Ulva Island. © Rob Brown

Head offshore to Ulva Island


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Ulva Island, a 266-hectare island sanctuary is set in Paterson Inlet, just off the north-eastern coast of Stewart Island. 

Reached by a short boat trip from either Halfmoon Bay or Golden Bay, Ulva Island – or Te Wharawhara in Māori – is an open sanctuary, managed by DOC and as you’d expect, it’s teeming with native birdlife. 

Predator-free since 1997, Ulva Island is home to a flourishing population of weka, kiwi, kererū, kākā, kākāriki, tomtit, fantail, rifleman, tūī and korimako. 

A number of other rare natives have also been introduced, including the South Island saddleback, the Stewart Island robin and a threatened species of skink.

Take a tuneful walk on one of the island’s tracks that range from rainforest walks over several hours to short coastal strolls where you can often spot fur seals, sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins.

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