This is the total package for those who want to Experience the serenity, wildlife , flora and fauna first hand in comfort and LUXURY in New Zealand’s South Island.
Hear the call of the NZ songbirds Korimako & Tui echo in the forest valleys and the Kiwi by night. Be enthralled as a fantail flits about the bush at arms length. Watch the penguins march ashore in Dunedin. Regenerate in restorative thermal hot pools. Come back to a comfortable bed and superb food after a day out exploring. Experience New Zealand’s abundant natural resources with your local kiwi guide, understand the birds, wildlife, flora and fauna of “Aotearoa” explore the land and be part of protecting it all for future generations.
- Stay at some of NZ’s most stunning luxury hotels and retreats. Sampling the fresh & local Cuisine
- Keep your eyes clear for the many marine mammals that call NZ home species Seal , Dolphin and Whale.
- Hearing the call of the KIWI in the wild for the first time.
- Watch the Yellow-Eyed Penguins march ashore along Dunedin’s Coast
- Searching for glow worms and listening to the rain on an iron roof
- Taiaroa heads Royal Albatross viewing tour. Nowhere else in the world can you enjoy the privilege of viewing the world’s largest sea bird in their natural environment.
- Drive through the stunning Alpine passes the Haast and Lewis Pass, some of the most scenic passes to be found anywhere in the World
- The sacred White Heron Sanctuary in Whataro on the west coast.
- Albatross Encounter with local experts in Kaikoura getting up in close with a diverse array of seabirds in the seabord captial of the world.
South Island Comfort Tour ITINERARY
DAY 1 & 2 OVERVIEW
Kia Ora and welcome to Christchurch, where your locally based tour guide will meet you at Christchurch Airport. Enjoy some time to relax before we depart at midday in the spacious Kakariki tour vehicle, a 2015 Mercedes Tour Van. You will receive a welcome parcel on arrival.We head south, through the stunning McKenzie Country towards Lake Tekapo, where we stop for two days. Admire the snow-capped Southern Alps, glacial lakes, restore your body from travelling in the natural hot springs and gaze at the bright night sky; Tekapo is home to the biggest dark-sky reserve in the world.
On our first day, you will be guided peacefully to the shores of many magical Lakes and Streams, you will also visit the Black Stilt centre and hide. The centre runs a restoration programme and saved the Black Stilt from extinction. You will see a host of wading and wetland birds, which may include:
- NZ Shovelers / Kuruwhengi
- The rare Crested Grebe
- NZ Grey Duck
- Black-fronted Terns / Tarapirohe
- Black Stilts / Kakī – The most endangered wading bird in the world the black stilts/kakī
- The unique Wrybill
FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION
- 2 nights at Lake Tekapo’s Peppers Bluewater resort, staying in a deluxe lake view hotel room.
- The Church of the good Shepherd
- Tekapo hot springs
- Ice rink (seasonal)
- Helicopter snow landings
- Star gazing tours available
From Tekapo we make our way to the city of Dunedin, situated on the Otago Peninsula. Known as New Zealand’s wildlife capital, Dunedin and its surrounds will be our base for the next 2 days.Jutting out into the South Pacific Ocean the Otago peninsula is a rugged and picturesque spot with tall cliffs surrounding secluded coves and towering over white sand beaches.
Watch the Yellow-Eyed Penguins march ashore in the evening and the Royal Albatross glide overhead. Dolphins, Whales, Seals and other marine mammals are often seen from the peninsula.
On day 3, we head off to Taiaroa Heads for a Royal Albatross viewing tour. Nowhere else in the world can you enjoy the privilege of viewing the world’s largest sea bird in their natural environment.
- Other birds commonly encountered at Taiaroa Heads are the:
- Little Blue Penguin
- Giant Petrol
- Little Black Shag
- Eastern Bar Tailed Godwit
- Buller’s Albatross
- Many other species
As evening falls we visit the Yellow Eyed Penguin hide and get a personalised tour.You’ll get to understand their behaviour and experience their habitat with expert knowledge from a guide.
