Our guided walk operates in Rakiura (Stewart Island) National Park, on the coastal sections of the Rakiura Great Walk.
An amazing adventure which is varied and interesting, with gorgeous coastal views, lovely photo opportunities and excellent information on the local history, flora and birdlife. Look out for and listen to native and endemic birds along the way.
Port William: Our primary trip is to Port William, returning along Stewart Island's northeastern coastline.
North Arm: We also offer a trip to North Arm, returning along the shoreline of Paterson Inlet.
Port William to Oban
Starts with a nice cruise from Paterson Inlet to Port William (45 minutes to 1 hour), looking out for Penguins and other seabirds along the way, whilst soaking up the rugged coastal scenery.
Port William was once the site of an early Maori settlement and was used as a sealing depot by Europeans. Designated as a township it was briefly settled with Shetland immigrants. Take a brief moment to look around before starting our walk along the picturesque, forested coastal track to Maori Beach. Crossing over the swing bridge - enjoy the tannin rich river winding along the estuary. Visit historical sawmill sites, fossick along the beach. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch and hot drinks at Maori Beach.
After lunch, continue along the coastal track, for some breathtaking views on clear sunny days of emerald green waters of William Bay, with glimpses of the South Island mountains. Enjoy time at Little River estuary and Lee Bay, the official entrance of Rakiura National Park. Here we take you by mini-van for a scenic road tour back to Oban, Halfmoon Bay.
North Arm to Oban
Starts with a cruise from Paterson Inlet to North Arm (45 minutes to 1 hour), looking out for penguins and shorebirds along the way, whilst soaking up the coastal scenery.
Adventure begins with a beach landing (time to take socks off - North Arm does not have a jetty)! Explore around the area, before starting our walk through coastal, regenerating forest. Much of this area, all the way back to Oban, was milled, but a rich variety of trees, ferns and orchids can be seen in the regenerating forest. Enjoy lovely views across Paterson Inlet, walk along Sawdust Bay with shells interspersed amongst planks of timber lined up by the changing tides. Take a peak at historic relics and visit the site of Stewart Island's very first sawmill. At Kaipipi Bay - take in the views, whilst enjoying a delicious picnic lunch and hot drinks. Follow the old sawmillers road to the track end. Time permitting we may visit Fern Gully - laden with ferns and mosses before taking a road shuttle back to Oban, Halfmoon Bay.
Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island.
More commonly seen birds include:
Land birds: Tui, Bellbird, South Island Tomtit, Fantail, Grey Warbler, Red-Crowned Parakeet, South Island Kaka, Wood Pigeon, Kingfisher.
Shore birds: Stewart Island Shag, Spotted Shag, Pied Shag, Little Shag, Black-Backed Gull, Red-Billed Gull, Variable Oystercatcher, White-Face Heron, Paradise Shelduck.
Sea birds: White-capped Mollymawks, Bullers Mollymawk, Llittle Blue Penguins.
New Zealand Sealion, Fur Seals and Bottle-Nosed Dolphins are seen occasionally.
The flora is a varied coastal forest and comprises original and regenerating sections of mixed hardwood podocarp forest, manuka and coastal scrub. Ferns, mosses, and a variety of orchids are present.
WEAR AND BRING
Day pack, raincoat, warm clothing, warm hat and gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, snack, camera and binoculars. Wear sneakers or comfortable walking shoes.
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