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7 Day Southern Encounter

$3,295 pp*
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Journey deep into the heart of the stunning Fiordland National Park and board your floating hotel to discover the pristine beauty of Doubtful Sound.  If you’re lucky you’ll spot bottlenose dolphins and fur seals before continuing on to the wildlife haven, that is Stewart Island. Two nights are spent here to ensure you can enjoy the best of the islands activities including spotting a kiwi, our famous flightless bird, sea kayaking, or exploring the tranquil bush and beach settings by foot.  Your multi day adventure continues east to the wilds of the Catlins Coast, Dunedin, the Otago Peninsula and then for panoramic vistas of Mount Cook.  After a unique boat trip on The Tasman Glacier lake and afternoon tea with a kiwi family your trip concludes in Christchurch.


  • All breakfasts (excluding day 1), 6 lunches, and 1 evening meal 
  • Experienced driver/guide 
  • Transport using comfortable modern vehicle 
  • 6 nights accommodation as detailed based on a twin share basis with private bathroom facilities 
  • All hikes as indicated including National Park fees 
  • Overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound Ferry to/from Stewart Island 
  • Visit to albatross colony on Otago Peninsula 
  • Tasman Glacier Explorer boat trip 
  • Specialist guides for non-walking activities 
  • Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation 
  • NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)

Other Information


  • 7 days 


  • Please click on Prices and Dates tab 

​Indulge in the peacefulness and beauty of Doubtful Sound by having an overnight cruise. Explore the many nature walks and try spotting a Kiwi on Stewart Island. Hike through the beautiful Catlins National Park Get up close to the Otago Peninsula wildlife such as:penguins and albatrosses.

Touch and taste 500 year old glacier ice on Lake Tasman and hike the Hooker Valley Experience the real New Zealand farm life by having lunch at a sheep farm. Don’t be afraid about not being able to do the activities; our mult-activity holidays are pitched at the beginner to intermediate. This tour is great to combine with the West Coast Encounter.

Breakfast in Queenstown - From Doubtful Sound to Stewart Island - Stewart Island - Catlins conservation park - Dunedin and the Otago Penisula - Spectacular Mount Cook - Tasman Glacier


Breakfast in Queenstown

Starting with a pick up after breakfast at Queenstown, out trip travels down the lake and into rural Southland. Across the rolling plains, the trip arrives at Te Anau and the chance for a quick break, before continuing the short drive down to Lake Manapouri. Here we leave the vehicle and start the trip into Doubtful Sound, firstly by launch across the lake, and then by coach over the spectacular Wilmot Pass and finally down into the Sound. Here we board the Navigator and locate your cabin to begin the magic overnight into this zone of natural quiet. (L,D)


From Doubtful Sound to Stewart Island

The evening spent among the beech covered sound is followed by the morning spent nosing around various parts of the sound, often experiencing dolphins and seals on the shore. By midday we are back on the coach and retrace our path via Wilmot Pass and the launch. Then by coach we drive through to the southern most town of Bluff in time to catch the ferry across to Stewart Island and our most recent National Park: Rakiura NP. (B,L)


Stewart Island

With only 29kms of road, Stewart Island is special and rapidly developing the reputation for the new frontier. There is a wealth of things to do, from a visit to the wildlife on Ulva Island, hiking the local tracks, or trying your hand at sea kayaking. The day is completely unstructured and yours to pursue as you wish. (B)


Catlins conservation park

Having experienced our free day on the Island, we depart this morning again by ferry to regain the coach. Heading up the east coast we enter the Catlins conservation park with its many magical locations and experiences. The fossilised forest on the beach, beautiful hidden waterfalls and/or remote lighthouses make this a day of discovery before locating our accommodation on the beach front for the night. (B, L)


Dunedin and the Otago Penisula

Today we are Dunedin and the Otago Penisula bound which takes us through the remainder of the Catlins and onto the rural plains leading into Dunedin, student capital of NZ! Sheltering the harbour is the Otago Peninsula and at the headlands is a wildlife treat with NZ’s only mainland Albatross colony. On the way back we get to visit NZ’s only castle on the hillside above the city before settling in and enjoying the local shopping.. (B, L)


Spectacular Mount Cook

Mount Cook is spectacular and rises above the hermitage and the village nestled beneath the peaks and glaciers of the area. The 3.5 hour drive to get there is a delight as we track up the coast and then inland to the vastness of the tussock covered Mackenzie Basin and the huge glacial lakes. Once at the village we have a three hour easy hike on well formed tracks to the Hooker Glacier lake with superb mountain views. For further exploration – or as a less active alternative, the new Sir Edmund Hillary museum provides endless entertainment, – before an evening meal beneath the peaks of the southern alps. (B,L)


Tasman Glacier

Few people get the chance to get as up close and personal with a glacier and this morning we join a boat trip on the rapidly expanding terminal lake of the Tasman Glacier. The rigid hulled inflatables get us well up into the glacier and we receive a great interpretation understanding of the time we are ‘in the ice’. Back in our coach, we drive via Lake Tekapo and onto a farm lunch and a final kiwi family experience. A last sector back over the Canterbury Plains has us in Christchurch by early evening.  Here we say our goodbyes as we each head in our own direction and the tour ends. (B,L)


Tour Prices 2015/2016

Single Supplement ( extra ) NZ$790


Departure Dates 2015/2016

Nov 24th 2015 - Nov 30th 2015 Queenstown
Dec 15th 2015 - Dec 21st 2015 Queenstown
Jan 12th 2016 - Jan 18th 2016 Queenstown
Feb 9th 2016 - Feb 15th 2016 Queenstown
Mar 9th 2016 - Mar 15th 2016 Queenstown
Apr 5th 2016 - Apr 11th 2016 Queenstown


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