Boat on the water, Ulva Island

Image: Martin Sharman | Creative Commons


Visit iconic Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara, the jewel of Rakiura National Park. Sample the delights of this open sanctuary via a series of well-formed tracks catering for all ages and levels of fitness.

Track overview

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


Explore this open sanctuary on well-formed tracks, catering for all ages and levels of fitness. Track times given below are return times from Post Office Bay but connected paths will allow you to return by a different route. Times are generous allowing for stops to listen to the birds.

Flagstaff Point Lookout

Time: 20 min return to Post Office Bay

A short walk takes you up steps to the lookout with panoramic views back to Stewart Island/Rakiura. A flagstaff was erected here by Postmaster Charles Traill so he could signal to residents of Paterson Inlet/Whaka a Te Wera when the mail boat arrived from Bluff. You can choose to descend and return via Sydney Cove.

Sydney Cove Picnic Area

Time: 20 min return to Post Office Bay

An easy walk brings you to this beautiful, golden sand beach where you'll definitely want to linger. Picnic tables, a picnic shelter, toilet facility and fresh water are available here. From the beach you'll look out onto part of the Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve. Walking south along the beach, you'll find another track leading to the four-way junction that links this track with tracks to Boulder Beach, West End Beach and back to Post Office Bay.

Boulder Beach

Time: 1 hr 30 min return to Post Office Bay

Boulder Beach takes its name from two massive boulders now hidden in the forest covering the southern ridge above. This sheltered beach also gives views west across the marine reserve to the tiny islands and distant shores of Paterson Inlet. A track leads from the north end of Boulder Beach to West End Beach.

West End Beach

Time: 2 hr return to Post Office Bay

As you approach this most westerly of the island's beaches, the heavier forest of the island merges into coastal plant communities. The loop with the Boulder Beach track gives an easy round trip of about three hours.


Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 219 0009
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   15 Main Road
Postal Address:   PO Box 3
Rakiura/Stewart Island 9846
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