Stewart Island Discovery Expedition

From Bluff to Bluff
  • Otago & Alpine Region
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
  • Off the beaten track
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Tour Description

Explore magical and off the beaten track Stewart Island. Enjoy cruising on onboard the Milford Wanderer, a small ship full of old world charm!

Join a small group of 32 passengers, discovering New Zealand’s third and southernmost island, Stewart Island.  From Bluff, cross Foveaux Strait by ferry where the Milford Wanderer is waiting to take you to exciting and remote destinations like Port Adventure, Port William, Paterson Inlet and quaint Oban village. Cruise through the waters on tender crafts, kayak, land on deserted beaches, join guided walks through lush rainforest, witness the local flora and fauna.

On this adventure in the deep south, each day brings something different to discover!

Viva's Best Bits...

Guided walks to discover coastal forests and the flora and fauna of remote Stewart Island

Explore remote parks, Ulva Island bird sanctuary and secluded beaches, where perhaps the only other visitors will be the local wildlife

"There is plenty of time to relax, or enjoy a spot of kayaking, and hopefully spot the elusive kiwi in the wild!" Tara, Team Viva

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Bluff Port Adventure

Take the express ferry across Foveaux Strait - from Bluff to Half Moon Bay, where you will board the Milford Wanderer and cruise to Port Adventure, where oysters were first harvested commercially in the 1800s. Finish the day with an afternoon beach and/or forest walk or kayak.

Overnight onboard the Milford Wanderer

Day 2
Exploring Paterson Inlet

Spend the morning at the historic Norwegian Whalers base at Prices inlet with original machinery and remains of a bygone settlement. In the afternoon explore the predator free Ulva Island bird sanctuary.

Overnight onboard the Milford Wanderer

Day 3
Paterson Inlet Port William

Port William, the northernmost destination of the expedition, has something for everyone. Learn about the fascinating Maori history and of the attempted European settlement there. Choose a 1.5 hour walk in beautiful bush to venture to Maori Beach, or arrive via tender craft for a more relaxed option.

Overnight onboard the Milford Wanderer

Day 4
Port William Paterson Inlet

The early bird catches the worm, and a chance to see kiwi. Wake up and head to Little Glory Bay where your guide will lead you through spectacular coastal forest to a secluded sandy beach where you’ll have one of the best chances to spot our national bird searching for food. Enjoy a relaxed morning, filled with either a short walk or a gentle kayaking taking in the highlights around the various bays. In the afternoon, a local guide will accompany you to The Neck, a narrow peninsula that separates Paterson Inlet from Foveaux Strait. This a scenic place of historical significance with beaches, caves and graves sites and home to abundant wildlife.

Overnight onboard the Milford Wanderer

Day 5
Paterson Inlet Bluff

Your final day takes you to explore the quaint Oban village, where a local guide will share their knowledge of the area during mini-bus tour of the Island. Highlights include a visit to the gateway to Rakiura National Park at Lee Bay and Observation Rock with its stunning views of Paterson Inlet.

Please note this is a general guide only, all itineraries are subject to change based on weather conditions and crew judgement. In addition to below there is also lots of cruising, and extra kayaking or walking where time allows.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 Twin share cabin with bedding, shared bathroom
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by onboard chef
  • Included Copy 20 Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Included Copy 31 Licensed bar on board (drinks additional charge)
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Expedition cruise with expert guides
  • Included Copy 20 Guided nature walks
  • Included Copy 20 Kayaks and small motorised craft available for passenger use
  • Included Copy 7 Transfer to Bluff to join the expedition
The Milford Wanderer​


  • Included Expedition small ship cruise exploring remote and wild Stewart Island
  • Included Spot marine wildlife, and birds including weka, robins and the kiwi!
  • Included Explore forests and beaches with guided walks
  • Included Learn about the early Maori and European history of the region
  • Included Sunning vistas - visit Observation Rock
  • Included Bespoke experience, tailored to suit guests and the weather
  • Included Opportunity to explore by kayak or tender craft
Click here for dates & prices

5 days

Price from

$1,592 USD

Per person, sharing

including G.S.T

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