Post Office Bay. © Kristina DC Hoeppner Creative Commons

Ulva Island-Te Wharawhara walking tracks


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Visit iconic Ulva Island Te Wharawhara, the jewel of Rakiura National Park.

Sample the delights of this open sanctuary via a series of well-formed tracks catering for all ages and levels of fitness. 

About the walks

Explore this open sanctuary on well-formed tracks, catering for all ages and levels of fitness. Track times below are return times from Post Office Bay but connected paths will allow you to return by a different route. Times are generous allowing for stops to listen to the birds.

Flagstaff Point Lookout

How long will it take?  This is a 20-minute return walk to Post Office Bay.

A short walk takes you up steps to the lookout with panoramic views back to Stewart Island Rakiura. A flagstaff was erected here by Postmaster Charles Trail so he could signal to residents of Paterson Inlet Whaka a Te Wera when the mail boat arrived from Bluff. You can choose to descend and return via Sydney Cove.

From Flagstaff Point Lookout, Ulva Island

From Flagstaff Point Lookout, Ulva Island. © Cottonfoo Creative Commons

Sydney Cove Picnic Area

How long will it take? This is a 20-minute return walk to Post Office Bay.

An easy walk brings you to this beautiful, golden-sand beach where you'll definitely want to linger.

Picnic tables, a picnic shelter, toilet facility and fresh water are available here. From the beach, you'll look out onto part of the Ulva Island Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve. Walking south along the beach, you'll find another track leading to the four-way junction that links this track with tracks to Boulder Beach, West End Beach and back to Post Office Bay.

Boulder Beach

How long will it take? This is a 90-minute return walk to Post Office Bay.

Boulder Beach takes its name from two massive boulders now hidden in the forest covering the southern ridge above. This sheltered beach also gives views west across the marine reserve to the tiny islands and distant shores of Paterson Inlet. A track leads from the north end of Boulder Beach to West End Beach.

West End Beach

How long will it take? This is a two-hour return walk to Post Office Bay.

As you approach this most westerly of the island's beaches, the heavier forest of the island merges into coastal plant communities. The loop with the Boulder Beach track gives an easy round trip of about three hours.

For a DOC brochure detailing the short walks on Rakiura, click here

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