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