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Ulva Island - Beautiful Birding and Botany

This half day walking tour on the wildlife sanctuary of Ulva Island gives you the chance to see ancient native forest and many species of bird that are rare or endangered elsewhere in New Zealand.

Ulva Island lies 2km off shore from Oban on Stewart Island and has become a haven for wildlife. The majority of the 250 hectare island is part of the Rakiura National Park and the fact that it is largely free from introduced predators means that you will see many rare and threatened New Zealand birds on your walking tour.

Your tour starts with a 10 minute water taxi ride over Paterson Inlet to Post Office Bay on Ulva Island where your guide will lead you into the forest of rimu, miro, totara and rata trees that grow here. You will be enveloped in a chorus of birdsong throughout your time on the island, the distinctive calls of the kaka and bellbird and the various sounds of the tui creating an amazing sensation.

Your knowledgeable guide are experienced birding, wildlife and natural history specialists; they bring their love of this special Island to ensure our visitors receive a memorable experience. Discover rare and endangered birds and plants at close quarters and take away the knowledge that you have glimpsed a part of a unique and primeval world.

Experience Includes

  • Half day Ulva Island Bird sanctuary guided walk
  • Return travel to Ulva Island by water taxi
  • Informative commentary from your guide.
  • Small groups and frequent stops so the tour is at your pace

Experience Excludes

  • Trasnportation to the meeting location
  • Refreshments.
  • Optional Gratuities


Daily, year round.

Departure location

Golden Bay Wharf, Stewart Island.

Start times

8.30am or 1.00pm.


Around 4 hours.

Terms & Conditions

  • You will receive a voucher for this experience. Please read it thoroughly.
  • Itinerary subject to change.
  • As weather in the area can change suddenly we recommend that you line your day pack with a plastic bag or liner and ensure that you have a good waterproof jacket with you as well as warm clothing - a fleece, hat and gloves.
  • We also recommend that you bring sunglasses, sun-block, a water bottle, a camera, binoculars, insect repellent and sturdy shoes are essential!
  • Reasonable level of fitness required as you will be walking on mainly gravel tracks and beaches for up to 4 hours, covering 3-5km.
  • Although bringing your own refreshments is a good idea, no feeding of birds or other wildlife is allowed, and please keep your rubbish with you as there are no bins on the island.
  • Minimum of 4 passengers required for tour to depart. If your party is less than 4 passengers you will be placed with other passengers on the tour.