Tour the Deep South with Bottom Bus

Tour the Deep South with Bottom Bus

There’s only one way to see the bottom of New Zealand….on the Bottom Bus!

Experience the adrenalin in Queenstown, the heritage of Dunedin, the Catlins wildlife and wonders – New Zealand Sea Lions, Yellow Eyed Penguins, waterfalls and a fossil forest. Take in the breathtaking scenery of the majestic Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park.

Our Tour guides have loads of experience and plenty of stories and legends to pass on  about this unique part of NZ. Why are we the best? We are the only tour company that takes you south from Queenstown and lets you do it in your own time. Want to stop in Dunedin for a week? Go for it! Curio Bay caught your eye and you want to explore it? Sure! As we are regularly completing the loop it is easy for us to pick you up next time we are heading through. There are so many stops on the way down through the Catlin’s that you will end up spending more time off the bus than on it.

Water Fall Catlins Coast

Water Fall Catlins Coast

Bottom Bus Itinerary

There are lots of ways you can jump on and off but a typical journey might start in Queenstown (or Dunedin!) and do the whole loop including Milford Sound and the cruise.

Day 1: Queenstown to Dunedin

We kick it all off in Queenstown. After many late nights in NZ’s party town, we pick you up around 10.30am. Following the mighty Clutha River through Central Otago’s orchard and ever-growing wine area, we’re coast bound.

Landmarks along this journey are: Old town Clyde and it’s hydro-electric dam, Gold-rush birthplace, Lawrence, the brand new Milton Hilton (really a prison)?!

Arrive into NZ’s most vibrant student town – Dunedin. We show you around the city, before heading to Baldwin Street (world’s steepest street), for a quick sprint to the top.

Speight's Tour Dunedin

Speight’s Tour Dunedin

Optional activities that afternoon include:
* Speights Brewery Heritage Tour
* Cadbury Chocolate World

Day 2: Dunedin to Invercargill, The Catlins

On day 2 we are off in the direction of Antarctica! First scenic stop is Nugget Point, home of seabirds, fur seals and stunning coastal vistas. Surat Bay or Cannibal Bay is next on the agenda, both home to NZ Sea Lions, so we take a walk on the beach to see them (like being on Discovery Channel!).

Our lunch stop is in the small town of Owaka, small supermarket or really cheap pub meals available.

After lunch we head towards the Catlins Coastal Rain Forest, taking in some wicked beach views, a bush walk and waterfall.

Bottom Bus Sea Lion Viewing

Bottom Bus Sea Lion Viewing

Then we get to the bottom (or pretty close to it) at Curio Bay. A gem of a place, a place of rare things, like NZ’s native Hectors Dolphin, Yellow Eyed Penguins and a 180 million year old fossilised forest.

After viewing these natural wonders we follow the coast along to Invercargill, the southern city, home of good hearted folk and Indians?!

Stewart Island, now home to Rakiura National Park is just over the water and is must if you are in to the following: fishing, bush walking, spotting some of NZ’s rare and native birds (including the evasive Kiwi), or just chilling out in a very peaceful laid back place (only 28km of road on the whole island!). Also the best Blue Cod and Chips I’ve ever had.

Day 3: Invercargill to Milford to Queenstown

Early start again today, we get rolling about 7:30 am and head north through Winton, Southlands farming capital to Five Rivers, heart of the Southland plains. This is where meet the Kiwi Experience Milford Explorer bus at 9:15am and continue the the journey to Te Anau, the Milford Road.

Milford Road

Milford Road

Learn about NZ’s largest national park and some of our most spectacular scenery. Photo stops are taken in the best spots, the Eglington Valley, Upper Hollyford, the Chasm, to name a few. On arrival into Milford Sound you board a Jucy Cruise for a tour of the fiord with full commentary provided.

After the cruise, it’s on the bus for the trip back to Te Anau and Queenstown.


We depart:

  • Queenstown on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
  • Dunedin on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday .
  • Invercargill on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

Trips and Prices:

Below are some of the options we have available on our Bottom Bus product. Give us a call if there is something specific you are looking for and we can discuss options with you.


  • The most popular tour out of Queenstown. Start and finish in Queenstown and do the trip in a minimum of 3 days. Or even better get on and off en route to further explore this beautiful area. This tour includes a Milford Sound cruise on your final day before returning back to Queenstown.
    Day one: Queenstown to Dunedin.
    Day two: Dunedin to Invercargill via the Catlins.
    Day three: Invercargill to Queenstown via Milford Sound.
    Adult: $457
  • Southlander Routemap

    A deep South adventure including the Catlins and Milford Sound.


  • As per the Southlander however no Milford Sound included. You will head straight from Invercargill to Queenstown.
    Day one: Queenstown to Dunedin.
    Day two: Dunedin to Invercargill via the Catlins.
    Day three: Invercargill to Queenstown.
    Adult: $325
  • Rock Bottom route map

    A multi day tour from Queenstown back to Queenstown including the Catlins


  • Again as per the Southlander however on this one you zoom over to Stewart Island for a night or more as well as doing a Milford Sound cruise. The ultimate Bottom of the South Island experience! Minimum of 5 days.
    Day one: Queenstown to Dunedin.
    Day two: Dunedin to Invercargill via the Catlins.
    Day three: Invercargill to Stewart Island.
    Day four: Stewart Island to Invercargill.
    Day five: Invercargill to Queenstown via Milford Sound.
  • In A Stew route map

    A deep South adventure including the Catlins, Stewart Island and Milford Sound.


  • A one day trip from Dunedin to Invercargill through the spectacular Catlin’s area. Departs Dunedin at 8am and arrives in Invercargill at approx 7pm.
    Adult: $225/ Child $99
  • Catlins Spectacular Route Map

    Catlins Spectacular one day tour from Dunedin to Invercargill


  • A two day trip from Dunedin to Queenstown via Invercargill and Milford Sound with one day being through the spectacular Catlin’s area. Milford Sound Cruise included.
    Day one: Dunedin to Invercargill via the Catlin’s.
    Day two: Invercargill to Queenstown via Milford Sound.Adult: $390 / Child $199
  • Scarfie route map

    Take the very scenic route from Dunedin to Queenstown via the Catlins and Milford Sound.