Stewart Island New Zealand information. Stewart Island accommodation and hotel booking, travel, tours, activities and things to do. Events, maps and news for Stewart Island NZ.
South Island map showing Stewart Island
Stewart Island

Stewart Island

Stewart Island, the southern-most island of New Zealand, shows as a dot on the map (if it appears at all). Don't be fooled. Stewart Island is large, 64 km long, and 40 km across (at its widest point). It has a 700 km coastline, but there are only 20 km of roads!

You won't walk round the Island in a day. Even ten days tramping only skirts the northern third. Few people can claim to have seen anywhere near the whole of Stewart Island. However, there is much to see, even close to the only settlement of Oban. For a day-trip or stay longer, as there is a good range of accommodation. Some visitors from twenty years ago are still living here.

Terrain is rugged. Stewart Island is made of granite, some of the oldest rock in New Zealand. A wide range of minerals are present, though not in commercial quantities. Tin was mined at Port Pegasus for a few years in the 1890's. There's black iron sand on some beaches, others are white with quartz or red with garnet. Most beaches are gold, sparkling in the sun. Don't bother bring a gold-pan though - it's mainly "fool's gold"!

Paterson Inlet almost cuts the Island in half. This large expanse of water is popular for boat-trips and recreational fishing and diving.

Climate is mild, and a trifle damp. No worry, without rain, there wouldn't be rain-forest. The eastern lowlands are forest, right to the water's edge. A canopy of kamahi is pierced by majestic rimu and miro. Lianes and lush fern growth adorn the bush interior.

The forest is a haven for bird-life, as there are fewer predators than on the mainland. Kaka, parakeets, tui, and bellbird give a wonderful dawn chorus in spring. New Zealand's national bird, the kiwi is found all round the Island.

Seabirds abound off-shore. Albatross, petrels, cormorants, gulls and blue penguins are common. Rarer species like yellow-eye penguins are also seen often.

Mason Bay, on the Island's West Coast is much different. It's a 12 mile crescent of sandy beach, with huge sand-hills and tussock and scrub in place of forest. This is the place to watch the white-horses charge ashore in a screaming westerly gale.

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Featured Stewart Island Events

Tour De Science - A Science Storytelling Show Show Me Shorts Film Festival
Tour De Science - A Science Storytelling Show
Stewart Island Community Centre, Stewart Island
Friday 25 November 2016
Show Me Shorts Film Festival
Stewart Island Bunkhouse Theatre, Stewart Island
From Saturday 19 November 2016 to Wednesday 11 January 2017

Stewart Island News

 13 Oct 2016 

The Nelson Mail
Brando Yelavich to polish off Wildboy journey with Stewart Island trek
The Nelson Mail
Until then he's committed to exploring Stewart Island's swampy wilderness. This time, he said, he'll be better prepared. "I thought when I set off that it was going to be a solo journey but it became so much more than that. "After being on my own for ...

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