Learn about New Zealand's South Island's stunning shoreline and abundant marine life as you sail to Murihiku's deep and secluded fiords aboard Coral Adventurer (Southland). As you make your way through New Zealand's eastern towns, be treated to an abundance of wildlife, including numerous bird species. See fur seals, kakapos, friendly dolphins, and other wildlife in their natural habitats, and visit protected coves and islands in the Marlborough Sounds or Fiordland.
Enjoy endemic birdwatching in Rakiura (Stewart Island).
Discover Fiordland’s four most beautiful sounds.
Observe the wildlife and history of unforgettable Southland.
Encounter many species of endemic birds and marine wildlife.
Transfer by coach from Queenstown, and journey through the glorious landscape of Southland to board Coral Adventurer in Milford Sound at 3:00 pm. This afternoon, cruise Milford Sound / Piopiotahi to a world-famous view of Mitre Peak, rising some 1682 metres. Its triangular silhouette rises opposite beautiful Stirling Falls, falling from the top of a 162m high cliff between two towering ridges into the inky dark water. You may have a chance to feel the spray from the waterfall – according to Maori legend, it will make you ten years younger! The steep overhanging cliffs are awe-inspiring as we cruise to Harrison Cove, where an ancient glacier entered the fiord, and visit Bowen Falls.
Fiordland National Park is part of UNESCO World Heritage listed Southland. Carved by ancient glaciers, the fiords’ sheer cliffs and steep ridges are cloaked with rainforest and cascading waterfalls. These mostly inaccessible and awe-inspiring landscapes were the mysterious source of powerful pounamu (New Zealand jade), gathered by Maori from secret riverbeds. Enter Fiordland National Park at dramatic Tamatea / Dusky Sound, and cruise among towering cliffs and sheet granite walls to explore the depths of the inlets in the zodiac, spotting Fiordland penguins and fur seals. Later, trace Acheron Passage to Te Puaitaha / Breaksea Sound, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes on all sides. Enter Doubtful Sound / Patea, the deepest and widest fiord, to marvel at its compelling stillness.
The Otago Peninsula is an area of exceptional diversity, and as we enter the long Otago Harbour, we will be welcomed with sights of the world’s only mainland breeding colony of northern royal albatross and a colony of yellow-eyed penguin – the world’s rarest penguin – as well as Hookers sea lions. and various other unique species.
You will have time to explore the city at your own leisure: perhaps visit the famous Speight’s Brewery, art gallery, museum, and New Zealand’s oldest botanic gardens. There will also be a choice of included excursions with local operators – choose between a coach tour of the Otago Peninsula’s most scenic beaches and Dunedin’s highlights, or a railway journey through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge.
Apart from the communities on the island, many people never venture to remote Stewart Island. Nearby Ulva Island is also found within the Rakiura National Park, offering a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds including South Island Saddleback, Stewart Island Weka, New Zealand Pigeon/Kereru, South Island Kaka, Yellow- and Red-crowned Parakeet (Kakariki), Morepork, Rifleman (New Zealand’s smallest bird), New Zealand Fantail, South Island Tomtit, Stewart Island Robin, Yellowhead (Mohoua), Brown Creeper, Grey Warbler, New Zealand Bellbird and Tui. A guided walk will provide the opportunity to spot a vast array of birdlife and hopefully a few fur seals lazing on the shore during the tour. There will be free time to explore the village of Oban, and a guided Xplorer cruise to Prices Point Whaling Station will unveil the history of the region
Sail into the long harbour of Akaroa, formed by the breached volcanic crater that makes up the Banks Peninsula. The village of Akaroa has the unique identity of being the only French settlement in New Zealand, and its charming cottages and French street names still carry that identity today.
Ringed by the pastoral rolling hills of the Peninsula, the scenic village was once a bustling whaling outpost. Here enjoy a harbour cruise with a local operator to spot marine wildlife. Guests will also have free time to explore the scenic village, and visit cafes inspired by French cuisine. A variety of short walks are available into the surrounding nature reserves, guided by our expedition team.
Ringed by a breathtaking snow-dusted Seaward Kaikoura Ranges, the picturesque town of Kaikoura is renowned as possibly the best whale watching destination in the world. Kaikoura is one of the very few places it is possible to observe the Sperm Whale! Aboard a small specialised vessel, we will explore the ocean in search of these amazing mammals, as well as fur seals, dusky and Hector’s dolphins and other migratory whales. Kaikoura means ‘to eat crayfish’, and you may have the opportunity to taste the seafood available here. You will also have the opportunity walk through this small town to visit the museums, galleries, and cafes, before joining the expedition team on a guided walk over the peninsula to marvel at the spectacular scenery.
The ancient river valleys that form the Marlborough Sounds are surrounded by forest-cloaked peaks and vineyards, all of which present a breathtaking view from any perspective. After a relaxing day at sea cruising across Cook Strait to the South Island, anchor at historic Ship Cove to spend the day exploring Queen Charlotte Sound. Discover the dolphins and seals of the sounds with marine spotting from the Xplorer and enjoy wonderful birdwatching on walks through Motuara Island birdlife sanctuary. Guided by our expedition team, hike a section of the spectacular Queen Charlotte Track. Finish the day with a scenic cruise of the sound before we sail for our next destination. This evening, enjoy Captain’s Farewell Drinks in the beautiful surrounds of Marlborough, before crossing the Cook Strait overnight.
This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).