Hosted Tour - 11 Days departing Invercargill 23rd December 2020
Spend Christmas and New Year in the company of your fellow travel companions and our experienced tour host Colleen Doyle.
Starting in Invercargill, fly to beautiful Stewart Island, a natural world of bush and beaches for a special Christmas amongst nature. Explore Ulva Island, an open sanctuary and New Zealand at its most pristine. A place of natural primeval beauty, where the sounds of ancient birdsong can be heard. Venture out one evening to spot our much loved and iconic Kiwi in the wild. Depart Stewart Island on your flight back to Invercargill and continue on to the tranquil shores of Lake Te Anau to explore Milford Sound by cruise. The last stop on our journey is Queenstown for a cruise on the historic TSS Earnslaw, wine tasting on the Kawarau Valley and a special New Year highlight dinner to celebrate 2021!
Day 1: Invercargill (D)
Welcome to Invercargill. On arrival at Invercargill airport you will be transferred to your centrally located hotel. This evening join your fellow travel companions and tour host Colleen Doyle for a welcome drink and tour briefing, followed by dinner.
Day 2: Invercargill – Stewart Island (BD)
Today after breakfast transfer to the Bill Richardson Museum at Transport World, a family legacy that has become the largest private automotive museum of its type in the world. Outside of the extraordinary vehicle range, which includes retro Kombis, Henry Ford Letter Cars and Model T’s, is a “Ladies be wowed” section. View the captivating ever-growing show piece of Wearable Arts, in addition to pieces from Southlands annual Fibre Octave Wearable Art and Musical Extravaganza. The time is yours at the Museum, so there is the opportunity to view what appeals to you in displays which cover over 15,000 sqm. Later this morning transfer to Invercargill Airport to join your late morning flight to Stewart Island. Upon arrival on Stewart Island embark on an afternoon orientation tour to take in the beautiful sights and sounds of this special Island. This evening dinner is at the local hotel.
Day 3: Stewart Island (BL)
This morning dawn will break on a special day amidst the pristine nature of Stewart Island for a very different Christmas experience. Start the day with a leisurely breakfast. Then share in some “hands on” camaraderie, in assisting and preparing a local Christmas lunch, with tour host Colleen, also a professional caterer. (Stewart Island’s only hotel is closed today). There will be time for a few laughs and fun. Later sit down to share lunch on this special day. In the usual Christmas tradition, dinner will be left overs!
Day 4: Stewart Island (BD)
After breakfast stroll leisurely to Half Moon Bay Wharf to join your water taxi to Ulva Island to meet your local guide. This open sanctuary is New Zealand at its most pristine; a place of natural primeval beauty, where the sounds of ancient birdsong can be heard. It is one of the few predator-free open sanctuaries in New Zealand and the well-maintained walking tracks provide easy access to diverse birdlife, lush forest and beautiful beaches. Upon returning to Oban the afternoon is at leisure. This evening join your Night Kiwi Experience to see Kiwi’s in the wild on your last night on Stewart Island. The Rakiura (Stewart Island) Tokoeka is one of five species of kiwi in New Zealand and Stewart Island offers one of the best opportunities to see this iconic bird in the wild. Dinner this evening is included.
Day 5: Stewart Island - Te Anau (BD)
After breakfast at the hotel you will transfer to the airport for the short flight back to Invercargill. Continue onto Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. This afternoon is at leisure and Te Anau has countless optional activities to partake in. A thrilling Jet boat ride, visit the Glow-worm caves or simply relax with a stroll along the shores of tranquil Lake Te Anau.
Day 6: Te Anau – Milford Sound – Te Anau (BLD)
Today drive along one of the most scenic roads in the world into the majestic Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound for a highlight cruise. Your journey today includes up to 12 stops to take in the stunning scenery along the way, a picnic lunch and a cruise of Milford Sound glimpsing Mitre Peak before returning you to your accommodation.
Day 7: Te Anau – Queenstown(B)
After a leisurely breakfast visit the historic goldmining village of Arrowtown on the way to your final destination of Queenstown. This afternoon and evening are at leisure for your to chose one of the many optional activities on offer. Walk along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, explore the art galleries, or take in the spectacular view with a ride on the gondola.
Day 8: Queenstown (BD)
After breakfast the morning is at leisure until your afternoon Wine Tour. Visit 3 wineries and savour the local quality wines with tastings in the majestic Kawarau Valley. Visit an underground wine cave with time for optional cheese, or craft beer tasting. This evening dinner is included at a local restaurant.
Day 9: Queenstown (BD)
After breakfast, board the TSS Earnslaw, a historic 107-year-old vintage steamship, for a 45 minute cruise on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. On arrival at Walter Peak disembark and join a guided farm walk to view the animals at Walter Peak High Country Farm followed by a delicious freshly baked morning tea. Return to Steamer Wharf in Queenstown Bay for an afternoon at leisure, before your New Year’s Eve highlight dinner at Blue Kanu Restaurant.
Day 10: Queenstown (BD)
After your New Year’s Eve celebrations, you have a full day at leisure today. The day is yours to be as relaxing or adventurous as you like. Choose one of the many optional activities such as a thrilling jet boat ride, a walk on one of the many trails in the area, or relax on the beach. This evening meet your fellow travel companions for a farewell dinner and drink at a local restaurant.
Days 11: Queenstown (B)
Today you will be transferred to Queenstown Airport in time for your departure flight home.
- Tour Host Colleen Doyle, ex Invercargill
- Invercargill Airport to hotel arrival transfer
- Welcome tour briefing and dinner
- Daily breakfasts
- Stewart Island Airport to Hotel Return Transfers
- Queenstown Hotel to Airport Transfer
- Ten nights in excellent centrally located accommodation including Breakfast Daily (B)
- Transfers in Invercargill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau – Queenstown, and in Queenstown
- Meals as stipulated in Itinerary include 8 x Dinners, 2 x Lunches
- Sightseeing includes
- Return Stewart Island Flights
- Bill Richardsons Transport World
- Stewart Island orientation tour
- Ulva Island ferry and guided walking tour
- Night Kiwi Experience
- Milford Sound Transport (seat in coach)
- Milford Sound Cruise with picnic lunch
- Queenstown Wine Tour
- TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Walter Peak with morning tea
- Farewell dinner and drink
- Departure transfer to Queenstown Airport
- Domestic flights
- Additional /Optional Tour Costs
- Hotel Mini Bar and personal expenses
- Any Sightseeing/Meals not stated in Itinerary.
Accommodation based on the below or similar
Kelvin Hotel (1 Night)
Bay Motel (3 Nights)
Distinction Luxmore Hotel Te Anau (2 Nights)
Copthorne Hotel Queenstown Lakefront (4 Nights)
Tour conditions & payments:To secure your space $500 per person plus fully completed and signed booking form. 20 October 2020 Final Payment dueCancellation fees will apply: After deposit until 19 Oct 2020 Loss of deposit20 October - 1 Nov 25%2 Nov - 20 Nov - 50 %21 Nov - Departure 100%A Tour registration form must be signed and returned to The Travel Companions.Club. Innovative Travel will acknowledge your registration form and request a deposit within one week of confirmation. Bookings may be made via your preferred travel agent or travel broker. The tour registration form may be returned by your nominated travel agent.The tour is subject to the general conditions of Ancient Kingdoms Holidays.
The tour is subject to a minimum of 10 participants and the price will increase if less than 10 travelling.
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.