We are operating all experiences under Alert Level 1 protocols. Face masks are required on the Stewart Island Ferry. Find out more >

  • Discovery Expeditions
    Stewart Island
  • Discovery Expeditions Stewart Island
    Stewart Island

Stewart Island Discovery Expeditions

Discover the magic of New Zealand's third island on a 6 day expedition of Stewart Island

Departures & Availability


2021 departures:

9 - 14 Jul 2021 6 days Cruise $2900 pp SOLD OUT
15 - 21 Jul 2021 6 days Cruise $2900 pp SOLD OUT
21 - 26 Jul 2021 6 days Cruise $2900 pp SOLD OUT
2022 departures:        
5 - 10 Jul 2022 6 days Cruise $3075 pp SOLD OUT
10 - 15 Jul 2022 6 days Cruise $3075 pp SOLD OUT
17 - 22 Jul 2022 6 days Cruise $3075 pp Limited Spaces
22 - 27 Jul 2022 6 days Cruise $3075 pp Available

Departure Location

Stewart Island Discovery Expeditions depart from Bluff Visitor Terminal.

Getting to Bluff

Bluff is around 25 minutes from Invercargill, 3.5 hours from Dunedin and around 3 hours from Queenstown by road.  Coach connections are available from Invercargill (extra cost).

Milford Wanderer 

Just because you’re escaping civilisation doesn’t mean you have to go without its comforts. Our vessel, the Milford Wanderer, is a modern motorised vessel that has been purpose built for navigating southern New Zealand.

The Milford Wanderer​

Designed along the lines of a traditional sailing scow, it has old world charm combined with modern facilities and the latest in safety equipment.  After recent refurbishment the Milford Wanderer offers "twin-share" compartments and shared bathroom facilities. 

  • 32 passengers per departure
  • Warm, comfortable accommodation (two passengers per sleeping compartment)  
  • Duvets, sheets and towels provided
  • Modern bathroom facilities with hot showers 
  • Delicious meals prepared by onboard chef  
  • Open bridge policy - chat with the skipper during the voyage
  • Kayaks and small motorised craft available for passenger use

A courtesy coach is available between Invercargill and Bluff. This departs at 8am on the morning of departure from Invercargill. Bookings are essential so please contact us or add a comment to your booking.

Getting to Bluff:
Bluff is around 25 minutes from Invercargill, 3.5 hours from Dunedin and around 3 hours from Queenstown by road.

For accommodation options in Invercargill and Bluff, we suggest contacting Invercargill iSITE (information centre): 03 211 0985 or visit

Please note the vessel has steep stairs & high sills on all doorways. Please discuss any mobility issues with us prior to departure.

Medical conditions and allergies:
If you have a medical conditions, allergies or mobility problems please ensure you notify us prior to departure. This information will remain strictly confidential to the crew but is essential in case of a medical emergency in this remote location.

If you are over 70 years, please consult your doctor to check your physical fitness.

Please note there is little or no cell phone coverage during the cruise. However, the Milford Wanderer is in daily contact with Real Journeys Manapouri and messages can be left there.

Smoking is only permitted in the designated outdoor areas on-board the Milford Wanderer. You cannot buy cigarettes on board the Milford Wanderer.

Charters & Group Bookings:
Discovery Expedition are available for charter and group bookings. We can tailor cruises to suit your requirements and can include team building sessions or arrange guest speakers. Contact our Events team - email: [email protected]

What to bring:
Discovery Expedition are casual and informal. We recommend light, quick drying materials (e.g. polypropylene) for wearing next to your skin, covered by warm outerwear and a waterproof layer. We also suggest at least two changes of clothing for both on-board and walking/wet weather gear. 
Please try to limit your luggage to one pack or soft suitcase.  We recommend that you bring gumboots, as we often do beach/shore landings where the tide sweeps in/out. We mostly do short walks and gumboots are ideal to stomp around in if the tracks are wet and boggy underfoot. The crew will advise you of what they recommend you wear on each adventure.
Please carry all medications in your day bag & keep them with you at all times. DO NOT pack in your suitcase as you will be separated from your luggage at times.
A full list of the items to pack will be sent to you before the trip.

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