime, Animal Attic, and Nature. Another option is a tour of the Speights Brewery. For those who want to indulge in art, shopping and culture - Dunedin has many great choices. Tonight we dine in.

Day 3

Wednesday 03 April - Dunedin – Catlins - Invercargill

Today we journey down the beautiful Catlins Coast, part of “The Southern Scenic Route” and New Zealand’s first touring route.

Rugged coastline, sweeping beaches, lakes and forest will unfold before us as we explore this isolated stretch of coast. Special highlights of today will include Nugget Point, the much photographed Purakaunui Falls, Lake Wilkie, Waikawa Bay, and Curio Bay - where, tide dependant, we will be able to view a unique fossilised forest on the shoreline. Lunch is included en route. Our destination tonight is Invercargill where our motel is but a short walk from the famous Queens Park, best loved for its magnificent trees, gardens and walkways. We dine at a local restaurant this evening, before packing an overnight bag for our expedition to Stewart Island the next day.

Day 4

Thursday 04 April - Invercargill to Stewart Island

Today we join our morning Stewart Island flight to Oban with time for settling in to our accommodation and finding the best spots for lunch (at own cost).

This afternoon we join Real Journey’s Village & Bays Tour with an entertaining insight into the Island’s community, history and environment being provided by their local guide. We return mid afternoon with time to relax before dining in-house tonight.

Day 5

Friday 05 April - Stewart Island to Invercargill

This morning we have time to relax and explore before joining Real Journeys again, this time on their Ulva Island Explorer Cruise with a picnic lunch included.

This cruise takes in the site of the historic Whalers Base in Paterson Inlet, prior to visiting Ulva Island - an internationally acclaimed open sanctuary, where many rare and endangered native species of birdlife and plants flourish in a predator-free protected environment. Our cruise returns in time for a mid afternoon flight back to Invercargill for the night. We dine out at a nearby restaurant again this evening.

Day 6

Saturday 06 April - Invercargill

We discover a couple more southern treasures today, this morning travelling out to Wyndham where we visit Maple Glen Garden. Maple Glen is a 30 acre private garden, nursery, aviary, woodland and wetland set in rolling green Southland countryside.

Planted for colour in all seasons, there are hundreds of rhododendrons, bulbs, and bedding plants, while conifers and maples provide structure. Back in town we visit Bill Richardson’s Transport Museum, first of all enjoying lunch in the café onsite (included) before setting off to explore this expansive museum. This is the largest private collection of its type in the world. The museum currently has 210 trucks and 120 petrol bowsers, and is still growing. Whether you are a truck enthusiast or not, this is a must see.

With a little bit of free time at our disposal later this afternoon, we can explore nearby Queens Park – Invercargill’s Botanical Gardens at a leisurely pace, or enjoy a bit of Invercargill retail therapy. We dine out again this evening.

Day 7

Sunday 07 April - Invercargill/Bluff to Te Anau (via Southern Scenic Highway)

Having come this far, we then travel the short remaining distance to the bottom of the South Island: Bluff, where we visit the Bluff Maritime Museum and take that famous photo.

This afternoon we embark on the second part of the Southern Scenic Route travelling through to Te Anau, our home for the next two nights. During our journey we take time to visit the picturesque fishing village of Riverton, which is where our lunch stop is today (at your own cost) before continuing our journey, following the shoreline of Colac Bay. We stop for a leg stretch in Tuatapere before moving on to Clifden – site of the historic suspension bridge across the Waiau River – one of the oldest in the South Island. We dine in tonight at our Te Anau Hotel.

Day 8

Monday 08 April - Doubtful Sound

Today we join the Real Journey’s Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise...

...which begins with a short coach trip to Manapouri’s Pearl Harbour, where we pick up scrumptious picnic lunches, before boarding our cruise vessel to journey across Lake Manapouri to West Arm. From here we travel by coach through dense rainforest across the Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we take a 3 hour cruise on Doubtful Sound. This is an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature in its rarest form. Following a full and awe inspiring day’s experience we enjoy relaxed dining in-house again tonight.

Day 9

Tuesday 09 April - Te Anau to Cromwell via Arrowtown

This morning before departing Te Anau we pay a final tribute to this region,

visiting a special attraction; Ata Whenua – Shadowland - a spectacular film experience bringing us the Fiordland World Heritage Wilderness we would otherwise never see. Filmed across extremes of season, climate and terrain, it will take us on an unforgettable journey through one of the most stunning landscapes on earth.

Leaving Te Anau behind, we travel on roads surrounded by the Eyre and Snowdon Mountain ranges before opening up into rolling Southland farmland. The shoreline of Lake Wakatipu soon comes into view, as we approach Queenstown. We continue on to Arrowtown, our lunch stop today (own cost), with a little time to wander and explore this picturesque historic village.

This afternoon we pass through the Gibbston Valley wine area before travelling the scenic Kawarau Gorge road. Our destination today is Cromwell, the fruit bowl of Central Otago. We dine in tonight at our hotel.

Day 10

Wednesday 10 April - Travelling Home

Returning to Queenstown this morning, we will be transferred to Frankton airport in time for our final adventure.

Flying out of Queenstown is an incredible experience as the aircraft ascends over the tops of Coronet Peak and the Remarkable Ranges. Farewelling fellow travellers at Wellington Airport we will be met by transfer vehicles to return us to our home towns.

The cost of the tour includes

  • All coach travel
  • Good quality hotel accommodation
  • All dinners, 2 course or buffet
  • 6 lunches shown below
  • All breakfasts
  • Wellington to Dunedin flight
  • Queenstown to Wellington flight
  • Taieri Gorge Railway excursion
  • Haggis Dinner entertainment - Dunedin
  • Larnach Castle – guided tour and lunch
  • Picnic lunch - Catlins
  • Stewart Island return flights
  • Village & Bays Tour – Stewart Island
  • Ulva Island Explorer Stewart Island (incl picnic)
  • Maple Glen Garden entry
  • Bill Richardson’s Transport Museum - entry and lunch
  • Bluff Maritime Museum - entry
  • Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise (including lunch)
  • Fiordland Cinema film screening

Departure Detail

Martinborough is beautiful, and well worth the day trip out of Wellington for the wine tour. The wines were great, as was the company. - Meg453, Trip Advisor