New Zealand East Coast Expedition

New Zealand East Coast Expedition

From AUD $10,960


The Coral Discoverer avoids well trodden tourist trails and offers you access to remote and pristine wilderness areas, and encounters with Maori culture.

With over 7000 km of stunning coastline to be explored, you will cruise the sheltered sounds, volcanic islands and marine reserves and arrive in the dramatic beauty of Fiordland. Our expert expedition guides and local rangers will introduce you to wildlife including dolphins, seals, kiwis and keas.

Trip Name
New Zealand East Coast Expedition
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 63 metres Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms) Built: 2005 / Refurbished: 2016 Launched in 2005, Coral Discoverer set a new benchmark standard for small ship cruising in Australia. Refurbished in November 2016, she continues to raise the bar to new levels of sophistication in expedition cruising in the Southern Hemisphere. The 1800-tonne Coral Discoverer is the grand vision of Coral Expeditions, pioneers in expedition and adventure cruises around Australia, Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. Her shallow draught and manoeuvrability allow her to go where larger vessels cannot. Her tender vessel, Xplorer, can seat all 72 passengers for excursions to beaches and rivers. Coral Discoverer is equipped with latest technology active stabilisers to ensure comfortable cruising in open waters and is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment and wireless internet facilities. Coral Discoverer was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience. Australian flagged, and staffed entirely by an Australian and New Zealand crew, your experience aboard Coral Discoverer will be unique. After the refurbishment, the Sun Deck has evolved to become a new social space and the hub of on board community living. This area has been converted into an undercover deck area complete with round ‘Explorer Bar’ with bar stools and sun deck with lounges and an area for outdoor exercise equipment. Guest accommodation has also received a substantial upgrade with the addition of six Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms providing coveted inside/outside living quarters. Each of our other Stateroom grades has also received a full upgrade with updated bathroom fixtures, soft furnishings and artwork making for an even more comfortable stay on board Coral Discoverer. The Coral Discoverer offers five different grades of staterooms, ranging from Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms to Main Deck Staterooms. Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms are on the top deck and have private balconies opening out from french windows. All rooms are furnished with contemporary flair and feature original artwork, a small private en-suite, individually-controlled air-conditioning, an iPod dock, ample storage and Australian toiletries. All staterooms are serviced daily. Each stateroom is spacious, sized between 15sqm (161 square feet) to 20 sqm (215 square feet) and has either a balcony, feature picture windows or porthole windows. Most staterooms can be configured to either junior king or twin bedding. FACILITIES ON BOARD > Sun Deck with undercover area, sun lounges and ample seating > Three fully stocked cocktail bars, including brand new round Explorer Bar on Sun Deck > Spacious, modern dining room, recently refurbished > Forward lounge > Reference library > Gift shop > Open bridge > Workout Area > Wireless internet available for laptops, mobile devices or via onboard guest computer > Limited laundry facilities available > SCUBA diving department (selected itineraries)


