kiwis on stewart island

Stewart Island


DAY 1: Arrive in Invercargill

Stay at the Victorian Railway Hotel In Invercargill. Pre track briefing and evening meal starts at 6pm. Rental cars and any excess luggage can be left at the hotel. Shuttles available from Queenstown and Te Anau.

DAY 2: Invercargill, Mason Bay
Walk 4 hours / 10km

Departure time changes with the tide ( literally ! ) Fly by light plane from Invercargill airport to Mason Bay passing Codfish Island, an important Kakapo sanctuary. Landing on Mason Bay beach we take some time to explore this isolated wonderland walking to the Mason Bay Hut, the one night where we “rough it” camping alongside the Mason Bay Hut.

This evening we will see if we can spot one of the local residents, a kiwi. Stewart Island Kiwi, or Tokoeka in Maori, are unique in that they are sometimes seen during the day so if you do miss out under the stars there is always tomorrow!.

DAY 3: Mason Bay, Freshwater, Halfmoon Bay
Walk 4 hours / 14km

An easy ( flat ) walk across the Island to Freshwater. Massive sand dunes, head high tussock and Manuka trees house many native birds, including kiwi's and robins.

At Freshwater Landing we meet the water taxi for a half hour ride down Freshwater River and across Paterson Inlet to Halfmoon Bay. Tonight we stay in a classic Southland "crib" or holiday home with power and a shower! Dinner is generally fresh Salmon caught that day.

DAY 4: Halfmoon Bay, Ulva Island
Walk 3 to 5 hours

Today we explore Halfmoon Bay by foot and water taxi. In the morning ( this can alter depending on the weather ) we take a walk to Ackers Point exploring historic buildings on our way to the lighthouse.

Then we visit Ulva Island, an open sanctuary playing an important role in the conservation of threatened species. Birds we may see include the weka, kaka, kakariki, kukupa, mohua and tieke.

This is our second night in Halfmoon Bay.

DAY 5: Halfmoon Bay, Invercargill

Time to explore Halfmoon Bay. Try one of many short walks, visit a local craft gallery, or just soak up the island ambience. In the afternoon ( generally the 1:30pm flight ) we fly to Invercargill for the completion of our journey. Many customers chose to stay an extra night or two on Stewart Island or back in Invercargill.

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