Day 1 Bluff to Stewart Island
Your journey starts in Bluff where you will board the Ferry to Stewart Island*. Experience Foveaux Strait onboard an express catamaran. During the one-hour crossing on the Stewart Island Ferry between Bluff and Oban keep a lookout for wildlife, especially seabirds. Comprehensive commentaries provide information on the interesting landmarks commonly seen, including Dog Island Lighthouse, Ruapuke Island, the Titi Islands and Mt Anglem – Stewart Island’s highest point. After crossing Foveaux Strait and arriving at Oban – the main settlement on Stewart Island you will be transferred to the Bay Motel.
This afternoon explore Oban and the surrounding bays in a mini-bus tour. Experienced guides enjoy sharing their local knowledge of the history and environment of Stewart Island with you. Gain an insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community. Stewart Islanders are proud of their island, enjoying its simpler, slower pace. Highlights include Lee Bay, the gateway to Rakiura National Park and stunning views of Paterson Inlet from Observation Rock during this 1 hour 30 minute tour. On return to the motel you have the afternoon free to relax.
Day 2 Ulva Island Explorer Tour & Wild Kiwi Encounter
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. This 267 hectare island is now predator free, allowing the bird and plantlife to thrive. Enjoy a leisurely cruise from Halfmoon Bay viewing hidden coves and unspoilt beaches. Along the way learn about the early Maori history and European settlement including whaling. Your skipper and nature guide provide detailed commentary throughout the cruise and are happy to answer any questions. While on board, keep a lookout for fur seals, penguins and other wildlife, as sightings are common. Then disembark at Ulva Island for a 45-minute guided walk with a specialist nature guide. View rare plants and rich birdlife, including the inquisitive weka, which are often seen on the beach. Returning to the motel in the afternoon.
At dusk depart from Stewart Island’s Halfmoon Bay in a catamaran for a cruise across Paterson Inlet to Little Glory Cove. During the cruise, pass Ulva Island and learn about Stewart Island’s rich history. Once at Little Glory Cove, disembark onto a wharf at the southern part of the peninsula known as The Neck. The walk, led by your nature guide, is on a well-formed track across the peninsula, through spectacular coastal forest to a secluded sandy beach. As dusk sets in and daylight diminishes, venture by torchlight through the native forest with the stars and forest night sounds around you. The walk will take about 45 minutes one-way and the track emerges on to Ocean Beach. This wide sandy beach is where kiwi are often found feeding among the grasses and seaweed. Afterwards retrace your steps through the forest to Little Glory Wharf for your catamaran ride back to Oban township on Stewart Island.
Day 3 Paterson Inlet Cruise
Today depart on a cruise from Golden Bay. Between 1923 and 1933 the Ross Sea Whaling Company of Norway made 9 expeditions to Antarctica while using a base in Paterson Inlet. ‘The Whaler’s Base’ was used to repair the whale chasers in between whaling seasons. Enjoy your skipper’s commentary and explore the relics still to be seen at the base: the old rusty workshop boiler on the beach and the foundations of the slipway. There is also an optional walk through to the beautiful Millar’s Beach, time permitting. Arrive back at Golden Bay where you have the afternoon free to relax.
Day 4 Free Day to explore – optional activities (fishing, bush walks, kayaking)
Today is yours to enjoy how you see fit. You could visit the museum, walk the short tracks, stroll around the bush clad streets – so much to see. Get on a bike – push yourself or grab an electric one. Great beaches to explore and a cool way to get there. Create your own pendant out of pounamu (greenstone) with Dave at Rakiura Jade. Hire a kayak and explore the bays in this pristine natures playground.
Day 5 Stewart Island to Bluff
Today it is time to depart this paradise island and return to real life. Board the catamaran and enjoy the cruise across the Straight to Bluff.
*Return flights to Stewart Island are available at a surcharge.
THE BAY MOTEL STEWART ISLAND
The Bay Motel is centrally located and features amazing views over Halfmoon Bay and/or the surrounding native bush. Other features include a fully equipped kitchenette, central heating, electric blankets, comfortable beds plus complimentary tea/coffee along with free WiFi – all designed to make your stay on the Stewart Island as comfortable as possible. They offer a range of rooms – from standard studios with and without spa to one and two bedroom apartments for the whole family. They also have wheelchair friendly units available.
STEWART ISLAND LODGE
Private and secluded, Stewart Island Lodge is a nice place to relax in comfort while providing a base for your Island exploration. It’s just five minutes’ walk from the village centre where there are restaurants and a small pub. Set on a hillside overlooking Halfmoon Bay.
- 4 nights accommodation at Bay Motel
- Continetal Breakfast daily
- Return Ferry Bluff – Stewart Island – Bluff
- Paterson Inlet Cruise
- Ulva Island Guided Tour incl. Water Taxi
- Night time Kiwi Spotting
- Domestic Air Fares
- Additional /Optional Tour Costs
- Hotel Mini Bar
- Sightseeing/Meals not stated in Itinerary
1,245.00 NZ$ Per Person on a Share Twin Basis (until September 2022)
1,325.00 NZ$ Per Person on a Share Twin Basis (from October 2022)
Surcharge for Flights*: $120.00 per person.
Surcharge for Stewart Island Lodge Upgrade: enquire for pricing.
Minimum 2 passengers.
*Return flights to Stewart Island are available at a surcharge.
Please contact us for pricing for single traveller.
At times various operators on Stewart Island will not operate due to not reaching minimum numbers or operational issues. In these cases we will endeavour to find alternative activities which may not match the above itinerary. Surcharges may apply.
PAYMENTS & CONDITIONS
A non-refundable deposit of $450 per person is required at the time of booking.
The balance of the package price is required 45 days prior to your travel date. If you book inside 45 days, full payment will be required at the time of booking. Payment can be made by bank transfer.
If you cancel between 21 and 45 days 30% of your tour cost will be charged. If you cancel between 8 and 20 days prior to your tour departure you will be charged 50% of your tour cost. Cancellations within 7 days of departures will incur a 100% cancellation charge.
Terra Nova Tours recommends purchasing travel insurance, even when travelling within New Zealand.
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 Terra Nova Tours takes no responsibility for costs involved for any changes to flights that might be required due to necessary amendments in itineraries.
- Visit the museum – a real insight into the history of the island and the people that settled here
- Walk the short tracks, stroll around the bush clad streets – so much to see
- Get on a bike – push yourself or grab an electric one
- Create your own pendant out of pounamu (greenstone) with Dave at Rakiura Jade
- Watch A Local’s Tail Trailer, screening every day at 11am, 2pm & 4pm in the Bunkhouse Theatre
- Hire a kayak and explore the bays in this pristine natures playground
- Birdwatching – the Island is your paradise. Kiwi, Tui, Saddlebacks …
- Boating and Fishing – For all you water lovers – go fishing for Blue Cod, kayak the beautiful coastline or cruise the Paterson Inlet
- Aurora Hunting and winter guests – Stewart Island is an ideal place to view the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights)
- Beaches enjoy some of the most stunning beaches in New Zealand
- Lastly – if you need to get away from it all. Stewart Island is the best place to come. Arrive, relax , recover….