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Southern Explorer – Autumn Colours

Southern Explorer – Autumn Colours

Tour Date: 24th April - 2nd May

DEPOSIT - $300.00 NZD

Single - $4,595
Twin Share - $3,935

*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee.

*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment.

This 9-day tour explores the Catlins over 2 days, travels the southern scenic route to Te Anau, and includes a cruise on Milford Sound. We visit remote southern lakes, enjoy lunch at Walter Peak, and explore the Glenorchy area.

Travelling through Central Otago region with its Autumn colours, rich gold mining history and unique rocky ranges is a highlight. As always with Waynes tours there are lots of walk options and picnics with a view!

Location & Duration

9 Days - 8 nights.

Highlights Will Include

  • Catlins bays and lighthouses
  • Lake Manapouri
  • Lake Hauroko and Monowai
  • Day tour to Milford Sound and Cruise
  • Backcountry trip from Te Anau to Walter Peak
  • Earnslaw cruise from Walter Peak Station
  • Glenorchy and the Routeburn Track
  • Kinloch and Diamond Lake
  • Cromwell Vineyard Lunch
  • Nevis Road 
  • Historic township of Clyde
  • Central Otago  Ranges

Join this exclusive small group as we spend time adventuring and exploring this diverse Southern region.


  • Nine days transport, 10 or 12 seat vehicles 
  • Your own experienced driver / guide for nine days 
  • Milford Sound cruise
  • Earnslaw to Walter Peak Cruise and Lunch
  • Vineyard Lunch
  • Eight night’s accommodation 
  • 6 dinners, 6 lunches,8 breakfasts


Flights to and from Dunedin, the tour starts approximately 1pm in Dunedin on April 30th and we will be in Dunedin airport by 2pm on the 8th May. If you want me to book flights, please let me know.

Items of a personal nature

Booking Conditions

Deposit details

Alps 2 Ocean Ltd, A/C 12-3226-0040295-00

Quote your name and tour as reference.
Full payment is due one month before the tour starts.


  • Deposit – non refundable if tour runs with minimum numbers
  • Full payment – non refundable 
  • All cancellation charges are on a per-person basis
  • No refund can be made once tour is underway, except in the case of any Covid restrictions. 
  • If this tour is cancelled due to Covid 19 Government travel restrictions and a refund is available, Alps 2 Ocean Ltd reserves the right, in addition to any supplier-imposed amendment and cancellation fees, to charge a service and administrative fee of $100 per person.
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Southern Explorer - Tour Route

This 9-day tour explores the Catlins over 2 days, travels the southern scenic route to Te Anau and includes a cruise on Milford Sound. We visit remote southern lakes, enjoy lunch at Walter Peak and explore the Glenorchy area. Travelling through Central Otago region with its Autumn colours , rich gold mining history and unique rocky ranges is a highlight. As always with Waynes tours there are lots of walk options and picnics with a view!

Download Tour Map
  • Day 1

    Nugget Point - Kaka Point -Owaka

    After meeting from 1 pm at either Dunedin or Dunedin Airport we travel south with the start of our tour taking in the Northern Catlins A walk out to Nugget point lighthouse and the Roaring Bay may give us a chance to see seals and the yellow eyed penguin. We will spend time exploring the bays and seaside villages until late afternoon and if time allows, we can visit the Owaka Museum before staying the night in Owaka. Accommodation is in the Catlins Motels.

    Dinner nearby at the Lumberjack.

  • Day 2

    Curio Bay - Catlins – Slope Point - Invercargill

    Few take the time to really see this part of New Zealand, of exploring the Catlins, scenic bays, historic lighthouses, and shipwrecks along a rugged coastline where native forest spills down to the sea. From an ancient, fossilized forest at Curio Bay to the tranquil mirror lakes and cascading waterfalls, this is a day full of short photo stops and walks if you wish. A local guide will travel with us to Bluff to tell the tales of this area.

    Overnight in Invercargill
    Dinner at Oyster Cove Bluff

  • Day 3

    Gemstone Beach  - Lake Hauroko  – Te Anau

    There is time in the morning to walk through the Botanical Gardens or visit T beforehe Bill Richardson Transport world we drive the scenic highway to visit Lake Manapouri. There is a side trip to see the remote  and eerie  Lake Hauroko – New Zealand’s deepest lake. There are numerous short walk options , we will visit Tuatapere, New Zealand’s sausage capital, and search for gemstones on the beach at Te Waewae Bay.

