Get up close to our ocean-going birds on this spectacular tour
A must for ocean bird enthusiasts! Known as one of the best places in New Zealand for pelagic (ocean-going) bird watching, Stewart Island boasts more than 20 species of breeding seabirds, many of which can be seen on most of our trips at close proximity. We provide a highly personal cruise and our Skipper guides Matt and Dan have over 30 years of combined local experience.
Book Online! Scheduled half day pelagic tours start in October. Please use our enquiry form or give us a call if you cannot see the date you want on our booking calendar. Please note price change will apply from 1 Oct 2023.
Stewart Island Half Day Pelagic Bird Tour Highlights
Cruise the Muttonbird Islands
View Giant and Cape Petrels, Sooty Shearwaters (Tītī), Albatross, plus Yellow-Eyed, Little Blue and Fiordland Crested penguins, Terns, Skua, Cormorants and more…
You are in experienced hands – we are a certified member of the New Zealand Birding Network with over 30 years’ experience
Bonus sightings may include bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and sea lions
Small group tours available to ensure a highly personalised tour
On board toilet and heated cabin, with complimentary fresh tea and coffee when traveling on our Catamaran
Vessel adapted for maximum wildlife viewing and photo opportunities, and close proximity to birds
On-board species list and identification guide, detailed commentary from your knowledgeable skipper
The fare for this tour is $145 per adult and $115 per child. This fare will be increasing from 1 Oct 2023 to $155 per adult and $125 per child. Minimum fares apply.
Select our full day Land & Sea Bird Tour to add the Ulva Island bird sanctuary, either on your own or with an experienced guide. There’s even an option to add an evening Wild Kiwi Encounter to make this Stewart Island’s most comprehensive birding package.
What to bring:
Warm, comfortable clothing, including a windbreaker / rain jacket and suitable closed footwear (no open footwear permitted on board)
This tour usually departs from, and concludes at, the main Halfmoon Bay wharf (a map is provided at the time of booking, or can be emailed to you on request), however this is subject to change to the Golden Bay wharf (a 15-20 min walk from Oban), depending on weather, tide and scheduling factors. For transfers between the two wharves please contact Aurora Cabs on 0277 227 935, bookings essential.
Pelagic Bird Gallery
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From 145/115 3 hrs
Half Day Pelagic Bird Tour
I have done a number of pelagic tours with Rakiura Charters - just can't get enough! The boat operators are professional and knowledgeable. The tours are always comfortable and safe. Last weekend it was a short hop across to Ulva Island for me and my friends. In a couple of weeks we'll be back down and booking another tour. If you want to have a look around the island (from the water!) these are the go-to guys.