10 Day Southern Wildlife Wander

Enjoy the charm of Stewart Island including a day tour to Ulva Island, the rugged coast & pretty woodland area of the Catlins & the southern city of Dunedin.

10 Day Southern Wildlife Wander

Visit the southern-most areas of New Zealand as you enjoy the amazing scenery on Stewart Island and the Catlins. Travel up the East Coast staying in Dunedin & Oamaru before reaching Christchurch.

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Invercargill to Christchurch
Departs: Daily
Duration: 10 days
Tour Code: SD10SW

Regions Visited

Click on the region name to view more information about the region

Invercargill, Stewart Island, The Catlins, Dunedin, Moeraki Boulders, Oamaru, Timaru, Christchurch

Tour Inclusions

  • 7 day car hire
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Superior & Premium accommodation includes breakfast
  • Ulva Island Explorer tour
  • Blue penguin entry, Oamaru

Day By Day Itinerary


Departing Invercargill, the commercial hub of Southland, start your journey to Stewart Island.

Enjoy a scenic 20 minute flight, 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.

You’ll land on the largest Island National Park in New Zealand with approximately 85% of the island reserved as Department of Conservation land.

Stay: Stewart Island


Discover Stewart Island from the water as you enjoy a leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet viewing hidden coves and unspoilt beaches.

Along the way learn about the early Maori history and European settlement including whaling. While on board, keep a lookout for fur seals, penguins and other wildlife.

Then disembark at Ulva Island, a renowned wildlife sanctuary for a 45-minute guided walk with a specialist nature guide. View rare plants and rich birdlife, including the inquisitive weka, which are often seen on the beach. Relax on board the modern catamaran and enjoy the coastal scenery before heading back to base.

Stay: Stewart Island


Stewart Island offers renowned Rakiura National Park, one of New Zealand’s premier eco-tourism destinations.

You may like to hire a scooter for the day, perhaps join a fishing charter, enjoy one of the many walks and hikes, play a round of golf on the southern most course in New Zealand, or just slip into relaxation mode and take in the natural beauty of this island paradise. Optional guided evening tours to encounter New Zealand’s nocturnal native kiwi bird are very special indeed. We can include optional extras just ask us at the time of booking.

Stay: Stewart Island


Departing Stewart Island today, enjoy the Scenic Flight back to Invercargill.

After collecting your rental car, leave Invercargill behind, meander along the impressively wild Catlins coastline. This wooded, wild coastal corner is the most unsung beauty of South Island regions.

Visit the Purakaunui Falls, cascading 20 metres in three tiers while the most amusing waterfall is the Niagara Falls which falls less than a metre.

Stay: Catlins


This morning enjoy the captivating scenery and journey to Nugget Point, you will see amazing wildlife including fur seals, Hooker’s sea lions and sea elephants as well as yellow—eyed and blue penguins and often, Hector’s dolphins playing in the waves.

Leave Southland behind and travel north into the Otago region, passing through the tranquil river town of Balclutha, memorable for its arched concrete bridge, under which flows the mighty Clutha River.

Dunedin is said to be the Edinburgh of New Zealand with its well-preserved Victorian and Edwardian heritage present throughout the city.

Stay: Dunedin

Tours of New Zealand

The Octagon in the city centre features St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery as well as a bustling array of cafes, bars and restaurants.

Otago Museum’s Discovery World is a family favourite. Explore the Otago Settlers Museum, capture the imposing Dunedin Railway Station building, visit Larnach’s Castle.

Stay: Dunedin

Moeraki, South Island Tours

Leaving Dunedin, a brief side trip to the unique Moeraki Boulders is worthwhile. Continue north to the township Oamaru which has an impressive heritage and has recently been awarded the title “Sharpest Town in New Zealand”. Many of the elegant historic buildings were made from the local sandstone. This evening we have included entry to the Blue Penguin Colony be captivated watching the nightly arrival of penguins from their days’ fishing at sea.

Stay: Oamaru


Your trip north today along the east coast takes you through the small city of Timaru with the beachside attractions of Caroline Bay, botanic gardens, an aviary and wonderful walks.

