Travel from Invercargill to Dunedin in a comfortable small bus (maximum 24 seats) through the spectacular Catlins Forest Park with the option to visit the stunning Stewart Island and Rakiura National Park on a separate day. Go in search of sightings of New Zealand’s native Hectors Dolphin, the rare Yellow Eyed Penguin and New Zealand sea lions. Travel to Bluff, Curio Bay, the Catlins Coastal Rain Forest, Nugget Point and finish in Dunedin. Your experienced driver/guide will deliver an informative commentary, and based on the weather conditions of the day, you could make stops for the very best opportunities for wildlife encounters, breathtaking views, and amazing bush walks. Hotel pickup and drop-off is not included, and this is a one way trip.
Meet a guide at a designated point in Invercargill for 8:05am departure, then travel to the town of Bluff for an unforgettable photo-op with Bluff's famous signpost, which reads:“Next Stop South Pole.”
If you've selected the Stewart Island option while booking, you'll be dropped off at the ferry terminal for the trip to the island (passengers may re-join the trip to Dunedin on the morning of their choosing).
The next stop is Curio Bay, a place of unusual things, where you will see a 180-million-year-old fossilized forest and search for some of New Zealand's native Hector's dolphins and yellow-eyed penguins.
Continue towards the Catlins rainforest, catching some fantastic beach views along the way, with a 45-minute break for lunch in the Catlins (own expense, often at the Whistling Frog Café).
After lunch, take a short but stunning 10-minute bush walk to Purakaunui Falls, then head to Surat or Cannibal Bay to see the sea lions. The final sightseeing stop of the day is at Nugget Point, where you'll find seabirds, fur seals, and panoramic coastal vistas.
Your day of south coast exploring concludes with drop-off in Dunedin, arriving at roughly 6pm in winter, 7pm in summer.