The Rakiura Track

A gentle, easy going 3 day walk, the Rakiura track is New Zealand’s Southern Most ‘Great Walk’ and takes in some of Stewart Islands best coastal scenery, as well as rugged inland landscapes.

You’ll meet your guide in Halfmoon Bay on the east coast of the Island and head over to Lee Bay where you’ll begin the walk along the coastal track, enjoying the beautiful stretches of open sandy beaches and a lunch stop at Mouri Beach where you’ll learn about early European history on the Island. Port William is the overnight spot here, and there’s chance for a swim to cool off too.

On day 2 you’ll be traversing swing bridges, paddling through small creeks and gently hiking across the inland summit track. We were lucky enough to spot some white tailed deer last time we were here, so keep an eye out, though they’re a little shy like the kiwis. Your walking for the day will end at North Arm Hut and you’ll head out again at nightfall to try to catch sight of the Islands nightlife.

Day 3 takes you around the headland from North Arm to Sawdust bay along the Paterson inlet, through forests of imposing Rimu trees and past former sawmill sites (hence the name sawdust bay!) and back to Halfmoon bay where no doubt you’ll be ready to relax and have a rest a well deserve glass of New Zealand wine.

You’ll cover around 12km per day, and it’s an easy walk, mostly across well laid boardwalks, although depending on the time of year you’re visiting be prepared to get a little muddy!

Accommodation is provided in the DOC huts or campsites, and although it’s certainly not 5* DOC have done a wonderful job and they’re clean, comfortable and well maintained. It’s a fantastic way to get out and see the Island in all its wild and rugged beauty, and enjoy the plethora of bird and wildlife too.

What our travellers enjoyed about walking the Rakiura Track…

  • With some of the most diverse bird populations in New Zealand it’s a great chance to spot and abundance of native feathered friends
  • Appreciating why the name Rakiura, which translates as ‘Glowing skies’ was given to the Island as the sun sets and night falls.
  • Feeling like a real explorer – Stewart Island has only 400 inhabitants in its more populated areas, and on the track walks you’re unlikely to see another soul apart from your fellow walkers and guide.