Stewart Island offers such a unique New Zealand experience, a world away for the hustle and bustle of the major towns and cities, and with only 400 residents (of the human variety!) it’s easily to understand why there’s such a plethora of wildlife and birdlife that make the Island their home and why anyone with a love of wildlife and nature should make a visit a ‘must do’ on their holiday hit list.
There’s such a wide variety of different trips to choose from, but we’ve managed to narrow it down to our favourite two.
Ulva Island-4.5 / 8.5 hour experience
Ulva Island is reached by a short water taxi ride from Golden Bay and once there, you’ll enjoy an easy walk through the rainforest as guide Furhana teaches you about the local and European history of the island.
Furhana (who also owns the tour company) has the most incredible ability to identify the calls of the native birds and she’ll help you to listen out for the sounds of kaka (native parrot), the bellbird’s tinkering tuneful notes and the wonderfully varied calls of the tui, as well as helping you spot other endemic/native species including the saddleback, yellowhead, robin and red and yellow crowned Parakeets.
A lunch stop at Sydney Cove gives you chance to relax and enjoy the coastal views followed by a walk along a historical track to The Snuggery, where yet more fascinating bird and plant life can be enjoyed before returning to Stewart Island.
Kiwi Journey- 2 days
This 2 day hike will see you travelling across the centre of Stewart Island, following the route of the country’s most famous flightless bird through forests, along winding rivers and across windswept sand dunes to the rugged and wild west coast beach .
In the evening, once darkness falls, you’ll head out to explore the island by night, listening out for the Kiwi’s shrill call. Although we can’t’ guarantee a sighting, there is over a 90% chance you’ll be lucky enough to see one so the odds are definitely with you!
What our travellers enjoyed about Stewart Island Nature Tours…
- Exploring such a unique part of the country, it’s very different from anywhere else in New Zealand
- A chance to spot Kiwis in their natural habitat
- The opportunity to see some wildlife that you won’t see anywhere else in New Zealand