Beyond Fiordland: Wild Islands of New Zealand

Beyond Fiordland: Wild Islands of New Zealand

Beyond Fiordland: Wild Islands of New Zealand

12 Days Starting and ending in Queenstown

Visiting: Antarctica, New Zealand

Tour operator:

World Expeditions

Tour code:

FNH1

Group size:

10 - 120

Physical rating:

Discovery and Cruising

From:
$9186
$8934 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$253

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

You won't hear much in the media about these rarely visited but majestic sub-antarctic islands which lie south of New Zealand. The 'forgotten islands' - The Snares, Auckland & Campbell Islands, have long been recognised for their rich biodiversity. UNESCO placed them in a select group of only 180 natural sites that have been designated as 'the most important and significant natural habitats' on the planet. While zodiac cruising at The Snares we hope to see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, whilst in the Auckland's we can hike through the magnificent windswept Rata forests of Enderby Island. We then head back to the winding fiords of Fiordland to travel the calm waters away from the crowds, on the lookout for marine life, elusive birds and stunning vistas. Established in 1952, Fiordland National Park is now over 1.2 million hectares in size, and encompasses mountain, lake, fiord and rainforest environments. We plan to explore some of the most unique and wild parts of Fiordland as we sail though the beautiful fiords and landscapes. We will also explore Stewart Island's Ulva Island, free of introduced pests and home to a range of birdlife. Stewart Island, New Zealand's 3rd largest island is rich in history and wildlife, we will take the time to enjoy Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara, to listen to the native bird song and take a closer look at the history of Paterson Inlet.

Highlights

  • Walk on New Zealand's rarely visited sub-antarctic islands

  • See the 'mega herbs' found only on these islands

  • Encounter amazing wildlife including various types of albatross, petrels, penguins and the rare Hooker Sea Lion

  • Visit Auckland Islands, the largest of the New Zealand and Subantarctic Islands with a rich variety of vegetation and wildlife

  • Explore islands classified by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as a world centre of floristic diversity

  • Photograph the 35 vascular plants only found in the region – and no where else in the world!

  • Cruise the remote ice-carved mountains, verdant forests and winding fiords of Fiordland

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Arrive Queenstown
Meals Included: D

Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand’s world famous alpine resort town. Guests should make their way to the designated hotel where we will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening there will be an informal get-together at the hotel for
dinner; an excellent opportunity to meet fellow adventurers on your voyage and some of our expedition team.

Day 2 : Port Of Bluff
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today we enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant and have the morning free to explore Queenstown before returning to the hotel for lunch and departing for the Port of Bluff to embark your ship. You will have time to settle into your cabin and familarise yourself with the ship; we will also take the opportunity to conduct a number of safety briefings. You are invited to join the expedition team in the Observation Lounge and up on the Observation Deck as we set our course to Campbell Island and our adventure begins. We will sail past Ruapuke Island, formerly a local Maori stronghold supporting a population of over 200 people. We will also be able to see Stewart Island. Despite appearing quite small on most maps it is really quite large and has a 700 kilometre
coastline. Seabirds that we may encounter at this early point in the voyage include: albatross, petrels, cormorants, gulls and Little Blue Penguins.

Day 3 : At Sea
Meals Included: B, L, D

As we make our way through the Southern Ocean we can expect some of the best pelagic birding on this leg of the journey with great views during the crossing which may include Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Campbell Island Albatross and Sooty Shearwater & Little Shearwater.

Day 4 : Campbell Island
Meals Included: B, L, D

We have one day to explore Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost Subantarctic territory. We will offer a number of options which will enable you to explore the island including an extended walk to Northwest Bay. There will also be an easier walk to the Col Lyall Saddle. All of these options will allow you the opportunity and time to enjoy the Southern Royal Albatross which nest here in large numbers. We also visit areas of the island which contain outstanding examples of the megaherbs for which the island is renowned. Birds we may see include Teal, Snipe, Rockhopper Penguins and Antarctic Tern.

Day 5 : Auckland Islands – Carnley Harbour
Meals Included: B, L, D

This very large sheltered harbour is rich in human history, we plan to arrive mid-morning entering the harbour through the eastern entrance which is guarded on both sides by dramatic cliffs and rugged, tussock-covered hills. Our activities here today are totally weather dependent. If the weather is fine there will be an opportunity to climb to the South West Cape and visit the Shy Mollymawk colony. Above the colony we occasionally see Gibson’s Wandering Albatross breeding. Alternatively, there will be an opportunity to Zodiac cruise along the coast of Adams Island, Western Harbour and Victoria Passage. We may visit Camp Cove, the Tagua Bay Coastwatcher’s station and lookout, or Epigwaitt where the remains of the ‘Grafton’ which was wrecked here in 1864, can be seen.

Day 6 : Auckland Islands – Enderby Island
Meals Included: B, L, D

Enderby Island is one of the most beautiful islands in this group, this northern most island in the archipelago is an outstanding wildlife and birding location and is relatively easy to land on and walk around. Our plan is to land at Sandy Bay, one of three breeding areas in the Auckland Islands for the Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion. During our day ashore there will be several walking options, and time to spend just sitting and enjoying the wildlife. Birds that we are likely to encounter include Southern Royal Albatross, Northern Giant Petrel, Auckland Island Shag, Auckland Island Flightless Teal, Auckland Island Tomtit, Bellbird, Red-crowned Parakeet, Yellow-eyed Penguin and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross.

