ULVA ISLAND

Ulva Island is a short water taxi ride from Golden Bay Wharf, Stewart Island. It is free from introduced predators and home to a variety of native and endemic birds. The mixed hardwood-podocarp forest is almost pristine with beautiful ferns, mosses and orchids in season. The occasional sea lion is a visitor to the beaches.

There are approx. 6 kms of walking tracks. You can spend anywhere from an hour to half a day to all day there if you wish. Overnight stays or camping are not allowed on Ulva Island. The only facilities are toilets and a shelter in two locations.

See: Aihe Wildlife Cruises & Water Taxi for transport to Ulva Island.

See: Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience for guided walks on Ulva Island.

STEWART ISLAND

You can find details for these walking tracks on www.doc.govt.nz or when you arrive purchase a $2 booklet at the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre.

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Observation Rock

For sunning views of Paterson Inlet and to watch the sunset.

Time

15 minutes walk from the centre of Oban up a steep road.

We recommend: 30 minutes

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Bathing Beach

Beautiful estuary and beach, best visited at low tide.

Time

10 minutes walk from the centre of Oban.

We recommend: 30 minutes

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Fuchsia and Raroa Walk

Short bush walks in the centre of Oban with steps.

Time

Fuchsia Walk is 5 minutes walk from the centre of Oban and Raroa Walk 10 - 15 minutes.

We recommend: 1 hour

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Fern Gully

A walk through a fern gully full of ferns, mosses, liverworts and lichen. Follows a small creek.
Muddy and slippery in places.

Time

20 - 30 minutes walk from centre of Oban.

We recommend: 1.5 hours

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Golden Bay - Deep Bay - Ringaringa Beach - Peterson Hill

Lovely coastal walk, lots of steps to Deep Bay. Stunning Ringaringa Beach best to walk on at low tide. Gorgeous views of Oban from Peterson Hill

Time

Reach the start at Golden Bay - 15 minutes walk from centre of Oban.

We recommend: 2 - 3 hours

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Ackers Point

A relaxing coast walk from the seafront in Oban to Ackers Point Lighthouse via Harrold Bay.

Time

Start from the seafront in Oban.

We recommend: 2 hours

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Horseshoe Point

Follow Horseshoe Bay to Butterfield Beach and walk the coastal track to Horseshoe Point and Horseshoe Bay returning on the road to Butterfield Beach and Oban

Time

Starts from Oban seafront.

We recommend: 3 hours

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Ryans Creek

A loop walk, along an old sawmillers road to the northern shore of Paterson Inlet with lovely views of the coastline.

Time

Starts from Fern Gully Road end - 20 to 25 minutes walk from Oban.

We recommend: 3 hours

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Kaipipi Point

A return walk to Kaipipi Point in Paterson Inlet - along a cobbled sawmillers road. Predominantly through regenerating forest with coastal views at Kaipipi Point.

Time

Starts from Fern Gully Road end - 20 to 25 minutes walk from Oban.

We recommend: 2 - 2.5 hours

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Garden Mound - Little River

A walk up Garden Mount 162 mtrs with some views to the South and North East. This track is not well maintained and expect mud especially on the Horseshoe Bay side. Little River is stunning as well as the coastal walk back to Lee Bay.

Time

Starts and finishes from Lee Bay.

We recommend: 4 hours if walking from Oban.

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Maori Beach

A lovely coastal walk to Maori Beach with stunning views along the way and at Maori Beach, the site of the last sawmill in Stewart Island. This is part of the Rakiura Great Walk

Time

Starts and finishes from Lee Bay.

We recommend: 6 hours if walking from and back to Oban.

Browse the range of guided walks on Stewart and Ulva Island that are available to book via our Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience website.

OVERNIGHT TRACKS

There are three main overnight hikes in Stewart Island.

