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Colours of Kaikoura

HOME / DESTINATIONS / NEW ZEALAND / 8 DAYS OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH SOUTH ISLAND

The often-overlooked towns featuring on whistle-stop tours of the South Island are home to some interesting discoveries. Visit the historic towns of Oamaru and Dunedin, which have played significant parts in shaping the country’s history and economy. Head out in search of local birdlife such as the Blue Penguins and the shy Southern Brown Kiwi, in the wild. Stewart Island is known to have a larger kiwi than human population, and meet the permanent population of sperm whales off Kaikoura. 

8 DAYS OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH SOUTH ISLAND

ITINERARY DAY-TO-DAY

1

DAY

CHRISTCHURCH / OAMARU

Drive to Oamaru. Take a walking tour of Oamaru's historic centre and learn about the important role it played in the development of New Zealand's economy.

2

DAY

OAMARU

Explore the historic towns of Ngapara and Enfield before reaching Elephant Rocks for a visit to these curious limestone formations. Visit the nearby Maori Rock Art and the Vanished World Centre where you can get to unearth fossils. Continue on a scenic drive to Moeraki Lighthouse and meet Yellow-Eyed Penguins and fur seals and the mysterious Moeraki Boulders. Back in Oamaru, visit the Blue Penguin colony, New Zealand’s largest colony of Blue Penguins.

3

DAY

OAMARU / DUNEDIN

Drive to Dunedin. Take in the sights and sounds of the Otago Peninsula and Dunedin on the back of a V8 Trike. Visit the city’s most iconic landmarks from the University of Otago to one of the world's steepest street - Baldwin Street to the historic Larnach Castle and Gardens. Join in a three-course table d’hôte dinner in the Castle Dining Room. 

4

DAY

DUNEDIN / INVERCARGILL / STEWART ISLAND

Embark on the famous Southern Scenic Route to Invercargill. Enroute, stop by the iconic Nugget Point Lighthouse, Cannibal Bay Beach for an easy walk to Purakanui Falls and visit the Lost Gypsy Gallery. Fly to Stewart Island, a birder’s paradise, filled with native and endangered species, including kiwis. Go on a wild Southern Brown Kiwi-spotting tour and if you are lucky, you might even be treated to a display of the Aurora Australis!

5

DAY

STEWART ISLAND

Go on a wildlife cruise in Paterson Inlet in search of penguins, seabirds, dolphins and seals. Take a water taxi ride to Ulva Island for an in-depth walking tour. Free of introduced predators, the island's ecology is a thriving safe haven for its flora and fauna and endemic birds. 

6

DAY

STEWART ISLAND / INVERCARGILL / CHRISTCHURCH /

KAIKOURA

Fly to Christchurch then drive to the stunning sea-side town and marine-life mecca of Kaikoura.

7

DAY

KAIKOURA

Go on a marine safari in Kaikoura's rich coastal waters and meet the permanent population of bachelor sperm whales just a few kilometers offshore. If there's time, take the afternoon swimming with dolphins or go bird watching. Enjoy Kaikoura’s atmospheric restaurants and cafes where you can sample the local specialty, crayfish, against the backdrop of the bay.

8

DAY

KAIKOURA / CHRISTCHURCH

Fly to Christchurch.

RECOMMENDED ACCOMMODATIONS

Pen-y-bryn Lodge, Oamaru
Camp Estate, Dunedin
Stewart Island Lodge, Stewart Island
Hapuku Lodge, Kaikoura
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