Christmas in Otago: The Catlins & Stewart Island

Christmas in Otago: The Catlins & Stewart Island

7 day small group Otago Christmas tour

See the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head and dine at Larnach Castle on Christmas Day, both uniquely Dunedin. In the Catlins visit Nugget Point / Tokata lighthouse, Kaka Point and Curio Bay. Fly to Stewart Island, cruise to Ulva Island bird sanctuary and enjoy local hospitality.

WHAT TRACY LOVES ABOUT THIS TOUR: There’re so many contrasts to enjoy – a traditional Christmas celebration at Larnach Castle, watching out for albatross and seals, Invercargill’s collections of wheels and relaxing into nature on Rakiura Stewart Island and enjoying southern hospitality.
  • $4,790 (NZD) pp twin
  • $5,290 (NZD) pp single

Day 1

Fly to Dunedin – Royal Albatross Colony – Olveston House

Arriving in Dunedin we drive out along the Peninsula to the Royal Albatross Colony and with our guide get close to these magnificent birds’ nesting area. Our guided tour of Olveston House, built in 1904, reveals a house of treasures untouched by time. We stay at the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross and dine in both evenings

  • Visit the world’s only mainland Albatross Colony
  • Discover hidden treasures at Olveston House

Accommodation

Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

DUNEDIN - SCENIC HOTEL SOUTHERN CROSS

Dunedin’s most prestigious hotel, the four star plus Southern Cross enjoys a premium location. 

What we love about Scenic Hotel Southern Cross – This landmark building blends Dunedin’s charm and heritage with modern day comforts.

Day 2

Dunedin – Signal Hill – Christmas dinner, Larnach Castle

We sightsee to steep Baldwin Street, Signal Hill, The Octagon and the street art murals of the Warehouse Precinct. Larnach Castle commands a spectacular position on the Peninsula. A guide shows us around the castle and there are beautiful gardens to stroll. A traditional Christmas dinner is served in the Castle Ballroom.

  • Christmas dinner at Larnach Castle
  • Tour the city’s sights – Baldwin Street and Signal Hill

Accommodation

Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

DUNEDIN - SCENIC HOTEL SOUTHERN CROSS

Dunedin’s most prestigious hotel, the four star plus Southern Cross enjoys a premium location. 

What we love about Scenic Hotel Southern Cross – This landmark building blends Dunedin’s charm and heritage with modern day comforts.

Day 3

Dunedin – The Catlins – Nugget Point / Tokata Lighthouse – Kaka Point

Leaving Dunedin for the Catlins Coast we pass through Brighton and along the Taieri Mouth Road to Taieri Beach then inland to Balclutha. The views from Nugget Point / Tokata Lighthouse are a highlight and seals bask on the rocks below. We stay nearby at Nugget View Motel.

  • Nugget Point lighthouse & lookout
  • An overnight stay at Kaka Point is a unique experience

Accommodation

Nugget View Motel

CATLINS - NUGGET VIEW MOTEL

This motel is in small coastal village in the Catlins situated in a private bush setting. It has wonderful sea views and sunrises, the song of bell birds and Nugget Point lighthouse and penguins are close by. 

What we love about the Nugget View Motel – In an isolated but beautiful location stayng at the Nugget View Motel really allows us to get off the beaten track and explore this superb region in depth.

Day 4

Kaka Point – Curio Bay – Waipapa Point - Invercargill

Enjoy beautiful Purakaunui Falls, the quirky Lost Gypsy Gallery in Papatowai and the views from Florence Point. We lunch at Niagara Falls Café then call into Porpoise Bay and the petrified forest at Curio Bay. We drive out to Waipapa Point Lighthouse and stay at the Ascot Hotel in Invercargill and dine in this evening.

  • See a 180 million year old petrified forest at Curio Bay
  • Waipapa Point Lighthouse

Accommodation

Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill

INVERCARGILL - ASCOT PARK

At Invercargill’s premier hotel, Ascot Park, relax in the indoor heated pool, enjoy a sauna or spa or stroll the beautiful gardens. 

What we love about Ascot Park – A modern and comfortable place to stay. Experience southern hospitality at one of the several onsite bars.

Day 5

Bluff - Oreti Beach - Invercargill Airport - Stewart Island/Rakiura

Head down to Bluff for a photo at the famous sign at Stirling Point. We visit Bill Richardson’s Transport World and Classic Motorcycles. Burt Monro’s Indian Scout is on show at E. Hayes & Sons and we drive to Oreti Beach where his quest for speed began and later take a 20 minute flight to Stewart Island/Rakiura to stay two nights at Bay Motel.

  • A memorable day for classic car & motorcycle lovers
  • The short but scenic flight to Stewart Island is the best way to cross Foveaux Strait

Accommodation

Bay Motel, Stewart Island

STEWART ISLAND - BAY MOTEL

There are lovely views of Half Moon Bay from this modern four star motel just above the town. There’s also the possibility a rare native bird, the Kaka, may land on your motel’s balcony. 

What we love about the Bay Motel – Proximity to the surrounding bush and listening to the native birdlife makes staying at the Bay Motel a uniquely Stewart Island experience.

Day 6

Stewart Island/Rakiura sightseeing - Ulva Island

Visit Stewart Island/Rakiura Museum Oban and the surrounding bays including the gateway to Rakiura National Park at Lee Bay. Cruise across Paterson Inlet to land at the jetty at Ulva Island bird sanctuary and with a nature guide walk the bush trails and golden sand beaches on the lookout for birdlife.

  • Our nature guide helps spot the birdlife on Ulva Island
  • Cruise the untouched waters of Paterson Inlet

Accommodation

Bay Motel, Stewart Island

STEWART ISLAND - BAY MOTEL

There are lovely views of Half Moon Bay from this modern four star motel just above the town. There’s also the possibility a rare native bird, the Kaka, may land on your motel’s balcony. 

What we love about the Bay Motel – Proximity to the surrounding bush and listening to the native birdlife makes staying at the Bay Motel a uniquely Stewart Island experience.

Day 7

Stewart Island/Rakiura - Invercargill - Mandeville – Queenstown – Return flight

We fly back to Invercargill. In Gore meet our host and curator Jim at the Hokonui Moonshine Museum to hear stories of wild times in the hills, sample a dram of whisky and see the art collection at the Eastern Southland Gallery. Aircraft from the 1920s and 30s feature at the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre. Your return flight departs from Queenstown.

  • Try a wee dram of Southland Moonshine!
  • See New Zealand’s classic aviation heritage up close

Next departures

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
21 Dec 2024 - 27 Dec 2024
$4,790 (NZD)
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24 Dec 2024 - 30 Dec 2024
$4,790 (NZD)
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General inclusions

  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
  • Services of your knowledgeable MoaTours Kiwi guide.
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”.
  • Return airfares from Auckland (please ask us about flights from other airports)

All Meals Are Included

All meals are included in the tour cost, including:

    • All Breakfasts
    • All Lunches
    • All Dinners

Included Experiences

The following activities and attractions are all included in the price of your tour:

Sightseeing & Exploring

You’ll visit all the following spots on the tour.

Please contact us if you have any questions about our tour departure dates.

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
21 Dec 2024 - 27 Dec 2024
$4,790 (NZD)
Filling up
Enquire
24 Dec 2024 - 30 Dec 2024
$4,790 (NZD)
Sorry it's full
Enquire
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