Day 7 : The Snares – North East Island
Meals Included: B, L, D

The closest Subantarctic Islands to New Zealand, comprising of two main islands and a group of five islands called the Western Chain; they are uninhabited and enjoy the highest protection as Nature Reserves. Zodiac cruising along the sheltered eastern side of the main island we should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, Snares Island Tomtit and Fernbirds.

Day 8 : Stewart Island - Paterson Inlet/Ulva Island
Meals Included: B, L, D

New Zealand’s third island is a wonderfully tranquil place; the scenery of untouched bushland is stunning. We will explore Ulva Island which is rich in history and wildlife, being a predator-free island from 1997 the bird song and wildlife is some of the best. In Paterson Inlet you will have time at Boulder Bay and West End Beach, or just enjoy some time around Post Office Bay and Sydney Cove. Wildlife you may get to see while walking the tracks include Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island Weka, South Island Kaka, Kereru (wood pigeon), Mohua (yellowhead), Red Crowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbird and Tui. There are also many more species that may be seen. In the afternoon visit historic Norwegian whaling station in Prices Inlet and Kaipipi Bay.

Day 9 : Fiordland
Meals Included: B, L, D

This is an area rich in history, majestic scenery and abundant in wildlife. Captain Cook and his crew landed here on HMS Resolution in 1773, the first Europeans to visit Fiordland, spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Historically this region is very important and shaped the future of New Zealand. From the middle of the 19th Century this unexplored interior Fiordland coastline attracted the attention of those in search of hidden greenstone or New Zealand jade. Fiordland’s West Coast is only accessible by sea, making it the most remote region of New Zealand’s mainland, its isolation has been beneficial because its beauty remains unspoiled and its historic sites undisturbed. Waterfalls, streams, rivers and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go. A rugged terrain, the thickly forested floors are covered with ferns, lichens and mosses. Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and Little Penguins are all residents of the fiords; during our time here we will look out for them. Our schedule gives us the flexibility to visit as much as possible; areas we plan to visit during our time in Fiordland include Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sounds and Acheron Passage, Astronomer’s Point and Pickersgill Harbour. Our final plan will be determined by the weather.

Day 12 : Disembark In Invercargill
Meals Included: B

Early this morning we will arrive in the Port of Bluff. After a final breakfast and completing Custom formalities we bid farewell to our fellow voyagers and take a complimentary coach transfer to either Invercargill or Queenstown Airports. In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations we ask you not to book any onward travel until after midday from Invercargill and after 3pm from Queenstown.
Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Landings at the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    1 night hotel

  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners

  • 1 night's hotel accommodation in Queenstown twin share

  • Transfers from Queenstown to ship and vice versa

  • Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise

  • Services of expedition leaders

  • All sightseeing and shore excursions from the ship including the use of Zodiacs

  • Lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services

  • Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities

  • Pre-departure information

  • Mandatory landing fees

What's Not Included

  • Mandatory landing fees are not included, and are payable in addition to the tour/cabin cost.

  • Travel to and from start /end point of trip

  • Accommodation and meals or other services not included in the ship cruise itinerary

  • Laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as bar charges, wine and phone calls

  • Emergency evacuation charges

  • Customary end of voyage tips

Accommodation

1 night hotel
A range of cabins are available on the ship. Please ask us for more details

Grading

Although there is no commitment to extended walking on this journey, we nonetheless want to keep the ‘accent on the active’. We therefore advise that any physical training you complete before undertaking the trip will be to good effect.

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have offices on three continents which means your travelling companions will be just that – international and wonderfully eclectic. Part of small group travel means that although travellers come from various locations and backgrounds, you will be travelling with like-minded companions who, like you, are keen to share the experience and forge lifelong friendships.

  • What about environmental impact?

    We believe that adventure travel revolves around establishing a strong relationship with the people and environments in which we operate. Our responsible travel policies have been carefully developed to ensure that we minimise the impact of our presence and help to protect the regions we visit while contributing positively to the local community.

  • What should I pack?

    Your pre-departure documents include a detailed packing list with items that you need to bring. While most of the equipment for daily activities is included in your tour cost, some items like helmets and hiking boots are best brought from home. The pre-departure documents also include information on layering and recommended brands for various items to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes. World Expeditions does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on the vast majority of our trips. Our holidays are primarily on a twin share basis, so if you are joining the group as a solo traveller, we will match you with someone of your own gender. The choice is yours however; if you prefer not to share, we do offer single supplements for private occupancy.

  • Are tips included in my trip price?

    Tips are not included in the tour cost. Tipping is a personal thing, do not worry about how much, or when, to tip. Tipping guidelines are provided for certain destinations in our pre departure information upon booking, however the best advice will be provided by your tour leader.

  • Am I suited to small-group travel?

    We recognise that many of our travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. Yet what our departures provide is both structure and flexibility, allowing you plenty of freedom within the framework of the itinerary. You’ll find that with our maximum group size at 16, you’ll travel in a minimal impact style with a great group of like-minded travellers.

  • Can you advise which vaccinations are recommended?

    While our pre-departure kit provides information on vaccinations, we suggest that you consult your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist in order to get the most current advice regarding vaccination requirements.

Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Wednesday

Dec 28, 2024 - Jan 08, 2025
$9186 $8934 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$253 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    World Expeditions allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform world expeditions, 70 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    World Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of world expeditions charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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