Also known as Rakiura, “Place of Glowing skies” by the Maori, Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third largest island and newest National Park as, in 2002 the Rakiura National Park was created here, comprising 85% of the Island.
Despite its isolation, the Island is an awe-inspiring place to visit and is widely regarded as a hiker’s paradise. Situated approximately 30 kilometres south of the South Island, Stewart Island is unspoilt, wild and subject to some pretty inhospitable weather at times. Because of its cold isolation and mostly dense, forest covered landscape, the island provides a haven for beautiful rare birds. These include the Tui, Parakeet, Kaka, Bell bird, Robin, Dotterel, Fern bird and the Stewart Island Kiwi.
Stewart Island boasts a miniscule population of just over 600 people, making it one of most sparsely populated islands in the world. Most of the population lies in the eastern settlement of Oban. While in Stewart Island go for walks, kayak, fish, hunt, dive, bird watch, explore beaches and discover what an incredible place this is. A visit to Stewart Island is an opportunity to sample the wonders of nature and to get away from it all.