Visit the Orokonui ecosanctuary on day 4 , home of some of New Zealand’s rarest birds, reptiles and plants and the most protected forest in the South Island. We’ll take a guided walk through the native podocarp forest and if we’re lucky we may spot Kiwi, Takahe or the South Island Saddleback.
Other birds and reptiles commonly encountered at Orokonui are the:
- Brown Creeper
FOOD & ACCOMMODATION
- 2 nights accommodation on Dunedin’s waterfront at Hotel St Clair a Luxury studio suite. Food not included however superb bakeries, cafes, supermarkets, bars & restaurants meals are available close by.
OTHER LOCAL DUNEDIAN ATTRACTIONS
- Take a walk along St. Clair Beach, a vibrant, cosmopolitan esplanade right near our accommodation and just ten minutes from the city.
- Dunedin Botanic Garden and Larnach Castle Garden
- The Cadbury Chocolate Factory
- Baldwin Street – the world’s steepest street – so steep it takes about 10 minutes to walk about 350 metres!
Take in the dramatic views of Lake Wanaka, with it’s dramatic mountains surrounding crystal clear waters, Wanaka is another picturesque stop on our tour. Have a laugh with the friendly locals and enjoy the relaxed pace in this crowd-free town. Please note the guide has the afternoon off.
Home, to many water fowl birds, you may also see:
- NZ Grey Duck
- Mallard Duck
- The Crested Grebe
In the open high country, surrounding Wanaka, you may spot:
- NZ Falcon
- Harrier Hawk
- Introduced species including Finches, Redpole, Thrush and more.
FOOD & ACCOMODATION
- One night’s accommodation at the Lake Wanaka Edgewater resort in bedroom suite. Food not included however bakeries, cafes, supermarkets, bars & restaurants meals are available close by.
Wanaka is known as the world’s first lifestyle reserve. Join the locals and enjoy:
- Mountain Biking Tracks
- Ski fields
- Kayak on the lake
- Local food and wine
- Walking or Hiking
- Hunting or Trout Fishing
Lake Moeraki is a nature lovers paradise of pristine rainforest, beaches, lakes and rivers in the heart of Te Wahipounamu, New Zealand’s World Heritage area. Shaped by successive glaciers, the park’s landscape features rocky coasts, towering cliffs, deep fjords and stunningly blue aquamarine lakes and water falls.
We stay at the Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, which combines stylish accommodation with superb food and gracious hospitality. Here, we take part in a fascinating guided nature tour, which runs along the Moeraki Seacoast.
Guided Birding Tours are included. You can expect to see:
- NZ Paradise Duck
- Spotted Shag
- White fronted Tern
- Fiordland Crested Penguin
- NZ Wood Pigeon
- Grey Warbler
- Many more
FOOD & ACCOMMODATION
- One night’s accommodation at the secluded Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge in a stylish room looking out upon West Coast Rainforest. Accommodation includes a three course dinner and breakfast.
- Trout Fishing
- Glowworm caves
We travel from Lake Moeraki to the picturesque settlement of Franz Josef, nestled beneath it’s namesake, the Franz Josef Glacier. Flowing from the Southern Alps, through to the lush rainforest of Westland’s National Park, the Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded one of the most impressive sites to be found anywhere in the world. Here we spend time visiting the White Heron Sanctuary, a successful kiwi-breeding programme in Whataroa and get a magical close up encounter with our famous Kiwi in the wild at Okarito.
We get up close to New Zealand’s iconic, flightless bird, the Kiwi during the Okarito Kiwi night tour. You’ll learn how to interpret the Kiwi’s call and explore the Maori myths and legends as to why the kiwi is a ground dweller. The Okarito tour is the only night tour in the forests of South Westland.
Continuing our education about the Kiwi, we visit the West Coast Wildlife Centre. You’ll get a first hand, behind the scenes look at the hatching and incubation programme of New Zealand’s rarest Kiwi – the Okarito Kiwi.
