Stewart Island Experience operates regular daily ferry services between Bluff and Stewart Island utilising two express catamarans - Southern Express (62 passengers) and Foveaux Express (97 passengers).
In addition, the company offers an exciting range of island-based excursions and activities, including visits to Ulva Island wildlife sanctuary (Ulva Island Explorer), Wild Kiwi Encounter, Village and Bays Tours and Guided Walks to explore the forest and coastline. Rental vehicles such as cars, motor scooters and mountain bikes are also available for hire from our Oban Visitor Centre.
Stewart Island Experience is a 100% owned subsidiary of Real Journeys - a locally owned and respected New Zealand tourism company, which has been operating in southern South Island for over 60 years. In addition to Stewart Island, Real Journeys offers a range of other excursions including Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Te Anau Glowworm Caves, Milford Track, TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship, Walter Peak High Country Farm and Discovery Expeditions.
From our helpful visitor centre staff and friendly crews to our expert hospitality teams and experienced nature guides - our staff come from a wide ranging background – from 5th generation Stewart Islanders to recent arrivals who fell in love with the area.
We are privileged to operate in a spectacular region of New Zealand – where Les Hutchins, the company’s founder, had a lifelong interest and involvement in conservation. His contribution to the environment continues through the Leslie Hutchins Conservation Foundation established in 1994. We contribute over per year to conservation and are engaged in a number of initiatives to safeguard the environment. Projects include endangered birds protection, tracks and interpretation signage, outdoor education camps and wilding pine eradication.
As one of the major sponsors of the Stewart Island Coastal Cleanup, we provide logistical freight support and free travel for volunteers. The project involves removing rubbish that has accumulated around the coast. This is not only a visual eyesore, but also a potential hazard to wildlife. We also provide the vessel (Milford Wanderer) as a floating accommodation base and logistical support for the Fiordland Coastal Cleanup.
Real Journeys’ passengers are also encouraged to get directly involved in conservation. At various times throughout the year, we operate multi day Discovery Expeditions around the coast of Fiordland and Stewart Island. Real Journeys facilitates an on-board auction, raising money for the Cooper Island Restoration Project – an ambitious long-term committment rid the third largest island in Dusky Sound of predators. Real Journeys also donates $100 per passenger to this project.
Learn more about our Conservation initiatives.