Explore Rakiura - Stewart Island

From Invercargill to Stewart Island Rakiura
  • Stewart Island & Chatham Islands
  • Walking and Active
  • Wildlife and Nature
  • Off the beaten track
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Tour Description

Kiwis in the wild? Wildlife, birdsong, remote beaches, forests, great seafood and very few people. Take a week and explore off the beaten path, Rakiura – Stewart Island. This is the largest island National Park in New Zealand, located just 30km of south of the South Island.

Enjoy the views over Oreti Beach and Foveaux Strait during the short 20-minute scenic flight from Invercargill, before you land in Oban, population just a little over 400. A friendly local host will be there to greet you, and over a cuppa of tea or coffee and plan your week ahead.
Kiwi spotting will be one of your weeks highlight. You should see them in the wild when they come out at night to feed...there are more kiwis than people here, so luck will hopefully be on your side! Another day, take a tour to Ulva Island, unique predator-free environment and a bird lovers paradise. With an experienced ranger discover rare and endangered birds and plants. Port William and Maori Beach offer wonderful coastal and forest hiking opportunities,  with your local guide you will learn about the early settlers history and be immersed by nature. 

Take the  time to enjoy the simpler and slower lifestyle of Stewart Island and enjoy the nature, bush and beach. Be prepared for the often-unpredictable weather of the ‘Roaring Forties’. But don’t worry, your wonderful host will help you plan your activities according to the weather to make sure you have the best experience.  By the time you board the small plane to fly back to Invercargill you will feel refreshed by having spent some time in this truly special place.

This can be customised, let us know your interests and we will tailor make a Stewart Island break for you.

Viva's Best Bits...

Experience kiwis in their natural habitat. The kiwis come out at night to feed. Did you know that Stewart Island has an estimated population of 20,000 kiwis? Your guide will tell you more about these special birds.

Ulva island is a bird lovers paradise, you will see endangered birds such as Stewart Island robin, saddleback and Yellowhead. Your experienced ranger will provide you with lots of interesting information.

"During your half hour water taxi ride keep your eyes open you may spot little Blue Penguins. Afterwards during your hike the birdlife and birdsong will make walking easy. Just enjoy the atmosphere'". Pia, Team Viva

Tour Itinerary

Customisable ? This tour can be customised to suit your tastes and timing. Enquire here for more information.
Day 1
Invercargill Stewart Island Rakiura

Make your own way to Invercargill airport for your flight with Stewart Island Airlines to Oban. On arrival you will be met by your host and given a mini tour of Oban before you arrive at your lodge. Enjoy the rest of the day at your own leisure.

Day 2
Ulva Island

Ulva Island Guided walking tour
The Island is part of Rakiura National Park and now free of introduced animals and is fast becoming a glimpse into New Zealand’s ancient past. Several species of threatened birds have been reintroduced to this open sanctuary and are doing very well. In addition, the forest is flourishing without the influence of rats and deer. The orchids are particularly impressive during their flowering season.
The tour is around 4 hours and includes all transfers and conservation fees. Tours can start early morning or late afternoon when the birds are at their best. Small group with a maximum size of 6 clients.
If you’d like more time on the Island we can arrange for you to stay on and be picked up later

Please note all the pre-booked activities are weather dependent and we added enough time to give you that flexibility.

Day 3
Rakiura Kiwi Spotting

Enjoy a day at your own leisure.
Optional activities – e-bike hire, Greenstone carving, walking or hiking etc. Activities can be booked in advance please advise your destination specialist. Local walks map will be provided

Once it gets dark your Kiwi spotting tour will start. After a short drive and a walk across some private land, we have exclusive access to, you will be able to experience kiwis in their natural environment. You will find kiwis are quite inquisitive and will walk over to you as long as you wait quietly.

Day 4
Port William & Maori Beach

Enjoy one of the most popular coastal and native bush walks on Stewart Island. The Water taxi will take you to Port William a site of early Maori settlement, before continuing on to beautiful Maori beach. This was also where early Maori settled and later became a saw milling community in the early 1900s. We then make our way to Lee Bay via Little River, a stunning tidal river mouth, overhanging with Rata trees.
While walking along the coast keep a lookout for the fast diversity of birdlife, such as, Mutton birds (Sooty Shearwaters), Shags, Buller’s Mollymawks, Cape Pigeons, and little Blue Pengiuns. In the native bush you may see and hear Bellbirds, Tui, Fantails, Parakeets, Shining Cuckoos, Grey Warblers, Kaka and Tomtits and more.
Duration: 4-5 hours, a medium fitness level is required

Day 5
Stewart Island Rakiura

Today is another day at your own leisure.
Optional activities – e-bike hire, Greenstone carving, walking or hiking, scenic flight and hikes, etc. Activities can be booked in advance please advise your travel consultant.

Day 6
Stewart Island Rakiura

Day at your own leisure.

Suggested add ons:
Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”
This is a full day walk and involves a plane flight, 4 hours walk from Mason Bay to Freshwater Landing, and then a water taxi ride down Paterson Inlet to Halfmoon Bay. As it requires a low tide to land on Mason Bay, and High tide to boat the Freshwater river the walk requires more or less a full day. Tides will sometimes dictate the journey to be done in reverse.
It’s a great day walk and traverses quite a different landscape to the Port William Track.

Scenic Flight:
Enjoy a 90-minute scenic flight over more remote parts of the island

Day 7
Stewart Island Rakiura Invercargill

Transfer to the airport and flight back to Invercargill

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 6 nights lodge accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 Daily breakfast
  • Included Copy 7 Evening meals additional, Pre booking is recommended
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Ulva Island Guided Walk with entry fees
  • Included Copy 20 Return flight from Invercargill to Oban
  • Included Copy 20 Port William & Maori Beach walking tour
  • Included Copy 20 Kiwi spotting tour
  • Included Copy 20 Return transfers from Oban airport to accommodation
  • Included Copy 31 Pre book additional activities: e-bike hire, Greenstone carving, walking or hiking
  • Included Copy 31 Add on a coast to coast flight
Stewart Island flight


  • Included Experience life on a remote New Zealand island where life is at a slower pace.
  • Included Kiwi spotting - there are more kiwis on Stewart Island than people
  • Included Birdwatching paradise and listen to the birdsong on Ulva island.
  • Included Learn about the early Maori settlements
  • Included Hike the popular coastal trek through primeval rain forest and native bush.
  • Included Optional activities to experience: scenic flight, fishing, biking, and more
Click here for dates & prices

7 days

Price from

$1,553 USD

Per person, sharing

including G.S.T

Daily Departures