Stewart Island New Zealand

Rakiura - 'Island of the Glowing Skies'

The Maori name for Stewart Island may be in reference to the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights that are sometimes visible from this latitude. The island is located approximately 30kms south of the main South Island of New Zealand and is accessible by sea ferry from Bluff and air transfer from Invercargill. The island has  85% of its landmass designated as National Park and only a few kilometres of sealed road. The highest peak is Mt Anglem to the north west at 979m, sometimes capped by a dusting of snow.

The main settlement of the island is at Halfmoon Bay located on the northern coast at Patterson Inlet. In the sheltered waters of the inlet is Ulva Island a 'must do' for all those interested in nature, in particular birdlife. Stewart Island is well known for its population of Kiwi but for the most diversity visit the sanctuary of Ulva Island. Birdlife includes:  Kakapo, Kaka,  Stewart Island Robin, Saddleback, Mohua, Kaka, Kakariki, Tui, Bellbird and Weka, plus seabirds Sooty Shearwater, Albatross, Mollymawk, Prion, Petrel, Cormorants and Blue Penguin.

Infrastructure on the island is limited, and there are no banks or ATMs, so kick back and enjoy life at a gentle pace with a focus on the natural features of island life.