Remote, rugged and incredibly beautiful, Stewart Island showcases an almost untouched New Zealand. Offering a spectacular mix of breath-taking landscapes from golden sand beaches to forested hills and a coastline of rocky outcrops.
Stewart Island is a natural haven for marine and bird life. Famous for colourful sunsets, its Maori name Rakiura translates to “land of the glowing skies”.
Stewart Island Experience operates daily ferry services between Bluff and Stewart Island. Once there, visit Ulva Island, a renowned birdlife sanctuary, explore the village and bays with a local or join a Wild Kiwi Encounter for the opportunity to see kiwi in the wild. Rental cars and motor scooters are available for hire from the Oban Visitor Centre for those who wish to explore independently.
Gain an entertaining insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community, and learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island.
Our local guides enjoy sharing their knowledge of the area on this mini-bus tour of the Island. You will have plenty of time to get off the bus for photo stops and short walks.
Highlights include a visit to the gateway to Rakiura National Park at Lee Bay and Observation Rock with its stunning views of Paterson Inlet.
Discover Stewart Island from the water on a leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet and a guided walk in Ulva Island Wildlife Sanctuary
The cruise will showcase some of Paterson Inlet’s stunning scenery with its hidden coves and unspoilt beaches. You’ll hear fascinating stories of early Maori history and European settlement from your guide as we pass various landmarks. Your guide is passionate about this area, provides informative commentary and is more than happy to answer questions. While on board, keep a look out for fur seals and penguins – we see a lot of them around this area.
Paterson Inlet is home to renowned birdlife sanctuary Ulva Island and we’ll stop there for a 45 minute guided walk. The island is home to weka (native woodhen), bush robins, rare saddlebacks and yellowheads amongst other species. It is also a protected habitat for some of New Zealand’s rarest plant species. A regular highlight is to encounter an inquisitive weka on the beach.
For the remainder of the cruise around Paterson Inlet, relax on board our modern catamaran and enjoy the coastal scenery before heading back to base.
Price: Adults $199 pp
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
Departures: At dusk (departure time varies by month – from 5.30pm – 8.30pm)
Return time: Approx. 4 hours after departure, but due to the late return time of this tour, you will need to book accommodation on Stewart Island.
At dusk depart Halfmoon Bay in our catamaran for a cruise across Paterson Inlet to Little Glory Cove. During the cruise pass Ulva Island (a predator-free sanctuary) and learn about Stewart Island’s rich history. Once at Little Glory Cove, disembark onto a wharf at the southern part of the peninsula known as The Neck.
The walk, led by your nature guide, is on a well-formed track across the peninsula, through spectacular coastal forest to a secluded sandy beach.
As dusk sets in and daylight diminishes, venture by torchlight through the native forest with the stars and forest night sounds around you. The walk will take about 45 minutes one-way and the track emerges on to Ocean Beach. This wide sandy beach is where kiwi are often found feeding among the grasses and seaweed.
Here in the darkness you will get a chance to see the Stewart Island kiwi Rakiura Tokoeka).
Afterwards retrace your steps through the forest to Little Glory Wharf for your catamaran ride back to Oban.
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