19 people found this article useful

5 Stewart Island Must-Dos

BackpackerGuide.NZ

Things you Can’t miss in Stewart Island!

If you’re thinking of heading down to New Zealand’s third island then good on you! It’s well worth getting off the beaten track to escape the hustle and bustle of mainland New Zealand (wait, what?!) and experience the island life. Stewart Island lies between the latitudes of 46 and 47 degrees south making it a Sub-Antarctic island. However, you certainly wouldn’t think this as you discover golden sand beaches and turquoise blue waters!

So once you get to Stewart Island, what is there to do? Well, if you are really looking for those top activities you can’t miss in Stewart Island then this Stewart Island must-dos list narrows your offerings way down! However, if you want to see what else there is to do in Stewart Island, be sure to check out 10 Incredible Things to Do on Stewart Island, as well as our Stewart Island – Guide for Backpackers.

Like us on Facebook

1. Watch the birds in Ulva Island

Ok, so we’re not intentionally saying that you should leave Stewart Island as soon as you arrive, but Ulva Island is simply something you can’t miss if you have any sort of interest in wildlife. Ulva Island is a pest free island with a forest left untouched for millions of years. For these reasons, Ulva Island is a bird sanctuary and one of the best examples of what New Zealand used to be like before human migration. The sound of the forest is alive with birds and a great chance to see all kinds of bird species in the wild: parakeets, yellowheads, tui, wood pigeons, kaka, weka, bellbirds, kiwi birds and so much more!

Location: Take the Ulva Ferry from Golden Bay. Golden Bay is a 15-minute walk on Golden Bay Road from Oban.
BackpackerGuide.NZ

2. Do a multi-day hike in the Rakiura National Park

The Rakiura National Park makes up 80% of Stewart Island and the best way to get around is along the 280km+ of hiking trails. It’s hard to say which is the best multi-day hike in Stewart Island, as it really depends on fitness and how long you want to be out in the wilderness. The obvious option would be the Rakiura Track, a New Zealand Great Walk, with outstanding hut and track maintenance. Alternatively, there is the Northern Circuit and Southern Circuit which are a little more rugged but an awesome adventure.

For more information on multi-day hikes in Stewart Island, see Rakiura National Park – Guide for Backpackers.
BackpackerGuide.NZ

3. Fish for blue cod

New Zealanders will say that the blue cod in Stewart Island is the best there is. You can’t miss at least trying some fresh blue cod fish and chips at the hotel or Kai Kart in Oban. To one-up this experience, you can go fish for the blue cod yourself. There are plenty of fishing charters available with all the gear. Plus, you never know what other wildlife you’ll see! Learn more at Fishing in New Zealand.

BackpackerGuide.NZ

4. Carve your own greenstone

Make a special New Zealand souvenir at Rakiura Jade Studio. Greenstone is traditionally made into necklace pendants in the Maori culture, and you can carve your own greenstone right here on Stewart Island. What’s more, it’s the perfect rainy day activity because, well, it’s known to rain in Stewart Island.

Location: Elgin Terrace on the waterfront of Oban.
BackpackerGuide.NZ

5. Catch the Southern Lights

Ok, this is VERY dependent on whether, first, there is enough polar activity for the Southern Lights and second, if you have a clear night on Stewart Island. But with the right conditions, Stewart Island is the best place to see the Southern Lights, otherwise known as Aurora Australis, in New Zealand. It’s the furthest south most people go in New Zealand. Plus, the Maori name for Stewart Island, Rakiura, means “glowing skies”. Can you guess why?

To increase your chances of seeing the Southern Lights, head to The Best Times and Locations to See the Southern Lights in New Zealand.
Mozasaur at English Wikipedia.

New Zealand's Biggest Gap Year on YouTube
Was this article useful? Useful Useless
Help other travellers, share this article now:
Pin
New Zealand's Biggest Gap Year on YouTube

Most Popular Videos

Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
http://imgur.com/FKjT0PG
Festivals

7 City Hosts of the New Zealand FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015

Where will the U-20 world cup take you? FIFA’s second largest tournament [...]

BagoGames on Flickr
Inspiration

5 New Zealand Features that Inspired Avatar

What is it about New Zealand that inspired Avatar? As we all [...]

HiFX - Money Transfer
Hot on Backpacker Guide
Eating Out
BackpackerGuide.NZ

10 Craft Breweries in Nelson You Have to Try

Craft beer in Nelson. The Nelson region produces all of New Zealand’s […]

South Island
BackpackerGuide.NZ

5 Cromwell Must-Dos

Things you can’t miss in Cromwell! Whether you’re passing through the Central […]

Biking
Tourism NZ

Mountain Biking in the Catlins and Clutha District

Step it up a “gear” in the CLutha and Catlins district! Glide […]

By browsing our site, you agree to
our use of cookies and Terms of Service

Menu