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6 Day Intrepid Queenstown Southern Loop

6 days 5 nights
Queenstown to Queenstown
from NZD$2,595pp
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Tour summary and feature with map

Explore the rugged reaches of the South Island on this six-day trip with Intrepid, beginning and ending in Queenstown. Make your way to the shores of the South Islands' biggest lake and sail the silent waters of glacier-carved Fiordland National Park with an unforgettable cruise on Milford Sound. Cross to the sometimes forgotten corner of Otago the rugged cliffs of the Catlins to hike to coastal caves, then span the gap to untouched Stewart Island to explore the wilderness, listening out for the call of the kiwi. Crafted to give the right amount of active adventure and time to relax, this is the perfect southern getaway.

This Tour Also Features

  • Milford Sound Cruise
  • The Catlins - Leader-led walk to Nugget Point & McLean Falls
  • Stewart Island - Leader-led Dark Sky Briefing & Star Gazing
  • Stewart Island - Scenic Ferry Crossing
  • Meals included: 5 breakfasts
Tour special blurb

Additional departure dates for this tour may be available - please chat with us if you don't see the dates you're looking for.
The pricing on all Intrepid Tours is dynamic - this means that the price may go up or down as demand changes. We recommend booking early to secure the price you see!

Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Jump to Day 1 /Day 2 /Day 3 /Day 4 /Day 5 /Day 6
Day One - Meet the tour in Queenstown and travel to Te Anau
Tour day 1
6 Day Intrepid Queenstown Southern Loop - Day 1
The Southern Loop

Starting in Queenstown with 6 days in the lesser-visited areas of New Zealand's south you'll discover the silent Sounds, spectacular scenery and Stewart Island. This trip involves some walking over varied terrain and is best suited to travellers with a good level of mobility.

Queenstown to Te Anau

Make your own way to the hotel, where the adventure kicks off with a welcome meeting where you'll join up with your leader and group. If you’re looking for more time in ‘Adventure Capital of the World', look to book in some time after the end of the trip. After the meeting, head to the lovely lakeside town of Te Anau – gateway to Fiordland National Park. Watch the stunning landscapes pass by as you round the bottom of Lake Wakatipu with the aptly named The Remarkables mountains in the background. The 3.5-hour drive will take you to the shores of the South Island’s biggest lake, which extends into the fiords and deeply forested mountains. Once arrived, there are plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy the spectacular surrounding nature. Perhaps head out to see the glow worms on the opposite shore of the lake, or simply hire bicycles and pedal along the lake.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel Accomodation or similar
Accommodation type: Original

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Day Two - A magical day journeying to and back from Milford Sound
Tour day 2
6 Day Intrepid Queenstown Southern Loop - Day 2
Te Anau to Milford Sound Return

The stunning, unforgettable sights of the fiords are best experienced by boat, so today you'll set off for a memorable cruise on Milford Sound, known locally as Piopiotahi. Sail along the waters that pour out into the Tasman Sea, and look out for bottlenose dolphins and fur seals at play. Nature feels close here in the silence of the sound as you make your way past countless tumbling, misting cascades, soaring icy peaks, lush rainforest and twisting inlets. Soak up the surrounds so stunning that they feel almost fake, and breathe in the crisp mountain air. Afterwards get a different perspective of the sound, surrounded by native bush, as you take on the lookout track with your leader. There's a bit of a climb, but the views are more than worth it to look down on the water and up at the peaks. The spectacular views keep on coming with a Mirror Lakes walk, where the peaks and greenery reflect in the clear lake waters. Return to Te Anau in time for dinner this evening – maybe seek out some local fare like venison or even lobster for dinner.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel Accomodation or similar
Accommodation type: Original
Meals included: Breakfast

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Day Three - Travel to the south coast today and hike to McLean Falls
Tour day 3
6 Day Intrepid Queenstown Southern Loop - Day 3
Journey to The Catlins

This morning it's time to swap one side of the island for the other as you make your way to what feels like a forgotten corner of Otago, the Catlins. This untamed coastal wilderness is home to rugged cliffs, dense forest, and some spectacular hidden waterfalls. Visit Nugget Point and its lighthouse, situated on a rocky outcrop jutting out into the South Pacific Ocean, and hike through dense forest to pretty McLean Falls. In the afternoon take the time to soak up the sights of pounding surf, windswept beaches and sunbathing sea lions as you stroll the sands with your leader.

Accommodation: Cabin (with shared facilities)
Accommodation type: Original
Meals included: Breakfast

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Day Four - Explore more of Stewart Island
Tour day 4
6 Day Intrepid Queenstown Southern Loop - Day 4
Catlins to Stewart Island

Head to the very bottom of the island and take a ferry across the Foveaux Strait to the country’s third largest landmass, remote and rugged Stewart Island. It takes about one hour to travel the 30-kilometre strait. The island is almost entirely a national park, which makes its unspoiled forests, beaches and bays a haven for hikers of all abilities as well as birdwatchers – it’s home to endangered brown kiwi, flightless Stewart Island kiwi and nearly extinct kakapo parrots. In the Maori language the island is known as Rakiura, which means ‘the land of glowing skies’. So tonight your leader will brief you and point you towards the best nearby vantage point to explore the night sky.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel Accomodation or similar
Accommodation type: Original
Meals included: Breakfast

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Day Five - Ferry across to Stewart Island - a bird watchers paradise
Tour day 5
6 Day Intrepid Queenstown Southern Loop - Day 5
Stewart Island

Enjoy a full free day to explore the island as you discover the coast and Rakiura National Park. Optional activities include cruises on the bays and inlets spotting penguins and seabirds and walks along forested coastal tracks past early Maori settlements. Learn about the local flora and fauna, and relax on the beach for a picnic lunch. Take in the views over glistening William Bay and see if you can spot the mountains of the South Island in the distance. Return to your accommodation and enjoy the rest of the evening to relax after your full day of island exploration. Perhaps join the group for dinner at a local restaurant tonight.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel Accomodation or similar
Accommodation type: Original
Meals included: Breakfast

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Day Six - Your tour ends today in Queenstown
Tour day 6
6 Day Intrepid Queenstown Southern Loop - Day 6
Return to Queenstown

Head back over to the mainland, then continue back to Queenstown. Your trip comes to an end today when you arrive back in Queenstown at approximately 2 pm. If you have extra time to spend in Queenstown, make sure to get out and take advantage of the numerous adventure activities on offer. The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu not only serve as spectacular props to get your adrenaline fix, but they're also beautiful to look at. The town is also a great base for exploring Central Otago's excellent vineyards and historic mining towns.

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Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise it to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

Tour departure list
Departure dates and prices
Departure dates and prices
This tour has 5 departure dates.
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Starts Status Twin/Double (2 people sharing) Single occupancy You save  
Sep 17, 2022
(Saturday)
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NZD$2,700
NZD$3,540
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Nov 12, 2022
(Saturday)
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NZD$2,645
NZD$3,485
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Jan 21, 2023
(Saturday)
NZD$2,725
NZD$3,565
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Mar 4, 2023
(Saturday)
NZD$2,645
NZD$3,485
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May 6, 2023
(Saturday)
NZD$2,595
NZD$3,435
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