Paterson Inlet Discovery Cruise

Paterson Inlet Discovery Cruise

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150/89   3.5hrs

Paterson Inlet Discovery Cruise

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Paterson Inlet Discovery Cruise

Tour Highlights

• Our most popular Summer Cruise!
• Stewart Island's most comprehensive Paterson Inlet Cruise
• 3-3.5 hours aboard our modern catamaran or charter vessels
• Dedicated Pelagic Birding segment
• Spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities including dolphins, NZ sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins
• Discover historic sites of interest including Harrold’s Bay stone cottage, The Neck, and the Norwegian Whaler's Base
• Ackers Point birdlife
• Bench Island pelagic birdlife
• The Neck historical area
• Ulva Island / Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve
• Ulva Island (optional Add-On freedom walk)
• Big Glory Bay Marine Farms
• Full commentary from your professional and friendly crew
• On-board visual resources

Stewart Island’s most comprehensive scenic & wildlife spotting tour of Paterson Inlet

Join our brand new Paterson Inlet Cruise with a local family owned company, for a comprehensive journey exploring Paterson Inlet’s (Te Whaka a Te Wera) unique natural and Māori history, wildlife, aquaculture and scenery.

This 3 – 3.5-hour experience departs daily during our summer schedule (1 Oct 2023 – 28 Apr 2024) from Oban’s central Halfmoon Bay Wharf. We are also able to offer custom departures during the winter period for groups, or perhaps one of our mini cruises would suit.

Save 10% with our Multi-Day Pass discount, when you combine this tour with our Port William (Rakiura Track) Cruise & Walk and/ or our Ulva Island on demand water taxi. USE PROMO CODES 2-DAY10 OR 3-DAY10 TO REDEEM YOUR DISCOUNT.

Add-On: Ulva Island Freedom Walk

You can choose to add on an afternoon Ulva Island Freedom Walk to your Paterson Inlet Cruise. Please contact us directly for this option as it is a custom service, and subject to availability on the day.

Paterson Inlet Cruise FAQ’s

What wildlife do you see on the Paterson Inlet Cruise?

Paterson Inlet is a haven for native New Zealand wildlife. You may see little Blue Penguins, Yellow Eyed Penguins, NZ Sea Lions, as well as a host of pelagic (ocean going) seabirds such as Mollymawks, Spotted Shags, Terns, Cormorants, Sooty Shearwaters, Giant & Cape Petrels. Occasionally we also see Fur Seals and Bottle Nose Dolphins.
You can also choose to add on a Ulva Island Freedom Walk to this cruise to see native forest & shoreline New Zealand birds.

Is the Paterson Inlet Cruise suitable for children?

Yes! This is a family friendly boat tour which is ideal for children and families. There is always something to look at as we cruise through the beautiful waters of Paterson Inlet. We also pass historical sights such as Ackers Point Lighthouse, the aquaculture farms and there are lots of opportunities to spot wildlife.
Our new 18m catamaran – the Paikea is modern, comfortable and easy to get aboard. Our friendly skipper and crew provide commentary and ensure everyone is having a great time.

How long is the Paterson Inlet Cruise?

The cruise is approximately 3.5hrs long and is the island’s most comprehensive Paterson Inlet cruise. It is great value for money at $150 per adult or $89 per child (6-13 years). Little ones aged 5 or under travel free of charge. This is the best way to see the top highlights of Stewart Island.
You can also include Ulva Island on this tour – just contact us to request an add-on.

Departing Halfmoon Bay wharf in Oban your cruise begins with the historic Harrold’s Bay Stone Cottage, one of New Zealand’s oldest stone buildings. At Acker’s Point, birdlife is abundant and sightings may include sooty shearwaters (muttonbirds), mollymawks and little blue penguins.

Learn about our Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary as your guide provides a commentary on the history and national significance of this unique bird and flora sanctuary. 

For those wanting to experience a flexible Ulva Island freedom walk in addition to the Discovery Cruise, you can contact us to arrange a time that suits you through our Ulva Island Add-On.

Travel through the Ulva Island/ Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve, and learn about the important role this ancient river valley plays in providing habitat and nursery grounds for a plethora of fish, seaweed and prehistoric Brachiopods (lamp shells).

Next, enjoy a tour of the historic Norwegian Whaler’s Base from the water. We then travel past the Bravo Islands into Big Glory Bay to explore the local Marine Farms and Stewart Island’s fascinating aquaculture industry. Leaving Big Glory Bay, we travel along The Neck, believed to be Stewart Island’s earliest Māori settlement.  

Encounter spectacular wildlife with spotting opportunities including Yellow-Eyed Penguins, NZ fur seals, bottlenose dolphins and more, before returning to the Halfmoon Bay wharf.

Lunch packs are available from the Stewart Island 4 Square store (orders and collection arrangements can be made directly on 03 219 1069).

• Warm, comfortable clothing and suitable footwear
• Wet weather coat, especially for Ulva Island Add-On customers
• Binoculars (optional)
• Personal water bottle, lunch and snacks
• Complimentary Tea and Coffee is provided, (however this service is may be unavailable if under the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework Red level)

You can choose to add on an afternoon Ulva Island Freedom Walk to this tour. Please contact us directly for this option as it is a custom service, and subject to availability on the day.
We also offer combo tours which include shorter Paterson Inlet cruises combined with other scenic & historical location.

Book now Book now

150/89   3.5hrs

Paterson Inlet Discovery Cruise

We were DELIGHTED when Rakiura Charters managed to accommodate our wish to take their Paterson Inlet Discovery cruise. Outstandingly helpful customer service, and an exceptional skipper/host/tour guide on the water. The Ulva Island freedom walk add on was very good value and rounded off the day beautifully. So very happy we chose to support a Stewart Island business run by Stewart Islanders. Ignore the 5/5, this crew is 10/10!

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Rakiura Charters & Water Taxi, Stewart Island, New Zealand Rakiura Charters & Water Taxi, Stewart Island, New Zealand