Stewart Island offers the best chance most people will ever have to see New Zealand's national bird, the kiwi, in its natural environment. Rest assured not many New Zealanders can make that claim.
Many centuries ago Maori came by canoe to the island to harvest shellfish and mutton birds, traditions still carried out today by local iwi. They named the island Rakiura - 'Land of the Glowing Skies' as it is renowned for lingering summer sunsets and the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights.
Our five day guided walk takes a nice loop across Stewart Island. Starting in the southern town of Invercargill we travel to Mason Bay on the West Coast of Stewart Island. Then walk, water taxi and sea kayak our way across the island to Halfmoon Bay. A visit to the stunning open sanctuary Ulva Island and some time to explore Halfmoon Bay before flying back to the mainland at Invercargill.
From November to April we have regular guaranteed departures. Other departures are available on request with a minimum of three people or for less than three a surcharge applies.
The dates listed below are "Day 1" or the first night in Invercargill. We depart first thing on "Day 2" although it is tide dependent.
|2019 / 2020||Departure Dates|
|Nov 2019||14th / 29th|
|Jan 2020||12th / 26th|
|Feb 2020||11th / 25th|
|Mar 2020||11th / 26th|
|Apr 2020||5th / 26th|
Your guided walk package starts and finishes in Invercargill. It includes 4 nights accommodation, all meals and snacks, flights to and from the island, water taxis, concession and guiding fees, all equipment and maps. The trips are usually 3 to 5 people with a maximum of 6.
Per person including GST
Children 10 to 15 subtract NZ$150. We do not recommend the track for children under 10. Prices are valid to 1 November 2020. Please check our booking conditions.
Accommodation is based on share twin. That's two singles or one double sharing a room. If you are single and want to stay that way we can arrange single rooms.
In Invercargill we stay at the Victoria Railway Hotel a restored historic guesthouse in the centre of Invercargill.
At Mason Bay we stay in a campsite alongside the public hut. Bunk beds are generally available in the hut and our camp is well set up with a range of tents, camping chairs and inflatable mattresses. We provide sleeping bags. No power, toilets are outside and there are no showers .... sorry that's the price you pay to see a kiwi in the wild and all of our customers agree it is worth it!
In Halfmoon Bay we stay at a holiday hone or "crib" with all the mod cons....power, showers and flush toilets. Linen is provided. Carry only your own personal items.
Invercargill is 170km from Queenstown, and 190km from Te Anau. Scenic Shuttle operates a daily service departing Te Anau 7.30am (pick up from 7:15am). Shuttles from Queenstown depart at 7.30am . Feel free to contact us to help arrange transfers for you.
A medium level of fitness is required for Stewart Island. The walking is generally flat. The tracks can be muddy and wet after heavy rain. The sea kayaking is in protected waters and no previous experience is required.
Is unpredictable. Extreme conditions can develop at any time. Be prepared for cold and wet weather and have warm waterproof equipment. It makes it even nicer when it is warm and sunny:
We will provide all camping, cooking and kayaking equipment, sleeping bags and maps. You provide and carry a pack, personal and hiking equipment. We have packs and wet weather gear available if required but please advise in advance.
A good pair of comfortable walking boots or shoes is essential. The walking is relatively flat on a mixture of beaches, natural bush tracks and well formed paths. You will need to carry only your own personal belongings during the day.
For our comprehensive list of things to bring click here.
Posted in: Our Walks