Unseen Stewart Island

Unseen Stewart Island

1 Views
8 Days From

$4551

$4346

Unseen Stewart Island

8 Days Starting and ending in Invercargill

Visiting: New Zealand

Tour operator:

World Expeditions

Tour code:

HEF1

Group size:

4 - 18

Physical rating:

Discovery and Cruising

From:
$4551
$4346 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$205

NB: Prices correct on 20-May-2024 but subject to change.

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

Tour Overview

Discover the time-forgot rawness of wildlife-rich Stewart Island/Rakiura and Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara on this exclusive 8-day voyage aboard the 18-guest expedition yacht Heritage Explorer. Described by botanist Leonard Cockayne in 1909 as being "an actual piece of the primeval world", his comment still rings true today. Just 30 kilometres from the Mainland and with more than 85% of the island dedicated National Park, New Zealand's third island combines stunning landscapes spanning towering granite cliffs to unspoiled wilderness (more than half the island is covered by podocarp and rimu, miro, kamahi and southern rata dominant forests), 700-kilometres of coastline, beaches, hidden bays and coves, with abundant wildlife, numerous conservation success stories, rich history, epic sunrises and sunsets and the rightly famous hospitality of the friendly locals. And with its Maori name, Rakiura, translating to 'the land of the glowing skies', there's also the opportunity to experience the spectacular Aurora Australis which often puts on a mesmerising show as it famously paints the southern skies.

Highlights

  • Watch for wildlife including Yellow-eyed penguins and both Hooker and New Zealand Fur Seals

  • Spend three days exploring Port Pegasus

  • Cruise the remote Lords River region

  • Bird watch with the aim of spotting Kiwi, Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island Weka, South Island Kaka, Kereru (wood pigeon), Mohua (yellowhead), Red-crowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbird and Tui.

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Meet In Invercargill And Fly To Oban

Meals Included: D

Make your way to the Invercargill airport where you will meet your fellow travellers before catching your charter flight (times will be confirmed with your voyage documents) to Oban. The Captain and Expedition Leader will be waiting to welcome you aboard Heritage Explorer at Oban and show you to your cabin as you settle into life aboard your home away from home.

Day 2 : Paterson Inlet

Meals Included: B, L, D

Awake refreshed this morning after your first night on board and enjoy breakfast among the wide open spaces and serenity of Stewart Island’s primeval landscape. Today we plan to explore Paterson Inlet, its near 100-kilometre square expanse features bush-clad bays, beaches and inlets, is studded with around 20 islands and its waters frequently visited by Bottlenose Dolphins. During our time here there will be opportunities to visit the historic Norwegian whaling station in Prices Inlet and Kaipipi Bay, where from 1923 and 1933 the Ross Sea Whaling Company of Sandefjord, Norway ran a repair base where chaser boats were serviced in preparation for the Antarctic summer, walk one of the many forest trails and explore predator-free bird sanctuary Ulva Island with our knowledgeable guides and marvel at the variety of birdlife flourishing here.

Day 3 : Port Adventure

Meals Included: B, L, D

Exploring southwards along the eastern coast of Stewart Island there are several well protected and important harbours for us to visit, with Port Adventure being the first of these we reach. Popular for fishing, hunting and diving this bay once housed a small Maori settlement who arrived from The Neck in 1843. Here opportunities could include visiting the Port Adventure Hunters Hut in the Northern Arm, Zodiac cruising the coastline and the spectacular Heron River, along with adventures ashore on foot.

Day 4 : Port Pegasus

Meals Included: B, L, D

Over the following two days we plan to leisurely expedition cruise through Dusky Sound visiting the some of the most significant historical and conservation sites in New Zealand as well as marvelling at the majestic scenery as we sail deep into the heart of Fiordland. A navigation through Acheron Passage, which separates Resolution Island from the mainland, is sure to be one of the highlights or our time in Fiordland. Predator-free Anchor Island homes half of the world’s population of Kakapo and Little Spotted Kiwi and is also the location of historic Luncheon Cove and a number of New Zealand firsts including New Zealand’s first sealing gang, the building of New Zealand’s first European homestead and first European designed ship, the 16-metre Providence built here and launched in 1795. On nearby on Pigeon Island learn the history of Richard Henry and his pioneering live transfer of birds to island refuges – an international first in wildlife conservation. While his attempts were unsuccessful due to stoats swimming over to the island, it is heartening to learn the island is now pest free and a sanctuary for native birdlife, with Henry’s vision fulfilled.

Day 7 : Lords River

Meals Included: B, L, D

Returning northwards along the shores of Stewart Island’s east coast, Heritage Explorer ventures into the sheltered waters of Lords River, the longest navigable river on Stewart Island at 8 kilometres. Considered one of the most spectacular and unspoilt areas of New Zealand and the country’s Amazon, a historic deed was signed in 1999 to protect the area’s 3,515 hectares of virgin native forest. Here we will take the opportunity to enjoy a Zodiac safari up this fascinating winding estuary with its tannin-stained water reminiscent of Fiordland as it snakes its way to the ocean from the interior of Stewart Island.

Day 8 : Disembark In Oban And Fly To Invercargill

Meals Included: B

This morning Heritage Explorer returns to Oban where, after a final breakfast and farewells, you will be transferred to the airport to catch your charter flight to Invercargill. In case of unexpected delays, we ask you not to book any onward travel from Invercargill until after midday. 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.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    7 nights aboard Heritage Explorer

  • Return charter flight from Invercargill to Oban

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners

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

  • House drinks (beer, wine, soft drinks and spirits)

  • All sightseeing and shore excursions from the boat

  • Expert on board naturalist guides

  • Pre-departure information

  • Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities

  • Mandatory landing fees

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from start /end point of trip

  • Visa, passport and vaccination charges, and airport departure taxes

  • 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 laundry and phone calls

  • Emergency evacuation charges

  • Customary end of voyage tips

Accommodation

7 nights aboard Heritage Explorer
A range of cabins are available on the boat. 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.

1 Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Saturday

Oct 05, 2024 - Oct 12, 2024
$4551 $4346

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$205

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Saturday - Saturday

Oct 12, 2024 - Oct 19, 2024
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Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$205

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Saturday - Saturday

Oct 19, 2024 - Oct 26, 2024
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Monday - Monday

Dec 30, 2024 - Jan 06, 2025
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Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$205

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Monday - Monday

Jan 06, 2025 - Jan 13, 2025
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Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$205

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Wednesday - Wednesday

Oct 01, 2025 - Oct 08, 2025
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Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$205

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Wednesday

Oct 08, 2025 - Oct 15, 2025
$4551 $4346

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$205

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Wednesday

Oct 22, 2025 - Oct 29, 2025
$4551 $4346

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$205

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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