Discover New Zealand's smallest island by cruise with regular stops to explore the native bush and visit historical sites.
The Freshwater River is fed by hundreds of little creeks flowing from nearby hills and mountains in the interior of Stewart Island. It meanders slowly to its estuary at the head of Paterson Inlet, discharging tannin rich waters and some silt into the salty waters of Paterson Inlet.
We start our cruise at Golden Bay Wharf, at a reasonable speed and not too fast, so that you can see any wildlife and take in the scenery. We travel across Paterson Inlet to experience the primeval Freshwater River. At Freshwater Landing, spend approximately 10 minutes to look around, walk along the swingbridge (optional), check out Freshwater Hut on the opposite bank of Freshwater River. Return down the River, across Paterson Inlet and to Golden Bay Wharf.
Enjoy the beautiful scenery and view wildlife along the way. Your skipper will provide interesting information during your tour.
Important: This trip is subject to suitable high tides and daylight hours for access to Freshwater River, and weather considerations. It does not operate everyday.
Paterson Inlet and Freshwater River.
Some commonly seen birds include:
Land birds: Bellbird, tui, grey warbler, fantail, South Island tomtit.
Sea birds: Little blue penguin
Shore birds: White-fronted tern, variable oystercatcher, Stewart Island shag, spotted shag, pied shag, little black shag, kingfisher.
Bottle-nosed dolphins are seen occasionally.
Reeds line the estuary giving way to manuka, scrub, ferns and mosses as you progress inland.
- Natural Attraction
- Guided Tours
- Nature & Wildlife
- Outdoor Activities
- Private Hire & Charters
- Water Activities
- Less than half day
- Family Friendly
- Wildlife Spotting
- Scenic Photo Point
- Scenic Cruises
- Scenic Attraction
- Scenic Tour
- Guided Walks