Stewart Island

Stewart Island/Rakiura is New Zealand’s third and southernmost island - an ecological wonderland, where the hectic pace of everyday life gently melts away.

Beauty cloaks this destination. A short, scenic flight or ferry trip across Foveaux Strait reveals a world of emerald-green rainforest, white sandy shores, golden sunsets and winter auroras so spectacular, they gave rise to the island’s Maori moniker Rakiura – land of the glowing skies. Here, only the chorus of birdsong punctuates the peace. The quaint township of Oban sits among the native bush and offers a wide variety of accommodation and a great base to explore the highlights.

Mason Hut Stewart Island night skies

Dark skies and the Aurora Australis

Stewart Island is among the best locations for astrotourism in the world, and is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Australis. Also known as the Southern Lights, it illuminates the sky with curtains and swirls of pink, red and green light. Stewart Island is well underway to obtaining official ‘dark sky’ status and is the perfect spot to witness this majestic phenomenon.

Explore Ulva Island

Ulva Island

Ulva Island is an absolute must-do for visitors to Stewart Island. As the Island is free of introduced animals, it is teeming with native flora and fauna, offering an unspoiled glimpse into New Zealand’s ancient past. Join a guided walk with one of the local experts and gain unique insight into this island paradise. 

Hike the Rakiura Track

The Rakiura Track Great Walk

About 85% of Stewart Island/Rakiura forms the stunning Rakiura National Park. A great way to explore some of this beautiful protected land is by hiking the Rakiura Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. Suitable for anyone with moderate fitness, it typically takes three days and provides a fantastic way to experience the scenery of Stewart Island. This is one of the few New Zealand tracks suitable for tramping all year round.

Saddle Back bird on Ulva Island

Birds, Birds, Birds

Home to the largest and most diverse bird population in New Zealand, here is your chance to get up close and personal with kākā, albatross, penguins, weka and even wild kiwi, who’s population is around 20,000 – outnumbering the human residents on the island by 50 to 1!

Blue Cod fishing near Stewart Island

Fishing and Seafood

Explore the beautiful, unpolluted water surrounding Stewart Island as you catch your own delicious Stewart Island blue cod, dive for crayfish, or scour the rocks and beaches for paua and cockles. For the more sedate, visit the local food vendors for unmatched seafood platters. 

Halfmoon Bay Stewart Island

Island Life

Learn from the locals about why they choose to live in this paradise. Explore the pristine waters around Stewart Island by boat or kayak. Take a swing on New Zealand’s southernmost golf course, or cruise the streets on a scooter. Visit the museum and tour the locals’ spots of interest. View a quirky local film, and take part in the famous Sunday Quiz at the pub.

Thumbnail

Stewart Island guides and brochures

Getting there
/discover-southland/stewart-island/how-to-get-there

Take a ferry or scenic flight to Stewart Island. Once you're there you'll find many options to help you with getting around the island.

View
Take a scenic flight to the beautiful Stewart Island
Thumbnail

Cruise Stewart Island
/discover/transport/cruise

Stewart Island is a wildlife and nature mecca unlike any other, a haven for people looking for nature, tranquillity and adventure.

View
See Stewart Island and Southland by cruise ship
Thumbnail

Wildlife
/discover-southland/wildlife

Southland gives visitors an unrivalled opportunity to get up close and personal with a wide range of wildlife and experience New Zealand at its natural best.

