Stewart Island Discovery Expedition
Discover New Zealand’s third and southernmost island – Stewart Island. Each day will bring something new – rambles along deserted beaches, wildlife encounters, kayaking, guided walks through lush rainforest, cruises in the stabicraft, or, if you prefer, the opportunity to relax on deck amidst the sensations, scenes and moods that is the island. Following your voyage from Bluff, you’ll explore Stewart Island’s eastern shoreline, including the renowned wildlife sanctuary of Ulva Island.
Thursday 23 July 2020 – Thursday 30 July 2020 (8 Days)
Day 1 – Thursday 23 July 2020 HOME CITIES TO INVERCARGILL (D)
Today you fly from Auckland to Invercargill (via Christchurch). You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for your overnight stay before commencing your Stewart Island Expedition Cruise tomorrow. Dinner tonight will be included at your hotel.
Accommodation: Kelvin Hotel, Invercargill
Day 2 – Friday 24 July 2020 Bluff To Port Adventure (BLD)
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the Bluff Ferry Terminal. Take the express catamaran across Foveaux Strait – from Bluff to Halfmoon Bay, where you will board the Milford Wanderer. Designed along the lines of a traditional New Zealand coastal trading scow to reflect Fiordland’s heritage, the Milford Wanderer has been purpose-built to accommodate passengers in comfortable twin-share cabins with shared bathroom facilities. The galley is well provisioned and all meals are catered; including morning and afternoon teas. Your first stop on board the Milford Wanderer is Port Adventure. Port Adventure is where Oysters were first harvested commercially in the 1800s. Finish the day with an afternoon beach and/or forest walk.
Accommodation: Onboard Milford Wanderer – 5 nights
Day 3 – Saturday 25 July 2020 Port Adventure to Port Pegasus (BLD)
Today you have a three hour morning sea passage to Port Pegasus. Port Pegasus is one of New Zealand’s largest rock-walled inlets with virgin podocarp forest right down to sea level and stunning granite domes shaped by the forces of nature. Time for kayaking and/or a walk to the lookout above Evening Cove.
Day 4 – Sunday 26 July 2020 Port Pegasus (BLD)
Activities around Port Pegasus including a morning walk up the impressive granite peak of Bald Cone and a walk to Broad Bay or Small Craft Harbour in the afternoon. Port Pegasus was the site of a small fishing community. There was also a small tin-mining boom in the area in the 1890s. Today, there is no settlement at Port Pegasus, but the location is frequented by tourists, fishermen, hunters, and divers.
Day 5 – Monday 27 July 2020 Port Pegasus to Paterson Inlet (BLD)
Visit the old 1800s fishing base at North Pegasus and the Belltopper Falls, then a four-hour sea passage to Paterson Inlet in the afternoon. Paterson Inlet’s coastline has a number of small bays some of which are hidden, a variety of beaches and smaller inlets. Other than at the northeastern corner surrounding Oban Village, there is little if any visible evidence of man.
Day 6 – Tuesday 28 July 2020 Paterson Inlet (BLD)
Spend the morning on the Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary – the ultimate for bird watchers. The island is free of predators and is a haven for plants and native birds, some of which are almost tame. Since 2000, four species of birds have been released on Ulva Island including rare South Island Saddleback, Yellowhead and the threatened Stewart Island Robin. Among other species which may be seen here are the Weka, Tui, Robins, the Spotted Shag, the Brown Creeper and the Kiwi. In the afternoon visit the historic Norwegian Whaling Station in Prices Inlet. The station was set up in 1926 as a repair site for whaling operations in Antarctica’s Ross Sea and operated until 1932. Vessels that docked there would sail to Antarctica to catch whales, before taking the carcasses to factory ships to be processed. It was a small part of the worldwide network of whaling bases run by Norwegian companies and featured repair sheds, a bunkhouse, a cookhouse and a slipway.
Day 7 – Wednesday 29 July 2020 Paterson Inlet to Bluff (BLD)
This morning you can disembark the Milford Wanderer and enjoy a morning walk from Golden Bay across to Halfmoon Bay and Oban township. For those not wishing to walk you can remain on the Milford Wanderer to Oban. You then board the express catamaran to Bluff in the afternoon, before being transferred to Invercargill for your overnight stay. Dinner tonight will be at your hotel.
Accommodation: Kelvin Hotel, Invercargill
Day 8 – Thursday 30 July 2020 Invercargill to Home Cities (B)
This morning you will be transferred to Invercargill Airport for the commencement of your journey to your home destination.
About the Cruise:
Ancient rainforests, sandy beaches and deep, clear blue seas make Stewart Island a place of rare beauty and solitude. Combined with a temperate climate and lack of introduced predators, it is a haven for wildlife.
Discover New Zealand’s third and southernmost island – Stewart Island. Each day will bring something new – rambles along deserted beaches, wildlife encounters, kayaking, guided walks through lush rainforest, cruises in the stagecraft, or if you prefer, the opportunity to relax on the deck amidst the sensations, scenes and moods that is the island. Following your voyage from Bluff, you’ll explore Stewart Island’s eastern shoreline, including the renowned wildlife sanctuary of Ulva Island.
Please note the vessel has steep stairs & high sills on all doorways therefore is not suitable for those with limited mobility.