RAKIURA / STEWART ISLAND
⛴️ self-guided itinerary
🛏️ minimum 2 night stay recommended
🍽️ dining suggestions offered
📅 visit any time of year
In the Maori Language, New Zealand's Stewart Island known as Rakiura which means 'land of the glowing skies'. You'll get an inkling why when you see the Aurora Australis during your visit which often appears in these southern skies. Over 85% of the island is National Park.
Highlights can include:
- Rakiura National Park has a couple of excellent day walks that offer the opportunity to explore further afield from Halfmoon Bay - the 5 hour Little River-Garden Mound loop walk provides panoramic forest views and showcases much of the special flora and fauna founds throughout the National Park; alternatively the 7 hour return Maori Beach offers stunning scenery, plenty of local history and a taste of the Rakiura Great Walk 🏞️🌊👟
- take the steep walk to Observation Rock is a superb place to watch sunsets, and if you're lucky, the aurora australis or southern lights 👟🌅
- be introduced to 'island life' at quirky Bunkhouse Theatre by viewing A Local's Tail, a short film featuring local characters, community colour, and their struggles and triumphs 🎥🐕
- nature lovers will adore iconic Ulva Island / Te Wharawhara, vibrant with bird life and completely predator free, this beautiful sanctuary is a short cruise across Paterson Inlet 🛥️🐦
- join the crew of Stewart Island Fishing and catch your own blue cod while taking in the spectacular surroundings of the roaring 40s 🛥️🎣
- go Kiwi spotting one evening and gain a true appreciation for their physical features and behaviour
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors 4.5
🌦️ Chance of Rain5.5
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun1.0
🍽️ Food + Wine 6.5
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of 100% Pure New Zealand on YouTube
RAKIURA / STEWART ISLAND
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Day 1 : Arrive in Stewart Island
You'll travel to the region, either by ferry from Bluff, or plane from Invercargill. Upon arrival onto Stewart Island you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.
This afternoon you'll get to know the islands only village, Oban, get panoramic views from Observation Rock and enjoy the local film made to help visitors get to know the island at Bunkhouse Theatre.
After dark, we'll give you the opportunity to go Kiwi Spotting, as if you're unlucky on your first night, you may be more lucky on your second!
Day 2 : an island that is 85% national park
You can't visit Stewart Island without spending at least part of your time taking in the bush and beach of Rakiura National Park. There's a range of walks catering to every ability, and great combinations available to you should you want to walk part of the way, and cruise by boat the rest. You could even soar over the island by plane to a remote corner and enjoy the special experience of landing directly on the beach if you wish.
You'll also have the opportunity to explore by kayak, venture out to beautiful bird sanctuary Ulva Island to see some of our very unique birds, or join a working fishing vessel and join in catching delicious blue cod with Stewart Island Fishing.
As always, we'll arrange dinner for you to delight in and celebrate your last night in this region at one of our favourite restaurants in the area, and after dark you'll have another opportunity to go Kiwi spotting if you wish to.
Day 3 : Depart Stewart Island
On your way out of the region, mix your modes of transport. If you arrived by boat, leave by plane. Or if you arrived by plane, leave by boat. That way you'll get the full experience of what life is like for the 300 residents that call this very special place home. As always, we'll be there to direct you on to your next New Zealand adventure, wherever you want that to be.