Stewart Island – J. Houtwipper

We had 3 nights and 4 days on Stewart Island in January 2014.  Many New Zealanders have never even visited there, but we knew we wanted to experience it – we had heard so many wonderful things about the clear waters and stunning native bush and birdlife.  It is different again from both the North Island and South Island. And like stepping back in time and “pace” – untouched, prehistoric, beautiful.  A very simple, nature lover’s paradise and I highly recommend it as a special lifetime experience.

A day trip to Ulva Island (10 minutes by water taxi) is a must.  We had a wonderful guide (Matt from Ulva’s Guided Tours – Ulva is a lovely lady who was named after the island and also takes the tours).   We can confirm that having a guide is totally worth it – you have a much richer experience learning all about the history of the island and the native birds and plants/trees, and being able to ask questions and tailor the trip to what you want to do and see.   We had a gorgeous little family of robins all around us for about 10 minutes or more  – totally unafraid.  The mother was feeding the baby right beside us and even flying close to sit on my husband’s foot while we stood watching. Continue reading