Queenstown Southern Loop

6 Days | Discover the silent Sounds, spectacular scenery and Stewart Island of the south

4.7 out of 5 based on 25 reviews submitted.
USD $1,992
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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 Island’s 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.

Trip overview

Map of Queenstown Southern Loop including New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
This trip generates 13.53 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Soak up the silence of Milford Sound on a cruise across its waters – you’ll be left speechless by the hundreds of tumbling cascades and deeply forested mountains.
  • Explore the Cathedral Caves of the Catlins, an untamed coastal wilderness home to rugged cliffs, dense forest, and spectacular hidden waterfalls.
  • Cross the Foveaux Strait to unspoilt Stewart Island, a haven for hikers and birdwatches and the place to spot a wild kiwi.
  • Enjoy two nights and one full day to explore the wilderness of Stewart Island, cruising the bays and inlets to spot penguins and seabirds and walking along its forested coastal tracks.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Forest & Bird. Donations help them give nature a voice - protecting wildlife and wild places in Aotearoa New Zealand by advocating for conservation on the ground and at a government level.

Is this trip right for you?
  • With six days in the lesser visited regions of the South Island, you’ll have time to visit places others don’t.
  • This trip involves some walking over varied terrain and is best suited to travellers with a good level of mobility. Details on physical activities can be found in the itinerary.
  • This trip is the second part of a combination of 2 trips. Some of your fellow travellers may arrive into Queenstown off another trip. Please see our 'New Zealand South Island Adventure' (trip code PHSQC) for details.


Map of Queenstown Southern Loop including New Zealand



5 breakfasts


Private vehicle, Ferry


Hotel (2 nights), Hostel (twin share with shared facilities) (2 nights), Cabin (with shared facilities) (1 night)

  • Milford Sound - Nature Boat Cruise
  • Milford Sound - Leader-led walk to Milford Lookout
  • Milford Sound - Walk to Mirror Lakes & Lake Gunn
  • The Catlins - Leader-led walk to Nugget Point & McLean Falls
  • Stewart Island - Scenic Ferry Crossing
Add on activities
  • Te Anau - Glow Worm Cave with Cruise & Guide - NZD119
  • Stewart Island - Village & Bay Trip - NZD50
  • Stewart Island - Wild Kiwi Encounter - NZD229
  • Stewart Island - Beaks & Feathers Kiwi Spotting - NZD125
  • Stewart Island - Ulva Island Explorer - NZD119

Dates and availability

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Important notes

This trip will begin on Day 1 at 10:30am at the Heartland Hotel Queenstown, and concludes at 2pm on Day 6. Please take this into account when making onward travel arrangements.

A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information


4.7 out of 5 based on 25 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Jennifer · Traveled November 2023
This trip gave us a good overview of areas of beauty, nature and different experiences.
Review submitted 14 Nov 2023

Oliver · Traveled September 2023
I joined this trip late, there was an unforseen natural event that shouffeld the trip around. The guide and the people behind him made quick and great adjustments to make sure we will have a great time. Well done!
Review submitted 28 Sep 2023

Lorraine · Traveled September 2023
My comments as above.
Review submitted 15 Oct 2023

Andrew · Traveled September 2023
This trip was awesome!! Visited beautiful places with a great group of people! Our trip leader was so friendly and knowledgeable! I would highly recommend this trip to anyone interested in exploring South NZ!
Review submitted 24 Sep 2023

Kelsey · Traveled May 2023
Great trip to see more remote areas of the South Island with a guided group - nice for solo travelers. Can see all types of weather in one day, so pack layers! A fairly quick pace with more time to relax on Stewart Island. Recommend the glow worm cave tour and kiwi bird experience add-ons.
Review submitted 12 May 2023
Queenstown Southern Loop
USD $1,992