You can get full details on www.doc.govt.nz

Rakiura Great Walk

(For intermediate hikers)

Days: 3 days

Distance: 32kms

  • Lee Bay Road end to Port William Hut
  • Port William Hut to North Arm Hut
  • North Arm Hut to Fern Gully Road end

North West Circuit

(For advanced hikers)

Days: 9 – 11 days

Distance: 127 kms

  • Lee Bay / Oban to Port William
  • Port William to Bungaree
  • Bungaree to Christmas Village
  • Christmas Village to Yankee River
  • Yankee River to Long Harry
  • Long Harry to East Ruggedy
  • East Ruggedy to Big Hellfire
  • Big Hellfire to Mason Bay
  • Mason Bay to Freshwater Landing
  • Freshwater Landing to North Arm
  • North Arm to Fern Gully / Oban

Southern Circuit

(For advanced hikers)

Days: 6 – 8 days

Distance: 117 kms

  • Oban / Fern Gully to North Arm
  • North Arm to Freshwater Landing
  • Freshwater Landing to Mason Bay
  • Mason Bay to Doughboy Bay
  • Doughboy Bay to Rakeahua Hut
  • Rakeahua Hut to Freds Camp
  • Freds Camp to Freshwater Landing
  • Freshwater Landing to North Arm
  • North Arm to Lee Bay / Oban

You are able to reduce the days on your walks by:

  • Skipping some the huts if you have the right fitness.
  • Taking a water taxi to some destinations e.g. Port William, Bungaree, North Arm, Freshwater River, Freds Camp etc.  all boat transport is weather dependent and subject to minimum numbers. See: www.aihe.co.nz
  • Taking a road shuttle to Lee Bay / Fern Gully (see below Track Transport).

GUIDED WALKS

Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience has been offering guided walks in Stewart Island and Ulva Island since 2000 and have an extensive knowledge of the local flora and fauna. If you want to get the most out of you time in Stewart Island, we recommend doing a guided walk with Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience.

Ulva Island Birds & Forest

Ulva Island Birds & Forest

An in-depth tour with our passionate and knowledgeable guide. Wander through lush primeval rainforest, enjoy close encounters with rare and endangered birds, listen to exquisite birdsong. Experience our exclusive walk to The Snuggery on full day tours.

Evening Eco Watch / Kiwi Spotting

Evening Eco Watch / Kiwi Spotting

Gain a true appreciation for New Zealand’s national bird – the kiwi – its physical features and behaviour. Search as night falls for kiwi, listen out for their calls and other night sounds. Enjoy the spectacle of southern stars on clear nights.

Coastal Highlights

Coastal Highlights

Nature, coastal scenery, birds and history. Cruise along Stewart Island’s northeast coast to Port William. Enjoy a guided walk through coastal rainforest in Rakiura National Park. Superb views, picturesque bays and golden beaches. Also available to North Arm.

Rakiura Great Walk

Rakiura Great Walk

Hike through coastal rainforest with picturesque views and beautiful beaches, along regenerating, inland native forest with towering podocarp trees, ferns, mosses and orchids. View historic relics of days gone by. Look out for native birds, even a Kiwi! Discover shell laden beaches. Stay in huts, carry only personal belongings.

Mason Bay - Freshwater River Hike

Mason Bay - Freshwater River Hike

Enjoy a thrilling scenic flight to Mason Bay beach with stunning coastal scenery. Trek past dunes, across tussock country, scrub and wetland to board your boat at Freshwater River, cruise this primeval river and across Paterson Inlet.

Kiwi Journey

Kiwi Journey

Journey in the footsteps of kiwi at stunning Mason Bay and along the Freshwater Valley in search of kiwi and other endemic birds. Enjoy breathtaking scenery. High possibility of daytime kiwi. Experience a stay in a backcountry hut or camp. Cruise the primeval Freshwater River.

Kiwi, Dunes & Beach

Kiwi, Dunes & Beach

Experience the real wilderness of Stewart Island whilst search for kiwi. Fly to Mason Bay, overnight at hut or camp. Time to explore the stunning natural environment, dunes and beach. Hike the Freshwater Valley. Cruise the primeval Freshwater River. Variety of native birds, plants and orchids.

TRACK TRANSPORT

Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience provides transport:

  • To / from Lee Bay (for Port William)
  • To / from Fern Gully (for North Arm)

It is 5 kms or 1.25 hours walk to / from Lee Bay and centre of Oban.

it is only about 2 kms or 20 minutes walk to / from Fern Gully and centre of Oban.  Most people tend to walk in and out.

Cost: 1 person: $30.00;  2 persons $ 34.00; 3 persons $36.00; 4 persons or more $10.00 p.p.

You can book the shuttle through us:

Book Shuttle Transport