NZ nature small group tour Stewart-Island-Southland-Venture-Southland

New Zealand Small Group Tour, Nature Explorer 12 / 14 days

£6,925.00

A Small Group Nature Adventure amidst the Scenic Splendours of the South Island of New Zealand.

Amongst travellers who appreciate spectacular natural settings, New Zealand is legendary. We focus on the South Island, whose rugged coastline contains a land of topographic extremes, from seaside rain forests and volcano craters to jagged peaks, active glaciers and icy fjords. On this dramatic itinerary, we are immersed in nature at its showiest. Within the diverse landscapes we explore, we find intriguing and rare creatures such as Fiordland crested penguins and brown kiwis. We also experience the human side of New Zealand, equally renowned.

A New Zealand Small Group “Nature Adventure”, set amidst the Scenic Splendours of the South Island.

Amongst travellers who appreciate spectacular natural settings, New Zealand is legendary. We focus on the South Island, whose rugged coastline contains a land of topographic extremes, from seaside rain forests and volcano craters to jagged peaks, active glaciers and icy fjords. On this dramatic itinerary, we are immersed in nature at its showiest. Within the diverse landscapes we explore, we find intriguing and rare creatures such as Fiordland crested penguins and brown kiwis. We also experience the human side of New Zealand, equally renowned.

We’ll meet sheep farmers; learn about Maori culture, and find a bit of Scottish heritage in the South Pacific.

The South Island of New Zealand is vast and varied, and we attempt to take in as much of this beautiful land as possible without rushing, from mountain passes to ocean fjords (some long drives are involved). Our Expedition Leader knows the land and its flora and fauna intimately as well as its less-visited sites.

Group Size Limit: Approximately 12 Travellers in a private mini-coach. A very important feature of our New Zealand ecotourism expedition is the limited group size.

Image: Stewart Island © Venture Southland

Highlights

  • Cruise the fjords of Milford Sound, where mists weave through glacial valleys and waterfalls pour from vertical peaks above
  • Fly by Small Plane to Stewart Island to Look for Unique Wildlife
  • Enjoy an exclusive stay on wild, rarely visited Stewart Island, where our Expedition Leaders guide us in search of the famed endemic flightless brown kiwi. This island is also a breeding and nesting site for one of the world’s rarest birds: the Fiordland crested penguin.
  • Just minutes from Stewart Island lies the wild world of Ulva Island, a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds such as the yellow-eyed penguin. Here, we explore pristine trails and beaches, observing bird species that no longer exist on the main islands.
  • From secluded wilderness eco-lodges, search for wildlife on guided rain forest hikes, paddle a mountain lake, and stargaze under some of the darkest skies on Earth
  • Visit a Working Sheep Farm. We visit an authentic working sheep farm to learn from our hosts about the roles these animals have played in the country’s history and about the significance they hold in the present.
  • Small Chartered Boats for Private Wildlife Viewing
  • Cruise on several privately chartered small boats for a quiet, intimate experience of nature.
  • Stay in Nature’s Most Dramatic Locations: from simple to luxurious, all of our lodgings place us in the most striking natural places New Zealand has to offer. Sleep in a lodge tucked naturally into an open forest clearing, run by a family that traces its farming roots back to 1860. On the shores of Lake Wanaka, enjoy spectacular views of the lake and the magnificent Southern Alps. In every case, accommodations on this small group nature tour are chosen for their authenticity, history, atmosphere and proximity to nature.
  • Our guides average 15 years of experience and training, with additional resources and access to WWF’s top scientists. On this trip, you’ll also have the advantage of a native New Zealander as your guide, for a truly personalized interpretative experience.

Included

Accommodations, meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on final day, bottled water, services of Expedition Leader, local guides and lodge staff, most gratuities, airport transfers on Day 1 and final day, permits and entrance fees, all taxes.

Not Included

Travel to and from start and end point of trip, alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees, optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes, optional travel insurance.

Physical Requirements: Moderate

This trip involves several walks of approximately 1-2 miles each but can include longer hikes for those who desire. Many days involve long drives on winding roads over mountain passes at altitudes as high as 6,000 feet. We spend significant time on boats out on the open sea, where conditions may be rough. Guests prone to motion sickness may wish to take precautions. A night time kiwi-spotting walk will involve a boat ride followed by an approximately 1-mile night hike over slippery, uneven terrain with some steep inclines. Guests are advised to bring head lamps, with sufficient batteries, to illuminate the trail before them. Depending on how much time it takes to locate these elusive birds, it is possible that we will be walking in the dark for several hours.

Getting There & Getting Home

Please note that this trip begins and ends in two different cities. Arrive in Christchurch in time for a 7 pm orientation at the Hotel Montreal. For those travellers who wish to participate in the optional Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Canterbury Museum tour, plan to arrive in Christchurch no later than 1:30 pm on Day 1. You may depart Dunedin any time on the final day.

Additional information

Destination

New Zealand