Stewart Island is a true nature’s paradise and offers a special experience - a glimpse into a simpler, slower lifestyle, in rhythm with the sea and the tides. 85% of the island’s 1570 square kilometres is a National Park – Rakiura National Park. Stewart Island also has a Dark Sky Sanctuary accreditation by the International Dark Sky Association. Whether you want to enjoy the land, sea and night-scapes, view the wildllife, walk, boat, fish, dive, kayak, hunt or just relax - a Stewart Island holiday is an experience that you will treasure for ever and a must-do experience.
Stewart Island, Ulva Island, Kiwi Spotting, Port William Track, Stewart Island Return Ferry
Four nights accommodation at your chosen accommodation including Continental Breakfast Daily (B)
- Stewart Island Return Ferry
- Orientation tour
- Ulva Island Guided Tour including Water Taxi
- Night time Kiwi Spotting
- 1/2 day Port William - guided walk including lunch
- DOC Concessions where applicable included
Domestic Air Fares, Additional /Optional Tour Costs, Hotel Mini Bar, Sightseeing/Meals not stated in Itinerary.
*Surcharge for Flights Bluff - Stewart Island return: $115.00 per person
DAY 1 - BLUFF TO STEWART ISLAND
Your journey starts in Bluff where you will board the Ferry to Stewart Island. Experience Foveaux Strait onboard an express catamaran. During the one-hour crossing on the Stewart Island Ferry between Bluff and Oban keep a lookout for wildlife, especially seabirds. Comprehensive commentaries provide information on the interesting landmarks commonly seen, including Dog Island Lighthouse, Ruapuke Island, the Titi Islands and Mt Anglem - Stewart Island’s highest point. After crossing Foveaux Strait and arriving at Oban – the main settlement on Stewart Island you will be transferred to the Bay Motel.
This afternoon explore Oban and the surrounding bays in a mini-bus tour. Experienced guides enjoy sharing their local knowledge of the history and environment of Stewart Island with you. Gain an insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community. Stewart Islanders are proud of their island, enjoying its simpler, slower pace. Highlights include Lee Bay, the gateway to Rakiura National Park and stunning views of Paterson Inlet from Observation Rock during this 1 hour 30 minute tour. On return to the motel you have the afternoon free to relax.
DAY 2 - ULVA ISLAND TOUR & NIGHT TIME KIWI SPOTTING TOUR (B)
Ulva Island (Te Wharawhara), is renowned for its diverse and abundant birdlife with a forest dominated by Rimu, Southern Rata and Kamahi, surrounded by marine reserve. It was visited by Ngai Tahu Maori as part of their food gathering trips and in the 1890s it became one of New Zealand’s first reserves. This 267 hectare island is now predator free, allowing the bird and plantlife to thrive. Today you will be guided by a Stewart Island local, who has the knowledge and know how to take you through Ulva Island. You will be transferred to Ulva Island by water taxi before having an informative and interesting walk on this unique island. Returning to the motel around midday where you have the rest of the afternoon to relax and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.
This evening we are in for a real treat with a night time Kiwi Spotting Tour. The tour will commence 30 minutes after dark and will give you the ultimately special opportunity to experience kiwi in their natural environment. We have EXCLUSIVE ACCESS to private land where New Zealand’s precious kiwi come out at night to feed (weather dependent).
DAY 3 - GREAT WALK RAKIURA TRACK - GUIDED WITH LUNCHBOX (BL)
Today is a guided walk on one of the most popular coastal and native bush walks on Stewart Island. Water taxi to Port William, site of early Maori settlement, before continuing on to beautiful Maori beach. This was also where early Maori settled and later became a saw milling community in the early 1900s. We then make our way to Lee Bay via Little River, a stunning tidal river mouth, overhanging with Rata trees.
Along the coast lookout for a plethora of birdlife, such as, Mutton birds (Sooty Shearwaters), Shags, Buller’s Mollymawks, Cape Pigeons, and little Blue Pengiuns. In the native bush you may see and hear Bellbirds, Tui, Fantails, Parakeets, Shining Cuckoos, Grey Warblers, Kaka and Tomtits and more. Walking time: duration 4-5 hours including Water Taxi
DAY 4 - FREE DAY TO EXPLORE (B)
Today is at leisure to relax or get active amongst nature. Visit the museum, walk the short tracks, stroll around the bush clad streets – so much to see. Get on a bike – push yourself or grab an electric one. Explore the beaches or get crafty by creating your own pendant out of pounamu (greenstone) with Dave at Rakiura Jade. Hire a kayak and explore the bays in this pristine natures playground.
DAY 5 - STEWART ISLAND TO BLUFF (B)
Today it is time to depart this paradise island and return to real life. Board the catamaran and for your cruise across the Straight to Bluff.