Ulva Island Connection

Ulva Island Connection

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25/10   3 hrs (approx)

Ulva Island Connection

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Ulva Island Connection

Tour Highlights

• Introductory commentary from your Skipper as you cruise over to Ulva Island
• Enjoy approximately 3 hours to explore Ulva Island on your freedom walk. This combines native bush, picturesque sandy beaches, rocky outcrops. Walk on 4.5 kilometres of easy walking track.
• Great birdwatching opportunities. Spot the Stewart Island robin, kakariki, saddleback, and mohua (yellowhead) among others. If you’re lucky, you might also spot a Stewart Island Brown Kiwi (Tokoeka).
• Daily departures from Golden Bay wharf, departing 10am, returning 1pm. Bookings essential, check out our booking availability calendar on this page.

Discover Ulva Island /Te Wharawhara on this excellent value return boat tour with convenient daily departures and approx. 3 hours of freedom to explore.

In addition to our “On Demand” Ulva Island Ferry service, we are offering our scheduled summer “Ulva Island Connection” until 29 Apr 2022, departing Golden Bay at 10am daily. This new Ulva Island Connection is eligible for our 10% OFF Multi-Day Pass, when booked with the Paterson Inlet Discovery Cruise and/ or the scheduled Port William Cruise & Walk! USE PROMO CODES “2-DAY10” OR “3-DAY10”.

  • freedom walk on beach at ulva island

Ulva Island FAQ’s

How long is the ferry to Ulva Island?

Departing from the Golden Bay Wharf, it takes approximately 7 minutes to get to Ulva Island. Your Rakiura Charters skipper will provide commentary on the way and you will be dropped off at Post Office Bay Wharf.

How long do I need on Ulva Island?

Most people spend 2-4 hours on Ulva Island as there are around 4.5km of easy walking tracks. If you really enjoy spotting our native birds we recommend at least 3-4 hours on the island. You can also choose to join a Ulva Island Guided Tour.

How long does it take to walk around Ulva Island?

The main loop of the walking track includes Boulder Beach and takes approximately 3 hours. You can also choose other shorter tracks ranging from 20 mins.

Where is Golden Bay Wharf on Stewart Island?

Golden Bay Wharf is approximately a 15-20 min walk from the main Oban township and is where many Ulva island boat trips leave from. Follow Golden Bay Road out of town and up over the hill. You can also book a taxi if you prefer.

Do your provide a guide to Ulva Island?

You can purchase a self-guided booklet to Ulva Island – “Explore an Island Paradise”. This is available either from our Booking Office in Oban (Main Rd), or from the Golden Bay Ulva Island shelter. The guide is available for a $2 donation to the Ulva Island Charitable Trust.
Alternatively you can choose our Ulva Island Guided Tour where you will be accompanied by a local, passionate wildlife guide on a 3-4 hour tour.

This tour is great value and departs daily at 10am from Golden Bay. Please note: Golden Bay is approx 15 mins walk from the town centre. Departures may vary slightly so check out our booking calendar.

Declared pest free in 1997, Ulva Island is the world’s southern-most open bird sanctuary. A unique habitat where rare plants and endangered birds thrive. There are 4.5km of easy walking track around the island and endless opportunities for birdwatching. With 3 hours available, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the native bush forest and picturesque sandy beaches. You might also find cheeky weka join in on some of your beach time!

A self-guide booklet to Ulva Island “Explore an Island Paradise” is available from our Booking Office (Main Rd), or from the Ulva Island shelter for a $2 donation to the Ulva Island Charitable Trust.

Your skipper will pick you up at the Ulva island wharf where you were dropped off. The return trip brings you back to Golden Bay to conclude a 3 hour trip that will be a highlight of your visit to Stewart Island. This service can be booked online during our summer schedule (until 29 April).

• Warm, comfortable clothing and footwear, and wet weather gear
• Binoculars (optional)
• Personal water bottle, lunch and snacks
• Insect repellent is recommended
• Swimsuit and towel if you’d like to brave the chilly clear waters!

Rakiura Charters offer several Ulva Island tours which mean you can choose the one that suits you and your party best. We also provide private group charters. Call our team to book on 0800 725 487.

Ulva Island On Demand: If you would like to travel at a different time or spend longer on Ulva Island, see our on demand Ulva Island service departing from Golden Bay (a 20 minute walk over the Golden Bay hill from Oban). This service is a 7-minute water taxi service each way.

Ulva Island Guided Walk: Our guides are passionate about this open sanctuary’s inhabitants, as well as its unique forest habitat and cultural history. They will enhance your birding experience on this 3-4 hour Ulva island guided tour. If you’re on a tight schedule, a shorter 2-hour option is also available.

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25/10   3 hrs (approx)

Ulva Island Connection

Great trip with Matt to Ulva Island. Comfortable boat, easy to board and disembark. Booking office centrally located in Oban township. Ulva Island was incredible. The birdsong was beautiful. Make sure you purchase the booklet that tells the story of the island and helps you identify the birds and trees. Very lucky to see a sea lion sun bathing on the beach. Will definitely be back!

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