Ulva Island Water Taxi & Freedom Walk

Ulva Island Water Taxi & Freedom Walk

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25/10 one way   2-8 hrs

Ulva Island Water Taxi & Freedom Walk

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Ulva Island Water Taxi & Freedom Walk

Explore at your own pace with our on-demand Ulva Island Water Taxi Service.

We offer convenient, on demand water taxi trips to Ulva Island/ Te Wharawhara, the world’s southern-most open bird sanctuary, with no strict schedules. Go your way…

Highlights of the Ulva Island Freedom Walk

  • Enjoy a short, scenic water taxi trip from Golden Bay to Ulva Island, across Paterson Inlet and the Ulva Island Marine Reserve
  • Listen to the commentary provided by your knowledgable skipper
  • Discover native bush, picturesque sandy beaches and rocky outcrops. There are 4.5 kilometres of easy walking tracks on Ulva Island
  • Unique opportunities to spot the Stewart Island robin, kakariki, saddleback, and mohua (yellowhead).
  • If you’re lucky, you might also spot a Stewart Island Brown Kiwi (Tokoeka)
  • Enjoy this trip as a freedom walker, or check out our Ulva Island Guided Walk options
  • A self-guide booklet “Explore an Island Paradise” is available from our Booking Office (Main Rd) for a $2 donation to the Ulva Island Charitable Trust
  • Departures from the central Halfmoon Bay wharf are possible for larger groups (bookings essential). Contact us to make a booking.

Typically we recommend a 2 to 4 hour visit. A flexible pick-up time can be arranged to suit.
To book a freedom trip please fill in the enquiry form or call us. We also offer a scheduled return trip for $25pp – the Ulva Island Connection which departs daily at 10am from Golden Bay Wharf.

What to bring to Ulva Island

  • Warm, comfortable clothing and footwear
  • Binoculars
  • Personal water bottle

FAQ’s – Ulva Island Water Taxi

How long does it take to get to Ulva Island?

It tales approximately 7-10 mins by water taxi to get to Ulva Island from the Golden Bay Wharf and 20 mins from the Halfmoon Bay Wharf in Oban. Rakiura Charters offers scheduled trips and on demand Ulva Island water taxi trips.

How long does it take to walk around Ulva Island?

There are several walking tracks on Ulva Island which allow you to explore at your own pace. Shorter options include Flagstaff Point Lookout (20 mins return) and Sydney Cove Picnic Area (20 mins return).
Longer options take in Boulder Beach (1.5 hrs return) and West End Beach (2 hrs return). Longer walks give you more bird watching opportunities, but even the short tracks will introduce you to the unique flora & fauna of Ulva Island.
We recommend allowing 2-4 hours for our freedom walk, and our guided walks take around 3-4 hours.

Is there a fee for visiting Ulva Island?

Ulva Island is free to visit but you need to take a water taxi (7-10 mins one way) to get there. Our on demand Ulva Island water taxi service is $25pp (adult) & $10pp (child). The island is supported by the Ulva Island Charitable Trust. We recommend purchasing their Ulva Island Guide ($2 from our booking office or from the Ulva Island wharf) to help their efforts, with $2 going to the trust.

Can you stay on Ulva Island?

You can’t stay on Ulva Island as it is an uninhabited sanctuary and a section of it is also privately owned.

What is the best way to visit Ulva Island?

A freedom or guided walk on Ulva Island is the best way to experience this unique island sanctuary. By allowing at least 2 hours on the island you will be able to explore the forested tracks, the pristine beaches and the wonderful native birdlife.

Who owns Ulva Island?

Around 7.9 hectares of Ulva Island is privately owned with the rest managed by DOC (Department of Conservation), supported by the Ulva Island Charitable Trust.

Can you take a guided tour of Ulva Island?

Yes, join a guided tour of Ulva Island with internationally renowned guides. On this trip you will explore 4.5km of easy walking tracks while spotting rare and endangered native birds..

Enquire now Enquire now

25/10 one way   2-8 hrs

Ulva Island Water Taxi & Freedom Walk

DD slash MM slash YYYY
Preferred Time(Required)

A fun ride to Ulva island. If you want to explore Ulva island in your own pace and leisure, Rakiura Water Taxi is the way to go. We walked to Golden Bay (about 15-20mins from Halfmoon bay) to catch the water taxi. The staff and the skipper were nice and friendly. Excellent service. Highly recommended!

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