Our stay here includes a visit to the coastal town of Okarito before kayaking through the peaceful Okarito Lagoon (boat option also available and is weather dependent). Home to New Zealand’s largest unmodified coastal wetland, you’ll be able to spot a host of wading, sea and native forest birds. And on a clear day you’ll be able to see Mount Cook and the Southern Alps.
Birds present in the lagoon include:
- Great White Heron
- Australasian Bittern
- Royal Spoonbill
- Oyster Catcher
- Caspian Tern
- Banded Rail
FOOD & ACCOMMODATION
- Two night’s accommodation at 5 Star Te Waonui Forest Resort, looking out into natural West Coast rainforest. Enjoy a bottle of sparkling wine and canapé platter on arrival. At night, sample the tasty local cuisine with a five-course dinner for two in Canopy Restaurant. Full cooked breakfast for two each morning.
- Restore weary bones with a soak in the lovely hot pools
- The Franz Josef Glacier is one of the most accessible in the world; it’s an easy short walk to the base of this magnificent natural wonder. Take a guided glacier hike, ride a quad bike, fly in a helicopter or even take a tandem skydive.
From Franz Josef, we climb more than 900m through Arthur’s Pass National Park to another of New Zealand’s alpine villages, Arthur’s Pass. This is the highest and most spectacular pass in the Southern Alps.
During the drive, you may spot a number of Kea. From the Wilderness Lodge you will have the opportunity to go on two guided bird tours , which will be led by local experts. While in this area of the Country you may see these species:
- New Zealand Falcon
- Wrybill Plover
- NZ Pipit
- More pork
- Rock Wren
- Great Spotted Kiwi
FOOD & ACCOMMODATION
- One night’s accommodation at Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge in a stylish Mountain View room looking out upon the Southern Alps. Includes an exquisite 3 course dinner and Breakfast.
Caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean, Kaikoura is a spectacular setting for our final days on tour. Snowcapped mountains dominate the vista in winter and in summer the sparkling ocean seems to stretch on forever.
World renowned for it’s wildlife encounters, whales, fur seals, dolphins and seabirds all live permanently in and around the coastal waters.
Our local experts take you out on the water for the ultimate Albatross Encounter. Get up close with a diverse array of seabirds including Albatross, Mollymorks, Penguins, Petrels, Shearwaters, Shags, Terns, Plovers, and Gulls. It’s common to see Dolphins, Seals and occasionally Whales during this boat tour, all of which have their natural habitat within a close proximity of the Kaikoura Peninsula.
At the end of our day each person will have the opportunity to leave their mark in New Zealand by planting a native tree in Kaikoura looking out over the Pacific Ocean. What better excuse to return to New Zealand in a few years time than to see how your own tree is faring!
FOOD & ACCOMMODATION
- A night’s accommodation at the 5 star White Morph (premium studio). Food not included
- Whale watching trips leave the town several times a day
- The local seal colony is always entertaining and easily accessible.
- There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops to explore.
- Swim with dolphins and fur seals with guided tours daily from town
Meals : Breakfast and afternoon tea on all days + 3 coarse dinners included on day 6,7,8,9
Transport : Private Mercedes tour vehicle!
Accommodation : 2 night’s stay at the award winning 5 Star Te Waonui Forest Resort + 2 nights at the 5star St Clair hotel + 1 nights stay at the 5 star White Morph hotel in Premium Spa room + 2 nights at 4.5 star Peppers Blue Waters resort + 2 nights at Luxury NZ Wilderness lodges + 1 nights stay at the Lake Wanaka Edgewater resort.
Included Activities : Private New Zealand local guide
Visits to the Black Stilt centre, Dunedin Royal Albortross colony, the Orokonui eco-sanctuary, Penguin Place evening guided tour, Private Fioldland Crested Penguin tour, Private Southern alps flora and fauna tour, the Okarito Kiwi night tour, Franz Josef wildlife centre , Okarito power boat or kayak trip, Kaikoura Albatross encounter on the Pacific Ocean. Many other private wonderful short walks and talks , Binoculars , walking poles and umbrellas provided.