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Departing Stewart Island Wharf, cruise through Paterson Inlet to Ulva Island. While on board, keep a lookout for fur seals, penguins and other wildlife, as sightings are common.

Then disembark at Ulva Island, a renowned wildlife sanctuary for a 45-minute guided walk with a specialist nature guide.

View rare plants and rich birdlife, including the inquisitive weka, which are often seen on the beach.

For the remainder of the cruise around Paterson Inlet, relax on board a modern catamaran and enjoy the coastal scenery before heading back to base.

Ulva Island

The island sanctuary is located within Paterson Inlet and offers the opportunity to view rarer native species including weka, kākā, kākāriki, tūī, bellbirds, pigeons  fantails , tomtit and brown creeper, Tui, saddleback, yellowhead, Stewart Island robin and rifleman have all been successfully reintroduced to Ulva Island.

Some lucky visitors to the sanctuary have also seen the Stewart Island brown kiwi during the day.

Ulva Island is part of the Rakiura National Park and covers an approximate 269 hectares which are mostly managed by the Department of Conservation.

The island, which has no permanent human population, is supported by the Ulva Island Charitable Trust, a group of Stewart Islanders, who raise funds for research, maintain the tracks and infrastructure, and help with bird releases.

Since the eradication of rats, Ulva Island has offered a predator-free environment for the birds and plant life.

In 2005, common skinks were transferred to the island from the other side of Paterson Inlet.  A rodent dog ensures that the predator free status is maintained and traps are located across the island to minimise the chance of re-evasion.

The rainforest on Ulva Island consists of rimu, southern rātā and kamahi, and also diverse varieties of broadleaf and ferns.

Ulva Island has easy walking tracks and is an aspiring place to visit for anyone interested in native birds or plants

Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary Tour

Stewart Island
3 Hours

$99 NZD

Board your boat at Stewart Island Wharf, with an expert nature guide, visit Ulva Island – a pest free bird sanctuary rich in bird life and rare plants

Experience provided by

Real NZ

Important Information
  • Delicious picnic lunches are available (if pre-ordered; extra cost)
  • Duration: 2 hrs 30 mins – 3 hrs
  • Departs from Stewart Island Visitor Terminal, Main Wharf
  • Suitable for most ages and fitness levels
  • Small group size
  • Pre bookings required

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