Tramper on Maori Beach, Stewart Island
Image: Baptiste Maryns | ©

Introduction

To the south of New Zealand's South Island, Stewart Island/Rakiura is a one-hour ferry ride from Bluff or 20 minutes by plane from Invercargill.

Highlights

Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third largest island and home to Rakiura National Park.

The island’s only settlement, in Halfmoon Bay, has a:

  • general store
  • postal agency
  • DOC Visitor Centre, and
  • range of accommodation options.

There is one ATM on the island. This is only accessible during shop hours and does not accept none-New Zealand credit cards. Most operators accept Eftpos, Visa and Mastercard.

Find things to do and places to stay Stewart Island/Rakiura

To minimise disturbance to kiwi:

  • keep at least 5 metres away from kiwi and do not follow them
  • do not handle kiwi – this will distress them and can spread disease
  • when using a torch, screen the light with your hand or use a red light – kiwi can only tolerate low light levels
  • be as quiet as possible and keep to the track
  • do not use flash photography
  • report insensitive behavior to DOC.

Ulva Island

You can land at any of Ulva Island’s bays and enjoy the plant and birdlife. Ulva Island is special because it's predator-free – be aware of stowaways.

There is a day shelter at the eastern beach on Sydney Cove, with information on the marine reserve and the mātaitai reserve.

Camping in not permitted at any time.

Glory Cove

You're welcome to visit the Glory Cove Scenic Reserve and Ocean Beach during the day, however access between 6 pm and 6 am is restricted to permit holders only.

Norwegian whalers base

Visit the historic Norwegian whalers’ base in Prices Inlet. On-site interpretation of the whaling era is provided.

Camping is not permitted – this area is privately owned.

River safety / VHF marine radio

Follow river safety rules and the regulations.

Water taxis run once a day on the high tide up the river – be aware of them and keep to the sides of the river where possible. They will radio entrance and exit times to the radio operator on Marine radio channel 65 – if you have a radio you are advised to do the same.

It is strongly recommended that you take a Marine VHF radio with you – mobile phone coverage is limited to the main village area. Channels used are:

65 – Stewart Island Maritime Radio
Operator: Maureen Jones
Phone: +64 3 219 1242 or +64 27 219 059 061

Bluff Maritime Radio
Operator: Meri Leask
Phone: +64 3 212 7281

Weather forecasts

Weather forecasts are broadcast daily:

  • Channel 65: 9.25 am and 5.25 pm
  • Channel 71: 7.25 am, 10.30 am, 1.30 pm and 5.30 pm (also on channels 68 and 69)

Contacts

Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 219 0009
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   stewartisland@doc.govt.nz
Address:   15 Main Road
Oban
Postal Address:   PO Box 3
Rakiura/Stewart Island 9846
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