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South Island Nature Trail

South Island Nature Trail

South Island Nature Trail 10 Days / 09 Nights

  • The wonderful journey starts from Christchurch and includes many attractions in New Zealand’s South Island region. Enjoy a drive across the stunning Canterbury Plains, explore rich wildlife in Dunedin, or admire diverse vistas of the Catlins region. The tour includes a drive to Te Anau via the Southern Scenic Route. Enjoy Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise to the core while the tour ends in Queenstown.


    Tour Nights

    • Christchurch: 1 nights
    • Dunedin: 2 nights
    • The Catlins: 1 nights
    • Stewart Island: 2 nights
    • Te Anau: 1 nights
    • Doubtful Sound: 1 nights
    • Queenstown: 1 nights
  • Summary

    • Tour code: STNZ05
    • Accommodation Grade
    • Private Tour

Your Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Christchurch

Meet and greet service with rental car pick up at Christchurch Airport.


Day 2: Christchurch - Dunedin (363 km) B

Straight flat roads lead through to the patchwork fields of the Canterbury Plains before you travel over a network of braided rivers with the Southern Alps as a scenic backdrop.

Day 3: Dunedin B

Day at leisure. Dunedin and Coastal Otago is often referred to as the eco-capital of New Zealand. It is a region of natural beauty overlaid with a fascinating cultural history. On Dunedin’s doorstep you will find incredible wildlife including the world’s rarest penguins and the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross.

Day 4: Dunedin - The Catlins (111 km) BD

The Catlins region is rugged, remote and endowed with large tracts of native rainforest. It has abundant wildlife, is sparsely populated and is very scenic and unspoilt. Here, close to the rich Sub-Antarctic feeding grounds, can be found some of the world’s rarest marine animals - three penguin species, Hooker's Sea Lions, Hector's Dolphins, Elephant Seals, as well as New Zealand Fur Seals. Notable seabirds include : Mollyhawks, Shags, Gannets and millions of Titi (Sooty Shearwaters). Rocky platforms carved by the sea, secret coves and sweeping beaches of gleaming, wave-combed sand are all part of the exhilarating variety of coastal scenery Read More


Day 5: The Catlins –Bluff (149 km) - Stewart Island B

Continue through the Catlins and on to Bluff. On arrival in Bluff, catch the ferry to Stewart Island (small additional charge for car storage in Bluff). Largely untouched by humans, Stewart Island provides an excellent habitat for native and endangered birds Residents on the island share their gardens with native birds and summer evenings resound with the melody of Kākā and cheeky Weka strut around Oban township Read More

Day 6: Stewart Island B

Today’s half day guided tour takes you to Ulva Island, an open bird sanctuary. Covered in unspoilt forest, the island is home to birds including the native Tui, Kaka, Rifleman and Fantail, as well as the endangered South Island Saddleback.

Day 7: Stewart Island – Bluff - Te Anau (180 km) B

This morning catch the ferry back to the mainland and collect your rental car. Travel to Te Anau is via the Southern Scenic Route, a drive featuring a myriad of landscapes shaped by natural processes in New Zealand’s young but varied geological history.


Day 8: Te Anau – Manapouri (22 km) - Doubtful Sound BD

Today’s Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise takes you into the wilderness of one of New Zealand’s most spectacular and pristine fiords. With stunning views of waterfalls, rainforest and mountains it is home to bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins. Dedicated nature guides provide specialist knowledge of the region’s history, flora and fauna and kayaking and exploring by tender craft is offered. Please note: As the overnight cruise does not operate over winter it will be replaced with a day cruise including lunch and additional night in Te Anau Read More

Day 9: Doubtful Sound – Manapouri - Queenstown (172 km) B

A memorable trip through some of the most magnificent scenery in New Zealand. Rivers and mountains provide endless photo opportunities enroute to New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown.

Day 10: Depart Queenstown B

Tour concludes with the return of your rental car to Queenstown city or airport depot.

Dates & Prices

  • Period of travel
    Price (pp)
  • 01 Jan - 31 Mar


Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy a scenic drive along the beautiful Canterbury Plains
  • Take in the breathtaking views of the Southern Alps
  • Spot interesting flora & fauna in Dunedin and Coastal Otago
  • Marvel at the fascinating landscape and enthralling wildlife in the Catlins region
  • Enjoy the ferry ride to Stewart Island and half day guided tour to Ulva Island
  • Be a part of Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • Explore the beauty of Manapouri en route to Queenstown

what's included?

  • Meet and greet service
  • Rental car including Accident Excess Reduction and Airport/Ferry Collection Fees
  • 9 nights unique/boutique accommodation with breakfast included and 2 dinners
  • Ferry transfers to/from Stewart Island
  • Ulva Island Tour, Stewart Island
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise (Sep-mid May only)

what's Not included?

  • International Flights: Return economy class International flights from UK.
  • Travel Insurance: We recommend you take a comprehensive travel insurance to cover your holiday at the time of booking the tour.
  • Visa: UK citizens require entry visas. We can obtain visa on your behalf for a nominal fee.
  • Personal Expenses: Such as laundry, telephones calls, hard & soft drinks, meals other then specified, beverages and mineral water etc
  • Camera fee: Still and video camera fee at monuments and game parks.
  • Tips anywhere: To drivers, porters, bellboys, guides & waiters etc.
  • Free Days: Any car arrangements on free days / days at leisure.
  • Any items not mentioned in the itinerary and inclusions.


Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£) based on twin sharing.