NZ Bush Tip No. 8

Even if you are walking the main street of Kaikoura, always scan the ocean as you'll often spot a sperm whale, dolphins or an Orca.

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Stewart Island

Stewart Island is New Zealand's third largest island. A paradise for nature lovers, this is what much of New Zealand would have looked like thousands of years ago. Huge native trees and fern-studded bush grow right to the edge of white, sandy beaches in secret bays. The birdlife, marine life and plant life here are almost overwhelming, giving a real sense of life in the wilderness.

Must experience:

  • Take a nocturnal journey in search one of the most unique birds on the planet: the kiwi. A must for any trip to New Zealand
  • Go sightseeing and bird watching on the pristine and idyllic Ulva Island
  • Catch - or just taste - the freshest seafood
  • Head out on stunning walking tracks for just 20 minutes, or all day long
  • Let Ruggedy Range give you the opportunity to explore primeval forests, wild beaches and dunes, wetlands, spectacular views from sub-alpine and alpine peaks, crystal clear waters, and more...

Facts at a glance

  • The southern New Zealand dotterel, our third rarest bird (around 200 remain) breeds only on the alpine heights of Stewart Island.
  • Kiwis outnumber humans and it is estimated there are 20,000 on Stewart Island.
  • Kiwis are flightless and largely nocturnal. However, the Stewart Island brown kiwi is active during the day and night.
  • There are five species of penguins and nine possible species of albatross to be spotted on Stewart Island.


Stewart Island Lodge has unsurpassed views of the bay and surrounding hills
An unspoiled island retreat nestled in the natural beauty of a bush setting in Halfmoon Bay – Stewart Island Lodge has unsurpassed views of the bay and surrounding hills

The large garden plays host to many native birds
The large garden plays host to many native birds, including native parrots, and many birds can be viewed right from the terrace

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