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Maher Escorted Tours

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour

Packed full of highlights, with plenty of inclusions, this tour is the perfect way to enjoy a hassle-free holiday season.
Beginning in Dunedin, enjoy Larnach Castle and Gardens before travelling south through the beautiful Catlins, exploring Nugget Point, Pukakauniu Falls, the Fossilised Forest as you go. Check out the incredible Bill Richardson Transport World and Classic Motorcycle Mecca, a wheeled collection that has taken nearly 50 years to amass, and travel further South to catch a flight to Rakiura Stewart Island. Smile with the wind in your hair as you enjoy a leisurely cruise and guided walk on Ulva Island and take in the sights and sounds of New Zealand's third-largest island.
After a visit to the islands head to Manapouri and relax on the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise - the dolphins might even pay us a visit! An unforgettable experience. Spend Christmas day in Queenstown and enjoy a festive cruise on the TSS Earnslaw and BBQ lunch at Walter Peak. Let us do the hard work while you sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful sights that this part of our country has to offer.

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Tour summary and feature

New Zealand escorted tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$5,350 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Queenstown

10 days/9 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 8 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes

Bill Richardson Transport World

Flight to Stewart Island

Wild Kiwi Encounter

Paterson Inlet Cruise

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

TSS Earnslaw cruise and BBQ lunch at Walter Peak high country farm, Queenstown

9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 7 dinners

Tour at a glance
Brief itinerary - Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour

Day 1: Arrive in Dunedin. Accommodation: Dunedin Leisure Lodge – A Distinction Hotel (or similar)

Day 2: Visit the Catlins. Accommodation: Ascot Park Hotel (or similar)

Day 3: Head South to Stewart Island. Accommodation: South Sea Hotel, Stewart Island (or similar)

Day 4: Settle in to Island life for a couple of days. Accommodation: South Sea Hotel, Stewart Island (or similar)

Day 5: Cruise to Ulva Island and take in the stunning scenery. Accommodation: South Sea Hotel, Stewart Island (or similar)

Day 6: Submerse yourself in nature on the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise. Accommodation: Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound

Day 7: Head north to quaint Arrowtown. Accommodation: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

Day 8: Christmas Day. Accommodation: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

Day 9: Explore Arrowtown. Accommodation: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

Day 10: Say farewell to Arrowtown.

Detailed itinerary

Tour full itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Dunedin

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour - Day 1
Home to Dunedin

A flight or coach connection to Dunedin is not included in your tour but can easily be added by one of our expert sales team. If you are struggling to coordinate this or would just rather someone else managed your booking then please get in touch for support and advice.

Meet at Dunedin Airport this morning and depart the airport at 1 pm. This afternoon, enjoy a comprehensive tour of Larnach Castle and Gardens and Olveston Historic Home before you check in to your hotel for your overnight stay.
Tonight, you will all meet for your first dinner together at the hotel.

 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Air New Zealand flight Auckland to Dunedin

Your accommodation: Dunedin Leisure Lodge – A Distinction Hotel (or similar)

Nestled in landscaped gardens, the Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge is located within two acres of beautifully kept garden, and just a short drive to the city centre.

Meals included: Dinner

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Day 2 - Visit the Catlins

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour - Day 2
Dunedin to Invercargill

Depart Dunedin this morning and travel the route through the Catlins, and onto Invercargill. See Nugget Point Lighthouse, Curio Bay, Fossilised Forest, the Lost Gypsy Caravan (if open), Purakaunui Falls, Owaka and more. Arrive in Invercargill early evening and transfer to your accommodation. This evening you will enjoy a meal together with your group.

Your accommodation: Ascot Park Hotel (or similar)

The Ascot Park Hotel is Invercargill's largest hotel. Set in park like surrounds its a great base for a visit to the southern city of Invercargill.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 3 - Head South to Stewart Island

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour - Day 3
Invercargil to Stewart Island

No visit to Invercargill is complete without visiting the Bill Richardson Transport World and Classic Motorcycle Mecca, a wheeled collection that has taken nearly 50 years to amass. Starting out as one man's passion and further developed by his family, it now includes two world-class automotive museums which house hundreds of classic cars, vintage trucks and motorcycles. Enjoy a tour this morning, followed by free time for exploration.
After lunch, make your way to Invercargill Airport where you join your mid-afternoon flight to Stewart Island. Check into your hotel and enjoy dinner together this evening.

Your accommodation: South Sea Hotel, Stewart Island (or similar)

The South Sea hotel offers hotel and motel style accommodation in the heart of Halfmoon Bay and the onsite restaurant is a great place to try the local seafood.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 4 - Settle in to Island life for a couple of days

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour - Day 4
Explore Stewart Island

You'll have a full day to enjoy this natural wonderland. Over 85% of the island is National Park and is a prime destination for birdwatchers and those wishing to catch a glimpse of the famous Aurora Australis which often appears in these southern skies. Enjoy a day tour of the island, encompassing the history and beauty of the area. Gain an entertaining insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community and learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island. At the conclusion of the tour, the afternoon is free - don’t forget to try the world-famous fish and chips for lunch! Tonight, after an early dinner in town, join the Wild Kiwi Encounter for cruise and then walk to a wide sandy beach where Southern brown kiwi (Rakiura Tokoeka) are often found feeding among the grasses and seaweed.

