Glowing skies on Stewart Island. © Venture Southland

Wildlife and wild lights on Stewart Island


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South of the southernmost tip of the South Island you’ll find Rakiura Stewart Island. 

30 kilometres across Foveaux Strait from Bluff, Stewart Island – New Zealand’s third largest island – is a unique, intriguing place that feels a world apart from the rest of the country. 

Stewart Island’s Māori name is Rakiura, meaning ‘glowing skies.’ It’s apt, considering that here you can regularly see the southern lights, the Aurora Australis.

On Rakiura Stewart Island, sunsets and sunrises linger and smoulder like nothing you’ve seen. 

The island is also home to deserted white sand beaches, abundant seafood and, as around 85% of the land area is protected in the Rakiura National Park, a profusion of native birdlife. You’re quite likely to spot a Brown Kiwi in the wild if you keep your eyes peeled. 

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