View
Southland is abundant with wildlife
Thumbnail
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15
Comfortable lodging Stunning sunsets over untouched nature, serene tranquility and utmost comfort – all offered at the southern edge of civilisation. Options…
Iris and Peter at Sails Ashore provide luxury boutique hosted accommodation overlooking Halfmoon Bay for guests wishing to experience the magic of Stewart…
Native birds including kaka, tui and bellbirds greet you with their beautiful song from the private and restful bush setting of Rakiura Lodge. Recently built,…
Glendaruel House My home is just that – a spacious, much loved house, combining old and new, antique furniture, original art work, DVD and Broadband internet.…
Stewart Island Lodge is a peaceful and secluded B&B island retreat, nestled amongst native bush with commanding views of Halfmoon Bay and the surrounding…
If you want absolute peace and a sense of complete release from the stresses of your world, then Deep Bay Apartment is just the place. You can stretch out on…
Tokoeka Bed and Breakfast boasts one of the best views on Stewart Island, overlooking Oban village, Halfmoon Bay and the ocean beyond. Tokoeka was built in…
Our beautiful location enables guests to unwind in peace and quiet, while Stewart Island's restaurants, shops and main attractions are but a 5-7  minute walk…
Whether you’re planning a three day hike or just heading down to the beach, our comfortable units provide a sanctuary at the end of an adventure-filled day. We…
So recounted Ian’s Great Aunty Olga in her famous book 'The Stewart Islanders'. It’s no wonder that sixth-generation Stewart Islander Ian and Philippa's Port…
13 unit complex. All units equipped with own kitchenette & bathroom.
Kowhai Lane Lodge is situated in private gardens only 4 or 5 minutes stroll from the village centre and waterfront, a home away from home for your Island…
The South Sea Hotel is a Stewart Island icon, with a strong footing in Island life, both past and present.  The hotel has a fully licensed bar, restaurant,…
Wake to melodic bird song in warm and peaceful surroundings at this Purpose built Bed and Breakfast accommodation situated in the magnificent Stewart Island.…
Conveniently situated in the heart of Halfmoon Bay, we offer friendly, comfortable and clean accommodation at competitive prices 365 days a year. We also have…
Displaying 1 - 21 of 44
Experience something amazing… Ulva Island (Te Wharawhara) Nature and History Guided Walks and great Stewart Island Walks Be guided by a Stewart Island local,…
Explore Ulva Island with Ulva's Guided Walks one of the original bird watching companies on Stewart Island.  Ulva's Guided Walks was established by Ulva…
The Rakiura Track is a 30km tramping track requiring a moderate level of fitness and suitable for tramping all year around. The entire circuit is 37 km in…
Where else would you expect to see a Tuk Tuk but on Stewart Island, where a dog called Lola is the local celebrity! Aussie Pete, one of the film makers of "A…
Here is one of the best ways to see the bottom of New Zealand….on the deep south Bottom Bus! We have been guiding intrepid travelers around the bottom of New…
Explore Ulva Island with Ulva's Guided Walks one of the original bird watching companies on Stewart Island.  Ulva's Guided Walks was established by Ulva…
Explore picturesque Stewart Island in style on our Eco-friendly electric bikes. Stop at your leisure and have the time to walk to more remote destinations such…
Go for a Paddle with Phil’s Sea Kayak Stewart Island Sea Kayaking at Stewart Island offers the whole range from exploration for the beginners in the pristine…
Stewart Island is rugged and largely unmodified - swathed in a rich rainforest overhanging the sea. From early Maori who arrived in the 13th century, and…
A visit to Stewart Island isn't complete without a browse through the Rakiura Museum. Established and run by volunteers, the museum houses an extensive…
ULVA ISLAND Just 8 minutes across Paterson Inlet lies Ulva Island, an island that has abundant birdlife, rich forest, interesting history, golden sand beaches…
Explore picturesque Stewart Island in style on our Eco-friendly electric bikes. Stop at your leisure and have the time to walk to more remote destinations such…
Experience a night walk in search of kiwi in the wild - in small groups with a locally owned and operated nature tourism business. Learn interesting facts…
Stewart Island is a fantastic place to explore independently. Our modern rental cars enable you to discover the stunning coastline and secluded communities at…
Aihe Wildlife Cruises and Water Taxi, offers small group wildlife and scenic cruises within Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island and pelagic birding tours around…
Cruise in affordable comfort & style on your Stewart Island discovery tour or water taxi service: Rakiura Charters & Water Taxi is a small, locally…
Traditional fishing on beautiful Stewart Island Come out on the beautiful, unpolluted water surrounding breath-taking Stewart Island to catch your own…
Take in the wonder of Stewart Island with a comfortable 15 minutes flight from Invercargill, taking you to the heart of New Zealand's ecological playground.…
This is a unique 6-hole course on an equally unique island. The only way to get to Stewart Island is by plane or boat and if you are a golfer you should not…
Scheduled ferry service to Ulva Island, departing Golden Bay. No bookings required. Kaian Water Taxi and Ranui Ulva Island Ferry operate every day from 1st…
Discover and explore our stunning natural history with Stewart Island's original water taxi. Our friendly and efficient water taxi service offers a comfortable…