A Magical Encounter with a kiwi

Through the 80’s my wife and I explored much of Southland with road trips, boating adventures and walking wanders.

Stewart Island MapWithout doubt one of the highlights was a trip to Stewart Island. And in particular our two trips with with Bravo Adventures and skipper Phillip Smith.

First off we headed out from Halfmoon Bay on a fishing trip. The blue cod were relentless from first drop and when they stopped biting Phillip would say in a wonderful Southland drawl ” hang on we’ve moved off the spot” and reposition us.

Top that all off and on the way home Phillip fires up the stove, fillets a few fish then proudly presents beautiful fried blue cod wrapped in white bread with lashings of butter. Oh la la.

Second was our evening tour kiwi spotting at Ocean Beach. Heading off at dusk we rounded Ackers Point in to Paterson Inlet and  tied up at Glory Bay. Phillip lead us on a short torch light assisted walk across the headland and we were at Ocean Beach.

And then the magical encounter. A large fury ball prodding and probing amongst the kelp on the beach. A seminal moment in my life that led to the birth of Kiwi Wilderness Walks

That’s my magical kiwi encounter. Thanks Phillip.

Phillip still plys his boat around the seas of Stewart Island and helped with the creation of the Te Whaka a Te Wera Mātaitai Reserve …. you can read more about that on the Ngai Tahu “our stories” website.


Phillip Smith

Photo from Ngai Tahu website


Posted in: Wilderness Blog