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. After a lot of hardwork this 267 hectare island is now predator free, allowing the bird and plantlife to thrive.
Be the first on Ulva Island at 7am* for an exclusive two and a half hour guided walk before circumnavigating Ulva Island in the Ulva Island water taxi for 1 hour, to gain another perspective of the island.
Walk out to Ackers Point on dusk. Once at the Lighthouse, watch the Sooty Shearwaters coming ashore after sunset as they return to their burrows in the surrounding bush for the night. Once the last of the Sooty Shearwaters crash through the vegetation we start to slowly make our way back, looking for Little Blue Penguins which too are returning at night to their burrows after a day out foraging at sea. Also encounters with a Kiwi has happened, so you might get lucky when you join us!
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.