Stewart Island Self Guided Adventure


    enquire now From NZD $1,840 pp twinshare
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    Day 1: Invercargill to Stewart Island

    Fly Invercargill to Stewart Island at your choice of time: 8 am or 1pm This afternoon enjoy a two hour guided tour of Stewart Island, the perfect chance to orientate yourself and discover what awaits over the coming 5 days. Tour sites may include: • Lee Bay – Gateway to Rakiura National Park, • Horseshoe Bay, • Observation Rock Lookout, • Ackers Point Historic Stone House.
    Day 2: Ulva Island Birding Classic

    The iconic Ulva Island is one of New Zealand’s few pest-free island sanctuaries, featuring vibrant bird life and dense native bush. You will meet your guide at the Golden Bay Wharf at 8.20am where you will board a water taxi for a 7 minute ride across Paterson Inlet to Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary. Enjoy a wonderful walk through lush native forest with a local guide. Birds you will likely see at Ulva Island include South Island Saddleback, Stewart Island Weka, New Zealand Pigeon/Kereru, South Island Kaka, Yellow- and Red-crown Parakeet (Kakariki), Morepork, Rifleman, New Zealand Bellbird and Tui. At lunchtime depart Ulva Island onboard a comfortable boat for an afternoon of seabird watching. The boat has good viewing from the back deck, heated cabin, some seating inside, kitchenette with hot drinks (and cake!) available and a toilet onboard. You will enjoy commentary from a local knowledgeable skipper. Typical sightings include 4 species of albatross, 2-3 species of penguin (depending on time of year), shearwaters, petrels and terns. Return approximately 3 hours later to Halfmoon Bay Wharf. Today’s itinerary can be split into two half days:

    Day 3: Kayak, Bike & Spot Kiwis

    Start your morning with a half day sea kayaking tour. After a briefing you will be exploring the beautiful bush-clad shoreline keeping an eye out (and ear open) for penguins and a host of seabirds going about their daily activities. With you guide you might visit the waters around the Faith, Hope and Charity Islands, head in to Deep Bay and maybe reach Ringaringa Passage – where the Inlet meets the open ocean. All along the way you’ll be discovering the amazing and prolific sea life living in the crystal-clear water. Upgrade your kayak tour to 4.5 hours at an additional cost of $75. This afternoon enjoy exploring the island at your leisure on an E-bike. You may bike to a secluded beach for a relaxing afternoon or seek more adventure biking to one of our recommended spots: • Observation Rock: Only a 5 minute bike from the town centre offering amazing views of Paterson’s Inlet, Mount Rakeahua and much more. • Lee Bay: Lee Bay is about a 20 minute e-bike and marks the start of the Rakiura and North West circuit tracks, it also has one of the pair of matching chain sculptures. They are part of a Maori Legend in which a warrior fishes up the north island from the south island, from his boat, and to do so he drops his anchor, Stewart Island. • Ackers Point Lighthouse and Harrold Bay: Take a scenic walk out to Ackers Point past Harrold Bay. This cottage at Harrold Bay is one of New Zealand’s oldest buildings. Then carry on around the coastal track to Ackers Point. The platform at the end offers extraordinary views back towards Halfmoon Bay as well as the surrounding area. Ackers point is also a great spot to view the local wildlife, such as seals, sooty shearwater and little blue penguins. The end of the road is only 15 minutes bike from town, from there it is a 5 minute walk to Harrold Bay, or approximately 40-45 minutes’ walk to Ackers Point. Finish you day with an evening of kiwi spotting at the Mamaku Point Conservation Reserve – a Stewart Island must do! Depending on the time of year you will depart the Oban township after sunset (6.30pm to 10.30pm). Your experience will be 2 – 3 hours. With a local guide explore the forest and favoured hang-outs of these rare iconic birds. Listen for Morepork and Blue Penguin and marvel at the stars above – Stewart Island’s spectacular night sky is an accredited Dark Sky Sanctuary status by the International Dark Sky Association.

    Day 4: Free Day of Exploration

    Today is your day to explore as you wish or take some well-deserved time out. This day also provides a spare day in case you have bad weather on another day.

    Day 5: Coast to Coast

    Fly, hike and boat. Or Fly and boat. Get spectacular views of Paterson Inlet and Mason Bay as you fly across the island prior to an exciting beach landing. You will then enjoy walking between Mason Bay and Freshwater Hut (approximately 4 hrs), the walk is on mostly flat tracks, including a stretch of boardwalk over the island’s Chocolate swamp. The track features ever-changing vistas as it crosses diverse landscapes, from dunes to wetlands, scrub to rainforest. From Freshwater Hut, trampers enjoy a scenic boat trip along the meandering Freshwater River, crossing Paterson Inlet to Golden Bay. Alternatively if hiking isn’t something you are comfortable with, enjoy a scenic return flight to Masons Bay combined with a cruise across Paterson Inlet up the Freshwater River (prices will vary for this option, enquire with Wild Earth Travel).

    Day 6: Stewart Island to Invercargill 

    Fly back to Invercargill or extend your time on the island.

    Kaka Retreat’s beautiful location enables guests to unwind in peace and quiet, while Stewart Island’s restaurants, shops and main attractions are but a 5-7  minute walk away. Experienced hosts are at the helm of this island accommodation complex which combines warmth and atmosphere with convenience and comfort, making your Stewart Island stay an unforgettable and carefree experience.

    Nestled amongst beautiful native bush, Kaka Retreat guests can appreciate the peace and tranquillity of a unique island setting where silence is broken only by the calls of the Tui, Fantail, Kakariki birds and, of course, the infamous cheeky native parrot, the Kaka.  Appreciate the beauty of Stewart Island with activities that range from walking, tramping, fishing, kayaking to guided tours of Ulva Island.

    Kaka Retreat Stewart Island is the perfect base for the single traveller, couples, families, and small groups alike. Whether it’s a studio apartment or group bookings for up to 14 people, Kaka Retreat can meet your Stewart Island accommodation requirements. N.B. Due to our uphill site location and limitations with room layouts our cottages and units are not suited to guests requiring disabled access or facilities.

    Please note: This is a tailormade trip. Please contact Wild Earth Travel with your preferred travel dates. Minimum 2 people

    Kaka Retreat Stewart Island is the perfect base for the single traveller, couples, families, and small groups alike. Whether it’s a studio apartment or group bookings for up to 14 people, Kaka Retreat can meet your Stewart Island accommodation requirements. N.B. Due to our uphill site location and limitations with room layouts our cottages and units are not suited to guests requiring disabled access or facilities.

    Images courtesy of Wild Earth Travel 2020.