Lee Bay Road, Rakiura National Park

For those wanting to venture into Rakiura National Park for a day, the easy 6-7 hour return walk to Maori Beach is an excellent choice for a short tramp, offering stunning scenery and plenty of local history. Starting at the end of Lee Bay Road, the track to Maori Beach is the first section of the Rakiura Track, one of New Zealand's Great Walks.

Between 1913 and 1935 the Maori Beach area was a busy settlement with a school, several workers houses, and a sawmill. After the mill closed in 1931 (the last operating mill on Stewart Island), people gradually drifted away. Today the area is peaceful and picturesque, with regenerating forest quickly hiding evidence of those early days. However, remains of a boiler and steam engine used by the mill can still be found, along with clumps of montbretia and bluebells - legacies from the sawmiller's cottages.

A Great Walk campsite is located at the beach, providing a number of tent spots, a small shelter, drinking water and a toilet (but no toilet paper). This campsite requires prior booking.

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Venture Southland
Last modified
Tue 26 Jun 2018
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Maori Beach

Maori Beach

Lee Bay Road
Rakiura National Park