The Deep South
Often forgotten about and completely underrated is the spectacular South Eastern corner of New Zealand. Oamaru, Dunedin, The Catlins, Invercargill and Stewart Island – a bucket list for people who always say they want to get there one day. Well the time has come! View penguins that come ashore to their nests for the night, wander through New Zealand’s only castle, walk to incredible waterfalls and meet the fascinating people that call the remote Stewart Island home. This is a trip that will make you truly appreciate New Zealand’s natural beauty.
Pen-y-bryn Lodge (1 night)
Pen-y-bryn Lodge is a small boutique hotel offering lodge-style accommodation furnished with elegant antiques. The spacious Drawing Room with its welcoming fireplace entices guests to settle into one of the comfortable sofas to relax. With views over the Pacific Ocean enjoy pre-dinner drinks or relax in the separate guest Library housing a large selection of books, all of which are available to guests during their stay. A Baby grand piano is available for guests to you, or the large Billiard Room, complete with a full sized competition table. Five elegant guestrooms, each with its personalised name and character, have been appointed to the highest standard.
Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony Premium Evening Viewing
The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony provides you with an opportunity to see Little Blue Penguins (Eudyptula minor) or Kororā (its Māori name), the world's smallest penguins, in their natural environment.
You will be captivated by the arrival of the penguins from their days’ fishing at sea, watching from only a few metres away from your premium grandstand seating. You will be informed about the lives of the penguins during a commentary delivered by one of the guides. Be sure to spot the penguins in their nesting burrows when you walk the boardwalk back from the grandstand after their arrival.
Larnach Lodge (2 nights)
Larnach Lodge is a purpose built lodge within the grounds of Larnach Castle. Being built beside the original historic Stables and over the foundations of old farm buildings, Larnach Lodge was designed as a re-creation of a colonial farm building, positioned with spectacular harbour, ocean and peninsula views. Twelve themed rooms, encapsulating the historic Larnach Castle setting.
Peninsula Wildlife Tour
The incredible wildlife is one of the main attractions of the Otago Peninsula.
Your knowledgeable guide delivers commentary of activity being viewed and you will visit isolated places inaccessible to others providing the best possible viewing of unique peninsula wildlife. The private conservation area ensures exclusivity with brilliant opportunities to photograph Hooker's Sea lions, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins, a breeding colony of New Zealand Fur Seals and other sea bird colonies. At Taiaroa head from a cliff face watch and observe Royal Albatross flying about the headland and to and fro from the ocean. A further 25-30 other estuarine and marine bird species are seen during the experience around the bays and lagoons.
Walking is required to access the private conservation area where Hookers Sea lions, NZ Fur seal breeding colony and Yellow eyed Penguins are located. The walk requires basic fitness as the terrain is hilly farm land, sandy beaches and stairways provide access the viewing hides. Please wear comfortable footwear.
The Lodges at Transport World (1 night)
Boasting supreme comfort, a stay at The Lodges at Transport World is like coming home – but better. If you are looking for luxury accommodation in Invercargill, the seven boutique apartments at The Lodges provide a stylish sanctuary and each apartment is full of thoughtful touches. The Lodges is the only Invercargill accommodation provider to have been given a Gold Qualmark rating from Tourism New Zealand. This means the experience you will receive during your stay here is among the best in the country.
Invercargill to Stewart Island Flight
Departing from Invercargill Airport join your small plane to Stewart Island. The flight itself only takes 20 minutes, taking you past world record holder Burt Munro's test track, Oreti Beach and mainland New Zealand's southern most town, Bluff and Foveaux Strait, where the world famous Bluff Oysters are harvested. Finally you'll land on the largest island National Park in New Zealand with approximately 85% of the island reserved as Department of Conservation land.
Sails Ashore (2 nights)
Sails Ashore is a boutique bed & breakfast situated in private gardens - a home away from home for your Island experience. The internal decor features extensive use of native Rimu timber, much of it salvaged from old logs, long sunk in a West Coast lake. Muted colours, original art and the best of fittings makes for a casual elegance. The two guest suites open directly onto the sun and dining room, with views over the garden, village and wharf to the open sea beyond.
Ulva Island Guided Walk
Included in your stay at Sails Ashore, is a guided Ulva Island Tour. Your guides will be either Peter or Iris, sometimes both will guide.
Ulva Island is now free of introduced animals and is fast becoming a glimpse into New Zealand's ancient past. Several species of threatened birds have been reintroduced to this open sanctuary and are doing very well. In addition the forest is flourishing without the influence of rats and deer.
Peter’s duties as Forest Ranger many years ago included overseeing and managing Ulva Island. He was involved with some projects that are now an integral part of Ulva Island management. Iris's long involvement was recognised when she was appointed a foundation Trustee of Ulva Island.