Your accommodation: South Sea Hotel, Stewart Island (or similar)

The South Sea hotel offers hotel and motel style accommodation in the heart of Halfmoon Bay and the onsite restaurant is a great place to try the local seafood.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 5 - Cruise to Ulva Island and take in the stunning scenery

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour - Day 5
Explore Stewart Island

A leisurely start to the day, after your late-night activity yesterday. At midday, discover Stewart Island from the water on a leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet and a guided walk in Ulva Island Wildlife Sanctuary. The cruise will showcase some of Paterson Inlet's stunning scenery with its hidden coves and unspoiled beaches. You'll hear fascinating stories of early Māori history and European settlement from our guide as you pass various landmarks. While onboard, keep a lookout for fur seals and penguins - there are many of them around this area. Paterson Inlet is home to a renowned wildlife sanctuary, Ulva Island, and you’ll stop there for a 45-minute guided walk. The island is home to weka (native woodhen), bush robins, rare saddlebacks, and yellowheads amongst other species. It is also a protected habitat for some of New Zealand's rarest plant species. A regular highlight is to encounter inquisitive weka on the beach. For the remainder of the cruise around Paterson Inlet, relax onboard the modern catamaran and enjoy the coastal scenery before heading back to base.
The rest of the day is yours to spend at your leisure.

Your accommodation: South Sea Hotel, Stewart Island (or similar)

The South Sea hotel offers hotel and motel style accommodation in the heart of Halfmoon Bay and the onsite restaurant is a great place to try the local seafood.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 6 - Submerse yourself in nature on the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour - Day 6
Stewart Island - Manapouri (Doubtful Overnight Cruise)

This morning you depart Stewart Island by ferry. On arrival in Bluff, you rejoin your coach and travel through Lake Manapōuri, where you will join your cruise. Originally called Roto-au (the rainy lake) by early Māori and then Moturau (many islands), this lake is the second deepest in New Zealand with a circumference of 170kms and a deepest point of 444 metres. At midday, board the Real Journey's Doubtful Sound overnight cruise. As you cruise through some of New Zealand's most stunning scenery, knowledgeable nature guides will provide commentary ensuring you miss nothing - be it the pod of resident dolphins, fur seals or rare penguins you might encounter. An unforgettable experience.
After dropping anchor in a sheltered cove, tour members can choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender boat - or to simply relax onboard

Your accommodation: Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound

The Fiordland Navigator is purpose built for cruising in the fiords. The vessel offers spacious viewing decks, a comfortable dining saloon and observation lounge.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 7 - Head north to quaint Arrowtown

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour - Day 7
Manapouri to Arrowtown

After a hearty cooked breakfast, spend the morning exploring other parts of the fiord, before returning to Manapōuri and disembarking. Rejoin the coach in Manapōuri and continue your drive, arriving in Arrowtown late afternoon. Home for the next three nights is the stunningly beautiful Millbrook resort. Enjoy dinner together at the resort this evening.

Your accommodation: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

This 175 room boutique hotel is situated on 500 acres of golf course and grounds. Surrounded by mountains the resort offers everything you need but is also close enough to Arrowtown and Queenstown to enjoy the region to its fullest.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 8 - Christmas Day

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour - Day 8
A day in Queenstown

Merry Christmas!
At midday, today set off on a cruise aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw across to Walter Peak High Country Farm (approx. 45-minutes) for a special BBQ Christmas lunch. Once at the lakeside Colonel's Homestead Restaurant, savour the delicious aromas as the chef has the best of local produce sizzling away on the grill. Overlooking Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown's alpine scenery, the Colonel's Homestead at Walter Peak High Country Farm is the perfect place to spend a few hours. Its colonial architecture and sweeping grounds evoke the elegance of a bygone era. An entertaining farm demonstration is also included, or you can explore the beautiful lakeside gardens. After return to Millbrook in the afternoon and the rest of the day is at leisure.

Your accommodation: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

This 175 room boutique hotel is situated on 500 acres of golf course and grounds. Surrounded by mountains the resort offers everything you need but is also close enough to Arrowtown and Queenstown to enjoy the region to its fullest.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 9 - Explore Arrowtown

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour - Day 9
Arrowtown/Queenstown

A full day at leisure today, with plenty of options available. On-site at the resort, there is golf of course, wine tasting, spa options or just relax and enjoy the views up to Coronet Peak. You may also make use of the complimentary shuttle into Arrowtown for a wander around the shops. Alternatively, there will be a coach transfer from Millbrook Resort into Queenstown, with a return pick-up in the afternoon, should any tour members wish to head into town to do a bit of shopping or explore the many galleries, cafes etc. This evening, enjoy your final dinner together.

Your accommodation: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

This 175 room boutique hotel is situated on 500 acres of golf course and grounds. Surrounded by mountains the resort offers everything you need but is also close enough to Arrowtown and Queenstown to enjoy the region to its fullest.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 10 - Say farewell to Arrowtown

Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour - Day 10
Departing Arrowtown

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Bid your fellow tour members farewell today as you transfer to Queenstown airport to join your flight home.

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All scheduled departure dates & prices for this tour : Maher Excorted Tours - South Island Christmas Tour
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Starts Status Twin or Double (2 people sharing) Twin/Double (2 people sharing) Single occupancy You save  
Dec 18, 2021
(Saturday)
NZD$5,350
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NZD$7,000
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