Port William Cruise & Walk
- 9am daily! Or contact us for our on demand service!
• Short scenic boat cruise along the stunning east coast of Stewart Island
• Full commentary from your Skipper
• Disembark at historical Port William, a site of early Maori settlement
• Enjoy a 3-4hr walk on a scenic forested & coastal section of the Rakiura Great Walk
• Discover the former Maori Beach sawmill settlement
• Look out for the native birdlife along the track. You may even be lucky enough to spot a kiwi
• Choose to finish the track at Lee Bay or extend your walk to Halfmoon Bay or Horseshoe Point
• Daily, scheduled departures at 9am from Halfmoon Wharf (now available year-round!)
The Port William coastal track is part of the Rakiura Great Walk; the southern-most of New Zealand’s ten Great Walks, and one of the island’s most popular half-day experiences.
This scheduled service is offered at a $10 per adult discount from our on demand service!
This adventure runs daily at 9am (bookings essential) and departs from the main Halfmoon Bay Wharf in Oban. Bookings for the summer can be made using our online calendar. For winter services, please get in touch.
For those who are not able to join the 9am service, we also provide an on demand departure. Please get in touch with us to discuss this option.
While it is possible to walk the whole track in 1 day (32km), by taking a water taxi to Port William you can enjoy a scenic cruise and a 3-4 hour walk on one of the most scenic forest & beach sections. This section includes the historical Maori Beach Sawmill. You can choose to end your walk in Lee Bay with a cab to Oban, or carry on on-foot to Oban
The Rakiura Track is just one of the places you will have the opportunity to spot kiwi on Stewart Island, even in the daytime, although this is occasional. This makes our Port William Cruise & Walk trip a popular option for families.
The Rakiura track can be walked in either direction, usually starting at Lee Bay (5km from Oban). However by taking a water taxi to Port William (25 mins) you can choose instead to walk a scenic section of the track one way in 3-4 hours. This is a popular day trip and suitable for most people as this section of the track is well graded and maintained.
This is one of our most popular Stewart Island Tours. We offer a convenient daily departure point from Halfmoon Bay Wharf. Bookings essential.
A short cruise with skipper commentary takes you along the stunning east coast of Stewart Island to bring you to Port William. Port William was a site of early Maori settlement. The nearby, beautiful Maori Beach was also the site of a sawmill, long since abandoned.
From here you have easy access to the Rakiura Great Walk Track which takes you through scenic forested and coastal sections of this National Park area through to Lee Bay. This section of the track takes around 3-4 hours and can be enjoyed as a freedom walk (the track is well marked but may be muddy in places), or as a guided walk. Please contact our team if you would like to be part of a guided tour.
Along the way there are lots of opportunities for native birdlife spotting. On coastal sections you may spot Mutton birds (Sooty Shearwaters), Buller’s Mollymawks, Shags, Cape Pigeons, and even little Blue Penguins. While in the native bush you may spot Bellbirds, Tui, Parakeets, Fantails, Kaka, Tomtits and even a Shining Cuckoo and Grey Warbler which are rarely spotted on the mainland. Some walkers are lucky enough to spot a kiwi during daylight hours too.
You can end your walk at Lee Bay where the famous chain link structure is sited. From here you can book a taxi to collect you and take you back to Halfmoon Bay/Oban. Or you can walk the rest of the way back along the local roads, (an additional 1.25 hours walk). If you are looking for an additional challenge, the Horseshoe Point Headland walk loop is another 1.5 hours along the way.
Outside of our daily summer departures this trip can also be booked on demand ($55pa, $27.50pc) . Please get in touch with us to enquire.
• Warm, comfortable clothing and footwear, and wet weather gear
• Binoculars (optional)
• Personal water bottle, lunch and snacks
• Insect repellent is recommended
• Port William, Maori Beach and Lee Bay offer beautiful swimming spots; bring a swimsuit and towel if you'd like to brave the chilly clear waters!
Port William Cruise & Walk