Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Tunnel Beach, Dunedin Coastline, New Zealand

Dunedin and the Catlins

The Otago Peninsula is rich in flora and fauna with diverse wildlife, idyllic fishing villages and rolling green pastures.

Dunedin’s dramatic hills surround a long, natural harbour, which attracted Maori settlers to the site over four centuries ago.

More recently the area was settled by whalers, gold miners and migrants from Scotland and China. Memorable for its historic architecture, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Catlins is the southernmost coastal route, some of which is on unsealed roads but makes for a totally absorbing journey with majestic sweeping beaches, native forests and wildlife opportunities at every turn.

Stewart Island, New Zealand
Stewart Island, New Zealand

Stewart Island

Stewart Island, off the far south coast of the country, is New Zealand’s third-largest island and a truly unspoilt spot; trek one of the many tracks, spot kiwis on the beach and enjoy the rich birdlife of Stewart and nearby Ulva Island.

Tunnel Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin, New Zealand

Wildlife around Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

The area around Dunedin is home to the endangered yellow-eyed penguin as well as the world’s smallest penguin; the little blue. Also residing on these southern beaches are fur seal colonies as well as hooker sea lions and elephant seals with the oceans beyond being a playground for dolphins including the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin, the hector which can often be seen surfing in on the waves.

This area is also an ornithologist’s delight with a colony of albatross as well as kiwi and a host of smaller species.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Taeri Gorge Railway

Take in early pioneers engineering feats alongside spectacular scenery on this rail journey from Dunedin to Taeri Gorge.

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Explore Dunedin

Settled by Maori, whalers, gold miners and migrants from Scotland and China, Dunedin has some fabulous historical architecture.

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Moeraki boulders

Take a stop to visit the Moeraki boulders, located on Koekohe Beach, north of Dunedin. Formed over millions of years, these large spherical boulders are scattered along the beach.

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Spot kiwi on Kapiti Island

Visit Kapiti Island, a nature reserve off the west coast of the North Island, which is home to a wealth of birdlife including the kiwi.

The Catlin’s Wildlife

Search for sealions, Hector’s dolphin and abundant birdlife in the little-visited Catlins.

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Stewart Island Wildlife

View wonderful wildlife including penguin, sea lion, albatross and kiwi.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Amy Waters

After my degree in Fine Art I didn’t really know what career I wanted or what path I would take. The only thing I knew is that having spent a summer in America it had given me the desire to explore and see as many places as possible before becoming a grown up and entering the real world.

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Deborah Brock-Doyle

My first journey for Steppes was in 1999 when I set off to explore Thailand to gather those little details that constitute Steppes Travel’s trademark knowledge. I have since been lucky enough to travel extensively in Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and India. A few special memories include being joined at dinner by an otter in Laos, proudly being shown an illicit picture of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and diving with manta rays on Christmas day in Indonesia. I’m pretty sure I always leave a country wishing I had done more, seen more, learned more ….. but I also always hope to return …

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Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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