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New Zealand Fiordland Coral Expeditions

Fiordland and the South Coast

Milford Sound to Wellington8 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $7,290.00* PP

Aboard Coral Adventurer, discover the captivating coastline of New Zealand’s South Island that abounds with marine life as we make our way to the deep and quiet fiords of Murihiku (Southland). This journey explores New Zealand’s charming east coast towns and will discover wildlife in their natural habitats along the way, including legions of bird species. Enjoy access to remote and difficult-to-reach wilderness areas within the Marlborough Sounds and Fiordland and visit sheltered coves and islands to find fur seals, kakapos, and pods of friendly dolphins.

  • Spend two days exploring Rakiura (Stewart Island), with opportunities for endemic birdwatching and an opportunity to hike a section of the Rakiura Track
  • Explore four of Fiordland’s most beautiful sounds – the astonishing and rarely-visited Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, Thompson Sound, and beautiful Milford Sound
  • Observe the wildlife, discover the history, and be immersed in the stillness of unforgettable Southland
  • Spend 1.5 days exploring Queen Charlotte sound in the spectacular Marlborough Sounds, and discover the history of Ship Cove, or walk a section of the famous Queen Charlotte Track
  • Discover the unique character of east coast towns, from the French-influenced Akaroa to Dunedin’s Scottish heritage and Kaikoura’s seaside village charm
  • Taste the world-renowned wines produced in the Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough regions on our specially curated New Zealand wine list
  • Encounter many species of endemic birds and marine wildlife, including the Fiordland crested penguin, Yellow-eyed penguin, little penguin and New Zealand fur seal in Southland, the Sperm Whale in Kaikoura, and the dusky dolphin and Hector’s dolphin at Akaroa

Itinerary

Coral-Expeditions---Fiordland-&-the-South-Coast---Milford-Sound-to-Wellington---8-Nights---Map

Milford Sound Coral Expeditions

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.

8 Milford Sound (80)

Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage site once described as the Eighth Wonder of the World, is characterised by 14 fiords carving through just 215km of coastline.  These fiords were carved by glaciers over thousands of years, and you will see waterfalls cascading down the sheer cliffs, rainforest cloaking the steep ridges, and granite peaks reflected in the deep shimmering waters.

These mostly inaccessible and awe-inspiring landscapes were the mysterious source of powerful pounamu (New Zealand jade), gathered by Maori from the riverbeds and boulders of the South Island – the only place it occurs.  While some European settlers took shelter here, the deep isolation and rugged terrain thwarted all except the toughest from staying. Many of the flora and fauna species have developed in relative isolation, so many of the diverse plants and animals are unique to the area.

Enter Fiordland National Park at dramatic Tamatea / Dusky Sound, and cruise among towering cliffs and sheer granite walls of Facile Harbour, cascading waterfalls, pass some of the 365 small islands and explore the depths of the inlets in the zodiacs.  Inaccessible by road, Tamatea / Dusky Sound is the largest and most complex of the Fiordland Sounds.  It is also a designated Important Bird Area for the Fiordland Penguins that breed here.

We will discover the fur seals of Luncheon Cove and cruise Astronomer’s Point – Captain Cook’s base when exploring Fiordland. We may have the opportunity to visit the site where the scientific team from HMB Endeavour set up their equipment.

In the afternoon, trace Acheron Passage to Breaksea Sound, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes on all sides as we retrace Cook’s journey. It is easy to imagine the small wooden Endeavour being dwarfed by the steep-sided fiords and encircled by the blanketing silence of the fog-cloaked peaks.

Doubtful Sound / Patea is the deepest and widest fiord, flanked by towering cliffs and adorned by cascading waterfalls.  The stillness and silence of this Fiord is compelling and unforgettable.  We will cruise into Doubtful Sound / Patea, and past the outer Seal Islands, Nee Islets and through ‘the Gut’, before cruising by Blanket Bay. You may spot fur seals lounging on the rocks, pods of dolphins, and the Fiordland penguin. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Drinks.

Dunedin New Zealand

Known in Maori mythology as Te Punga o Te Waka – The Anchor Stone of Maui’s Canoe’ – Stewart Island (Rakiura) is New Zealand’s little known ‘third island’.  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.

On Ulva Island, 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.

Dunedin Coral Expeditions

Dunedin, settled in and around an ancient volcanic crater, is known for its Scottish and Maori heritage. Named after the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the city’s heritage buildings, cathedrals, and charming atmosphere share an old-world atmosphere. Dunedin City is regarded as New Zealand’s architectural heritage capital.

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.

Akaroa Coral Expeditions

This morning, 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.

Kaikoura Whale Coral Expeditions

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.

Marlborough Sounds Coral Expeditions

The ancient river valleys that form the Marlborough Sounds make up 20% of New Zealand’s coastline. The webs of sunken channels are surrounded by forest-cloaked peaks and vineyards, all of which present a breathtaking view from any perspective.  This lush region produces much of New Zealand’s seafood, and 80% of its wine. The fertile soil in this region supported the country’s first known Polynesian settlement in the late 1200s AD at Wairau Bar.

Here, cruise the fiord-like Queen Charlotte Sound (Totaranui). Follow the path of Captain Cook’s exploratory voyages, including a stop at Cook’s favourite New Zealand base, Ship Cove, where he spent a total of 120 days. 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 and lecturers, there will be options to hike a section of the spectacular Queen Charlotte Track, or shorter walks available.  The history of the region is also brought to life with our visit to Ship Cove.

This evening, enjoy Captain’s Farewell Drinks in the beautiful surrounds of Marlborough, before crossing the Cook Strait overnight.

New Zealand Coral Expeditions

This morning, arrive in Wellington to disembark at 8:00 am.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions, and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.



Fares & Availability

Bridge Deck Balcony Suite

Private Balcony - 55.8m2

Fully Booked

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Fully Booked

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

1 Available

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

Fully Booked

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

Fully Booked
Book this Departure

Prices are per person twin share, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD).  Booking Terms & Conditions >
For solo traveller rates see our Solo Traveller Program.


Additional Information

Inclusions:

  • All excursions and sightseeing with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
  • Snorkelling & Scuba equipment
  • Daily lectures and briefings
  • Your expedition photos captured throughout the voyage
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access with the Captain
  • 24 hour Coffee and selection of teas
  • All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
  • Tips and gratuities

Not Included:

  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet services (available at a cost)
  • Laundry service
  • Australian entry visas or travel permits
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry charges, souvenir purchases, phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of included drinks package)
Your-Ship-Coral-Adventurer
More Information -NZ

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