Discover the time-forgot rawness of wildlife-rich Stewart Island/Rakiura and Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara with Heritage Expeditions, New Zealand’s pioneering small ship expedition cruise company, on this exclusive 8-day voyage aboard our luxurious 18-guest expedition yacht Heritage Explorer.
Described by botanist Leonard Cockayne in 1909 as being “an actual piece of the primeval world”, his comment still rings true today. Just 30 kilometres from the Mainland and with more than 85% of the island dedicated National Park, New Zealand’s third island combines stunning landscapes spanning towering granite cliffs to unspoiled wilderness (more than half the island is covered by podocarp and rimu, miro, kamahi and southern rata dominant forests), 700-kilometres of coastline, beaches, hidden bays and coves, with abundant wildlife, numerous conservation success stories, rich history, epic sunrises and sunsets and the rightly famous hospitality of the friendly locals.
And with its Maori name, Rakiura, translating to ‘the land of the glowing skies’, there’s also the opportunity to experience the spectacular Aurora Australis which often puts on a mesmerising show as it famously paints the southern skies.
With only 25 kilometres of road, Stewart Island and its remote, hard to reach shores and historic spots are best explored by sea including nearby predator-free Ulva Island – your best chance of seeing New Zealand’s national icon the Kiwi bird during the day along with Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island Weka, South Island Kaka, Kereru (wood pigeon), Mohua (yellowhead), Red-crowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbird and Tui.
Discover quirky town centre Oban in Halfmoon Bay where a drink with a view can be enjoyed at the iconic South Sea Hotel, historic Paterson Inlet, Port Pegasus and more as we experience Unseen Stewart and Ulva Islands on this unforgettable adventure.