The town of Rakaia which sits on the southern side of the Rakaia River, and is the salmon capital of New Zealand’ before arriving into Christchurch. Its location between the Pacific Ocean, snow capped Southern Alps and volcanic hills of the Banks Peninsula gives Christchurch stunning landscapes and an enticing range of attractions.

Stay: Christchurch


Christchurch offers a lively range of attractions and activities, from a stroll around Hagley Park and its beautiful botanical gardens to a vintage tram or double decker bus tour of the city centre. See the transitional and innovative projects that have become popular attractions, the central city’s new retail precinct, to the ‘cardboard’ Cathedral. Other popular attractions include the International Antarctic Visitor Centre, Christchurch Gondola and punting on the river Avon.

Stay: Christchurch

Christchurch, South Island Tours

Today your day is at leisure until you drop off your rental car at Christchurch airport on departure.

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Prices valid from 1st October 2020

Accommodation Double/Twin Single Triple
Standard $1,820 NZD $3,168 NZD $1,568 NZD Enquire / Book
Superior $2,479 NZD $4,742 NZD $2,448 NZD Enquire / Book
Premium $2,724 NZD $5,210 NZD $2,713 NZD Enquire / Book
Prices are per person and in New Zealand Dollars.

Tour Type: Self Drive Tour
A Self Drive tour allows you to travel at your own pace on one of our comprehensive itineraries. Our experienced New Zealand based travel consultants have planned each itinerary to ensure practical driving times while allowing you the freedom for photo opportunities as you travel. Your accommodation and car hire is pre-booked and we are happy to include optional activities to coincide with driving times.
Frequently Asked Questions – Self Drive Tours

What is a Self Drive tour?
A Self Drive tour allows you to travel at your own pace on one of our comprehensive itineraries. Our experienced New Zealand based travel consultants have planned each itinerary to ensure practical driving times while allowing you the freedom for photo opportunities as you travel. Your accommodation and car hire is pre-booked and we are happy to include optional activities to coincide with driving times.

What is required to hire a vehicle within New Zealand?
A valid driver’s licence in English is required to hire a rental vehicle within New Zealand.  Please note drivers must be over 21 years to hire a vehicle, between 21 – 25 years a young driver surcharge is applicable. We recommend all clients have a credit card for car rental, the card number is then held for a bond. All vehicles are automatic transmission, we do not offer manual transmissions.

What is driving in New Zealand like?
We drive on the right in New Zealand, all rental vehicles are set up for right hand drive. Within the cities, roads are busy, there are motorways and highways. Once out of town most of our roads two lanes, there are some divided carriage ways, however most driving will be on 2 lane paved/sealed roads. It will take you a lot longer than you think looking at the map to get from point A to point B.

What dates do your tours depart?
Our self drive tours depart daily, driving times do vary each day so please consider this when booking departure flights.

What is included in the tour cost?
All tours include accommodation and rental car. Some tours include activities listed in the itineraries. Car hire is quoted including basic insurance, with the option to upgrade to fully comprehensive insurance.  A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers will be sent to your arrival accommodation, a comprehensive itinerary will be sent to you prior to your departure. Your personal travel consultant will contact you on arrival, allowing ease of communication whilst you are traveling.

What is not included in the tour cost?
Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, fuel, laundry and optional sightseeing (except where stated in the itinerary) are not included in the tour cost.

How many people can I include in a self-drive tour?
Our largest hire vehicle is 9 passengers and a driver. You can travel in a group, with a number of vehicles but each vehicle must have a licenced driver.

I am travelling with children, what price will I pay?
Please contact us for information on child fares, as these vary based on the specific product you require. Some sightseeing activities are unsuitable for children.

Are any meals included in the tour cost?
Our Superior and Premium tour rates include breakfast.  There are exceptions where some activities will include lunch or dinner. We are more than happy to make recommendations, please advise if there are any dietary requirements so we can recommend accordingly. .

