Things to do Enjoy a broad range of Stewart Island activities

  • Fly in to Stewart Island

    Fly in to Stewart Island

  • Albatrosses


  • Go kayak

    Go kayak

  • New Zealand Fur Seal

    New Zealand Fur Seal

  • Oystercatchers at the beach

    Oystercatchers at the beach

  • Tramping options for all ages

    Tramping options for all ages

  • Early out for a boat trip

    Early out for a boat trip

  • Fishing!


  • Mollymawk Albatross watching

    Mollymawk Albatross watching

  • Explore the beaches

    Explore the beaches

  • Explore along the coast

    Explore along the coast

  • Have a swim

    Have a swim

  • Penguin was here

    Penguin was here

  • Small trip to Ulva Island

    Small trip to Ulva Island

  • Curious robins at Ulva Island

    Curious robins at Ulva Island

  • Fern Forest right at Observation Rock Lodge

    Fern Forest right at Observation Rock Lodge

  • Find native orchids at our place

    Find native orchids at our place

  • Native orchid at Observation Rock Lodge

    Native orchid at Observation Rock Lodge

  • Wood pigeon in her favourite garden spot

    Wood pigeon in her favourite garden spot

  • Tui always around

    Tui always around

Getting here

There are several departures daily by ferry from Bluff (1 hour), or small plane from Invercargill (15 minutes), as well as customized Helicopter charters.
There are great Air New Zealand connections throughout the country – you can fly down from Auckland, or eg Napier, leaving in the morning and be at Stewart Island for lunch! From Australia there are great connections to Queenstown or Dunedin which bring you within hours to Southland and Stewart Island.

 Leave the car behind – and then …. Slow down and go for “island time”.

Take your time – many guests found Stewart Island the highlight of their New Zealand travels, offering the best of all experiences in one place, and wished to have more days available.

We can advise and organise activities – you will be five min walk away from Golden Bay wharf / departure point to Ulva Island Nature Reserve & Open Bird sanctuary  (we can arrange water taxi transport for you).

We are happy to organise your Ulva Island visit – you just go and have a wonderful experience 🙂

To the village centre it is a stroll of 8 min. You will find a general store as well as a lovely museum, craft shops and the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre. There is a limited number of Cafes or Restaurants.
A very special opportunity is Greenstone Carving – There is a master carver on the island, and with a one day workshop you even could make your own piece of Jade / New Zealand Greenstone.

You can hire Electrical bikes – easy and fun to get around with.


IF you are lucky to have an AURORA AUSTRALIS (southern lights) to occur, the Lodge with the bedrooms, decks and lounge facing southwest, would be THE place to watch it. We are following up Aurora Forecasts, as we are very keen to see them ourselves, and are happy to keep you updated once here.

Also, we are the perfect place to watch the stars and milky way – Southern Cross is raising above Observation Rock. No light pollution at our side of the village. Stewart Island´s Dark Sky Reserve!


Guided Tours are offered by different operators.

We have Kiwis visiting right here and in the nature reserve next to us, but this cannot be planned …


Stewart Island is a walker´s paradise, offering stunning coastal, bush and forest walks from 10 min to half or full day activities, for all fitness and ability levels. Our favourites right at the door step are Fuchsia Walk (a perfect 10 min alternative to get to the village centre), Raroa Walk (huge native trees in a never milled forest), Golden Bay-Deep Bay-Ringaringa Walk (forest, coastline and beach – all together). Clothing and footwear for “all seasons” is advisable, also bring a torch if you might go out at night time.

Walk on the RAKIURA TRACK – one of New Zealand´s Great Walks. Day one (Oban to Port William) and day three (North Arm to Oban) are the nicest parts of the walk and can be done as easy and comfortable day walks. Off by water taxi and back home to all luxury in the afternoon!

 Boat trips and guided activities

Fishing, water taxi charter, kiwi spotting – plenty of opportunities. Guided tours and rental cars are available at the island – but the road system is very limited and the beauty of the place is experienced best by walking. We are happy to advise and help with the organising. Also see

Stewart Island, anchor of Aotearoa. “There is a mystique about Stewart Island that is not found elsewhere in New Zealand. It has to do with its wilderness atmosphere, haven qualities, limited development, small population and location off the beaten track”. Leonard Cockayne, a pioneer botanist, wrote of Stewart Island in the early 19oos: ´It is hard to speak of the scenery of Stewart Island without using a superabundance of superlatives´. Little has changed across much of the island since Cockayne´s day. Superlatives are still appropriate. Rakiura remains the most intact – the least logged, burnt and built upon of New Zealand´s three main islands. It is a natural treasure – a green gem in a blue setting.” (Stewart Island – a Rakiura Ramble, by Neville Peat)