    Stay at Lakefront Motels
    Dinner at the Ranch Restaurant

  • Day 4

    Homer Tunnel - Milford Sound - Marian Falls

    The road to Milford Sound is a special morning drive with its stunning peaks and primeval Fiordland Forest. We join a Milford Sound Day Cruise, a leisurely 2-hour cruise along the length of the Fiord. Experience the magic of this region, which includes emerald rainforest, hanging valleys and impressive peaks and cliffs. You will marvel at the beauty as you cruise alongside the sheer rock faces and cascading waterfalls – so close, that you will feel the light droplets of spray. Towering high above all of this is the magnificent Mitre Peak - a huge, kilometre tall peak that juts up from the cool, ocean waters. Cruising along the length of the Fiord, you may catch a glimpse of some of the wildlife, including Dusky dolphins, fur seals and even the rare Fiordland crested penguins. There are short walks and many photo spots during the drive to and from Milford Sound.

    Lunch can be purchased on the cruise.
    Dinner is a free choice for you tonight.

  • Day 5

    Te Anau- Mavora Lakes -Walter Peak- Glenorchy

    We leave Te Anau and travel by rural roads into the seldom visited Mavora Lakes  then drive the gravel road through Mount Nicholas Station to the edge of Lake Wakitipu There it’s time for a gourmet BBQ lunch (1pm) and a look at the Walter Peak farm animals before taking the Earnslaw across to Queenstown. Wayne will meet you there and we travel to Glenorchy.

    Staying in Glenorchy accommodation for 2 nights
    Dinner Platter at the lake front

  • Day 6

    Glenorchy-Rees and Dart Valley-Routeburn-Kinloch

    We start the day with a scenic drive west into the Dart River valley to the area  well named Paradise. Enjoy a picnic lunch with views of the Rees Valley and Humboldt Mountains and if you like take one of the many track walks in the area on the edge of Fiordland National Park. This area is a hub for many iconic walking tracks like the Routeburn, Caples and Greenstone. We will visit the intriguing little settlement at Kinloch in the late afternoon before returning to Glenorchy.

    Dinner at Glenorchy hotel

  • Day 7

    Arrowtown – Vineyard lunch - Clyde Dam - Alexandra

    From the lush Southern forests we travel into the gold region of Central Otago. A side trip through Arrowtown in its Autumn colours a highlight as is a visit to the Cromwell Heritage precinct. World class wine is grown in this harsh landscape, and we will enjoy a lunch at a Bannockburn Vineyard. If accessible, we will take the Nevis valley road to the highest public road viewpoint in NZ.

    Accommodation in Alexandra for last 2 nights
    Dinner tonight is at Monteiths Restaurant .

  • Day 8

    Mitchells Cottage  -  Old Man Range  - Obelisk Rocks

    This day starts with a visit to Mitchells Cottage near Alexandra ,if conditions allow, we will drive up onto the Old Man Range for stunning views of the region, perhaps even visit the famous Obelisk Rocks. There will be time for exploring in and around Alexandra in the afternoon or walking many of the walks in the area before our final dinner In Clyde.

  • Day 9

    Autumn colours Roxburgh-  Lawrence  - Dunedin

    Our final day is a relaxing journey out through the Roxburgh Valley, with its stunning autumn colours, small Soutland towns with an early lunch before getting to the Dunedin Airport by 2 pm. If you prefer you can be dropped off at accommodation in the area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What level of fitness do I need?

No matter what your fitness level, you can choose the activity level you feel appropriate for you, but everyone who’s experienced this tour has the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors - and reviews say, they do!

What if I want to change some of the travel plans?

Sometimes our travellers like to visit relatives while on the journey. The 2-night stays at Te Anau ,Glenorchy and Alexandra do allow for you to meet others, or if we’re stopping for a walk nearby, Wayne can arrange that you spend your time differently. If you’re thinking you’d like to visit someplace that’s not listed in the itinerary, we can sometimes build this in. It is worth having a chat to Wayne to see what’s possible.

How do we protect ourselves from Covid-19 while on travelling?

Wayne is fully vaccinated and at your request is happy to wear a mask throughout the trip and while inside of a 2 metre distance from you. We would expect all travellers to also be fully vaccinated, and wear masks if required while in the vehicle. Please scan into any places you visit and follow the safety guidelines; we’ve all come to know well.

What about cancellations or interruptions due to level changes?

We do ask for a small non-refundable deposit to begin the booking process, however all other expenses are fully refundable if we did need to cancel. In most instances we would look to reschedule and will be in touch with you if this arises. If in the event the level changes were imminent while we were travelling, we would look to get you quickly and safely back to a destination you could travel home from e.g., Queenstown or Christchurch.