Make your way to Auckland Harbour to board Coral Discoverer at 4:00 pm. We depart the ‘city of sails’ at 5:00 pm to make our way into the Hauraki Gulf; with its string of islands guarding the harbour, including the iconic Rangitoto Island – a dormant volcano. Take in the sights while enjoying the captain’s welcome drinks and meeting the crew and your fellow passengers.
Hop aboard the fleet of zodiacs and land ashore on White Island, an active volcano. The expedition team lead you on a guided walk to the crater. Watch the build-up of gas and a constant plume of steam escaping from the earth as we explore this rugged landscape streaked with iron oxide reds and vivid sulphur whites and yellows.
Gisborne is rich in historical significance. It is where the first Polynesian canoes landed, where captain cook first came ashore from the Endeavour and where Maori and European settlers first encountered each other. Venture to a small marae (Maori meeting place) where we will be treated to a traditional Maori welcome and the Kapa Haka cultural show. After the show you will have the opportunity to explore Gisborne; undertake a self-guided journey through the city’s gorgeous gardens, tour wineries or sample first-rate produce.
Day 4 - DAY 4: NAPIER
This morning we cruise into Hawke’s Bay, home to one of the purest art deco cities in the world, Napier. Here you will have time to explore the city at your own leisure.In 1931 Napier was destroyed by an earthquake that shook Hawke’s Bay for more than 3 minutes, flattening the city. Rebuilding began almost instantly, and modern buildings reflected the architectural styles of the times – stripped classical, Spanish mission and art deco.Napier is also known for its award-winning red wines and is home to one of the world’s largest mainland gannet colonies at Cape Kidnappers (optional guided tours at extra cost).
Explore the spectacular waterways of Marlborough Sounds including the fjord-like Queen Charlotte Sound. Follow the path of Captain Cook’s exploratory voyages, including a stop at Ships Cove. You will enjoy a considerable number of interpreted explorations on the Xplorer and zodiac vessels, guided by the expedition team and guest lecturers. On our travels, we will visit Moturoa Island with its plentiful native birdlife and other remote coastal towns and locations often only accessible by boat.
The picturesque town of Kaikoura is located between rugged mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean. Renowned as possibly the best whale watching destination in the world, Kaikoura is one of the very few places it is possible to observe the Giant Sperm Whale. Aboard a small specialised vessel, we explore the ocean in search of the Giant Sperm Whale and hoping to see more amazing mammals like fur seals, other migratory whales and dolphins.
Day 7 - DAY 8: AKAROA
Today we sail into the Banks Peninsula, named for botanist Joseph Banks, and discover the history of Akaroa. This scenic village, built on the edge of a sunken volcanic crater, was once a bustling French colonised whaling community. A leisurely walk through the village discovering its obscure French history, friendly cafes and great craft stores. Optional shore excursions are offered at Akaroa, such as swimming with the smallest and rarest dolphin – the Hectors Dolphin (optional extra).
Day 8 - DAY 9: DUNEDIN
Before docking in Dunedin, we are welcomed to the Otago Peninsula with sights of the world’s only mainland breeding colony of northern royal albatross and a colony of the world’s rarest penguin, the yellow-eyed penguin and various other unique species.Dunedin City is regarded as New Zealand’s architectural heritage capital. You will have time to explore all that the city has to offer including the Victorian and Edwardian structures, art galleries and botanical gardens.
Stewart Island (Rakiura) is New Zealand’s little known third island. There is a very small settlement of people on the island, but most ‘mainland’ New Zealanders have never ventured to the curious wild land. Ulva Island is also found within the Rakiura National Park, offering a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds including South Island Saddleback, Yellowhead, Rifleman, Stewart Island Robin, and the iconic Kiwi; the Stewart Island Brown Kiwi birds are known to venture out in daylight. On Ulva Island, we take a guided walk to encounter this vast array of birdlife and hopefully spot a few fur seals lazing on the shore during the tour.An optional tour can be taken ashore Stewart Island at additional cost.
Day 10 - DAY 11: DUSKY SOUND
We enter the Fiordland National Park at the dramatic Dusky Sound. You will be in awe of the sheer rugged beauty of the Fiordland. We cruise among towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, pass some of the 365 small islands and explore the depths of the inlets in the zodiacs.Later in the evening we head north and drop anchor at the beautiful Doubtful Sound.
Awake to the magnificent scenery of Doubtful Sound. Today we explore the Fiordland’s most spectacular and deepest waterway. Board the Xplorer and cruise through a maze of hidden channels home to dolphins, seals and penguins. We sail from Doubtful Sound into Thompson Sound to discover further scenes of breathtaking wilderness in these ancient glacial fiords. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Dinner while we steam to our last port of call.
Cruise the length of Milford Sound and view iconic Mitre Peak, towering some 1600 feet above the glassy waters. It is here we say goodbye and disembark at 8:00 am before transferring by coach to Queenstown. The coach arrives in Queenstown at approximately 1:30 pm.
Day 13 - Please Note:
This is a remote area expedition subject to last minute itinerary changes.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
26-11-202008-12-2020AUD $10,960Main Deck B
26-11-202008-12-2020AUD $11,500Main Deck A
26-11-202008-12-2020AUD $12,050Promenade B
26-11-202008-12-2020AUD $13,150Promenade A
26-11-202008-12-2020AUD $15,340Bridge Deck Balcony
26-11-202008-12-2020AUD $18,075Promenade B Single Use


    • Experience the grandeur and remote beauty of Fiordland National Park
    • Visit White Island, and enjoy a guided walk to the crater of this active volcano
    • Spend two days exploring the more inaccessible and spectacular areas of Marlborough Sounds
    • Encounter the Maori culture and learn about New Zealand’s history and landscape