Is Halal and other speciality food available in New Zealand? 
Along with a small population of Muslims, New Zealand has an increasing number of Muslim visitors. Halal food and restaurants are now found in many areas of the country, let us now if you require this and we will compile a list for you. We can also offer advice in regards to Vegan and other special requirements.

How will I navigate my way around New Zealand?
You will be supplied with a map in your travel wallet. If you require a GPS, this can be arranged with your car hire, if you are wishing to use your own navigational device, SIM cards can be purchased at the airport. Our comprehensive itinerary will guide you, especially with our personal touches just for you. We are only a phone call away. Most pre booked optional activities will have an informative guide giving you an insight into the activity you have chosen.

Can I add in additional days to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible – we will gladly work with you to make our tours suit your requirements. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra day rates.

What is the difference between the three tour types Quality, Superior and Premium Tours?
Standard:  Motor Lodge, apartment style accommodation, self-contained accommodation, ensuite bathrooms. Your rental car is a small compact car.
Superior: 4 star hotel accommodation, includes breakfast. Your rental car is a mid-size car.
Premium: 5 star hotel accommodation, including breakfast. Your rental car is an SUV.
Note all accommodation is reviewed regularly by staff, we have high standards and good relationships with all our providers.

What if I cannot find exactly what I am looking for on the website?
Let us know what is on your wish list to see and do and we will be delighted to plan a customised tour to suit your requirements, using our 30 years of experience. Our local knowledge will come up with many pleasant surprises for you. 

How much luggage can I take on my tour?
You can bring as much luggage as you require, we recommend 1 piece of luggage (max 25kg each), for ease of travel. We also advise you check the maximum baggage allowance with your chosen airline.

How do I make a payment for a tour?
For bookings made more than 45 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a deposit of NZ$50 per person. This deposit is non-refundable. Balance of payment is due 45 days prior to travel. For bookings made 45 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. A 2.5% Credit Card Fee applies to all payments by credit card. You may pay via direct bank transfer to avoid the credit card fee. Bank details will be on your booking advice. All prices advertised are in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive.

What is your cancellation policy?
If after your booking has been confirmed you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
Cancellations 31 or more days prior to travel: Your deposit plus a further 10% of the total package price.
Cancellations 15 – 30 days prior to travel: Deposit + a further 20% of the total package price.
Cancellations 0-14 days prior to travel: 100% of total fare (no refund).
Booking amendments made by you: an amendment fee of 10% of total package price will be charged to cover our administration and communication costs. We may also need to pass on any amendment/cancellation fees imposed by our suppliers.

Conditions of travel
Pacific Travel reserves the right to alter fares, amend itineraries, book alternative accommodation or to cancel tours. Pacific Travel Ltd shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to luggage or personal effects and/or damage resulting in death or personal injury, which may arise whilst travelling with Pacific Travel Ltd or its nominated suppliers. All transportation, both land and sea, is subject to the terms and conditions of the company providing the transport, some of which limit or exclude liability. These are available from the carriers concerned on request.

Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. Factors may arise that require you to cancel or amend your holiday. It is essential you are covered for any costs that may be incurred. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time as you book your tour and flights.

Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated, but not a requirement. It is certainly not expected, nobody will be offended should you wish to.

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
Most visitors to New Zealand do not require a visa to enter for the purpose of a holiday or vacation under the visa waiver program. If you do need a visa to visit New Zealand then you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your home country well before your departure date. We recommend you also check with your local travel agent or airline for any visa requirements to New Zealand particularly if you are passing through Australia.

What currency is used in New Zealand?
The New Zealand dollar is the only legal tender in New Zealand. View a guide between your local currency and the New Zealand dollar. Please note: Your tour and all purchases using a credit card in New Zealand will be charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) at the current exchange rate at the time of purchase. The above currency conversion page is to be used as a guide only.

10 Day Southern Wildlife Wander

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours Tour Code: SD10SW From $1,568 Per Person Departs: Daily Enjoy the charm of Stewart Island including a day tour to Ulva Island, the rugged coast & pretty woodland area of the Catlins & the southern city of Dunedin. Enquire about this tour

Where this tour will take you...