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…
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.
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…
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.…
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,…
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…
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,…
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…
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…
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…
Wake to melodic bird song in warm and peaceful surroundings at this Purpose built Bed and Breakfast accommodation situated in the magnificent Stewart Island.…
Iris and Peter at Sails Ashore provide luxury boutique hosted accommodation overlooking Halfmoon Bay for guests wishing to experience the magic of Stewart…
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…
Displaying 1 - 21 of 44
A most enjoyable and exciting journey into the 3D realm of carving the strongest stone in our world. Make your own jade treasure from your selected piece of…
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…
Highly recommended operating since 2000 - our iconic guided walk on Ulva Island - a must do! Look out for penguins on the short boat ride to Ulva Island aboard…
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…
Private Car Hire on Stewart Island Pick-up Drop-off Customised Tours Our All-Wheel Drive Cab will be able to get you anywhere on the island, be it off the…
Tramping and hiking in New Zealand is a popular pastime. Stewart Island and Fiordland National Parks are two remote and unspoilt areas in New Zealand offering…
Stewart Island is perfect for a day excursion, or an extended stay. Cross Foveaux Strait on board our express passenger catamarans.  During the one-hour…
Private Car Hire on Stewart Island Pick-up Drop-off Customised Tours Our All-Wheel Drive Cab will be able to get you anywhere on the island, be it off the…
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…
Explore Oban and the surrounding bays aboard our modern mini-buses.  Gain an insight into the community, history and environment of Stewart Island.   Our…
Discover Stewart Island from the water.  On board our catamaran enjoy a leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet and visit Ulva Island - a renowned…
Be part of the crew and join us for a unique fishing experience on the commercial fishing vessel TEQUILA, while taking in the spectacular surroundings of the…
Wildfire is a 56 foot charter boat, 17 feet of beam and is surveyed for 40 pax. It has a planing hull and 675hp Scania Diesel main engine .230 volt auxiliary…
Rakiura Helicopters Stewart Island, the professional & experienced helicopter team , providing helicopter services of all types from Stewart Island Scenic…
Introducing HikeSouth, New Zealand Hiking and Tramping specialists Hike South is based in Queenstown on the edge of Fiordland and Mt. Aspiring National Park…
Ulva Island is an absolute "Must Do" for visitors to Stewart Island. The island is a glimpse into New Zealand's ancient past. Party size is small (generally 6…
ULVA ISLAND Just 8 minutes across Paterson Inlet lies Ulva Island, an island that has abundant birdlife, rich forest, interesting history, golden sand beaches…
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…
Aihe Wildlife Cruises and Water Taxi, offers small group wildlife and scenic cruises within Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island and pelagic birding tours around…
Stewart Island is a fantastic place to explore independently. Our modern rental cars enable you to discover the stunning coastline and secluded communities at…
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…