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  • Woman in lush forest on Ulva Island, Stewart Island Woman in lush forest on Ulva Island, Stewart Island
    Listen to nature's soundtrack Ulva Island
  • Couple sightseeing on the Ulva Island Explorer Couple sightseeing on the Ulva Island Explorer
    Venture South Stewart Island

Ulva Island Explorer

Departure Location

Stewart Island Visitor Terminal

What’s included

  • Cruise of Paterson Inlet
  • 45 minute guided walk on Ulva Island Wildlife Sanctuary
  • On board nature guide 

Lunch Options

Picnic Lunch

Price: Adult $20, Child $20 (1 Oct 2020 - 30 Sep 2021)

Sandwich, fresh fruit, muesli slice/piece of cake, cheese and crackers, fruit drink, dried fruits (raisins, berries, etc.), complimentary tea and coffee.

Please note: If you require a vegetarian lunch, or have any special dietary needs, please add this into the comments box during the booking process. You can order any of the lunch options when you make your booking. Menus are indicative only.

What to bring

Non-slip shoes/boots, waterproof jacket, warm sweater/fleece jacket, sunscreen/ sunglasses, insect repellent and camera.

Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara

The island sanctuary is located within Paterson Inlet (Whaka a Te Wera) and offers the opportunity to view rarer native species including weka, kākā, kākāriki, tūī, bellbirds (korimako), pigeons (kereru), fantails (piwakawaka), tomtit (miromiro) and brown creeper (pīpipi).


The saddleback (tieke), yellowhead (mohua), Stewart Island robin (toutouwai) and rifleman (titipounamu) have all been successfully reintroduced to Ulva Island. 

Some lucky visitors to the sanctuary have also seen the Stewart Island brown kiwi (tokoeka) during the day.

Ulva Island is part of the Rakiura National Park and covers an approximate 269 hectares which are mostly managed by the Department of Conservation. 

The island, which has no permanent human population, is supported by the Ulva Island Charitable Trust, a group of Stewart Islanders, who raise funds for research, maintain the tracks and infrastructure, and help with bird releases.

Pigeon (kereru)

Since the eradication of rats, Ulva Island has offered a predator-free environment for the birds and plant life.

In 2005, common skinks were transferred to the island from the other side of Paterson Inlet.  A rodent dog ensures that the predator free status is maintained and traps are located across the island to minimise the chance of re-evasion.

The rainforest on Ulva Island consists of rimu, southern rātā and kamahi, and also diverse varieties of broadleaf and ferns.

Ulva Island has easy walking tracks and is an aspiring place to visit for anyone interested in native birds or plants.

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