Evening light on Stewart Island
Image: Vincent Zintzen | ©
Located in the Southland region
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 a range of accommodation options. There one ATM on the island, which is only accessible during shop hours and does not accept foreign credit cards. Most operators accept Eftpos, Visa and Mastercard.
While there have been no reports of giardia on Stewart Island, we recommend treating all water collected from streams, or filling your water containers before leaving huts.
Help keep our water free from diseases and our land unspoilt by always using toilets where provided. If there is no toilet, find a secluded place well away from water and walking tracks, dig a hole and bury all human waste.
Read Te Whaka a Te Wera Mātaitai Reserve bylaws and fisheries regulations (collect from the DOC Stewart Island Visitor Centre), and the Ulva Island – Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve brochure (PDF, 2,004K). Ensure you fish in areas permitted. Take only the amount of seafood you need for the day.
Be prepared for everything – wind, rain, sun and sleet.
Stewart Island weather is unpredictable and strong winds can develop at short notice. Be prepared to change your plans and seek shelter. Average temperatures are 15˚C in summer and 9˚C in winter. Average annual rainfall is 1,600 mm.
Be aware of deer hunters, who are active all year-round on Stewart Island.
A permit is needed to hunt on Stewart Island – you can obtain one from the Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre or online. See Stewart Island hunting