You are invited to visit New Zealand’s southernmost sanctuary and newest national park. It occupies the greater part of our third largest island.

Rakiura National Park on Stewart Island is 30 km south of Bluff. It’s position at 47 degrees south in the Southern Ocean, gives it an environment which is a world apart.

The isolation, and extremes of climate and topography, give Rakiura a special character and charm. This is a land untouched and unchanged for millennia, which has 400 residents in a small village called Oban, in Half Moon Bay. Some 93% of this land, including 170 islands and rock stacks in Foveaux Strait, are administered as conservation estate. There is unlimited access to most of the park on 250 km of tramping tracks. Transport is by air from Invercargill Airport or by passenger ferry from Bluff – a one hour crossing.

Bus Pass New Zealand

Rakiura means ‘Glowing Skies’ in Maori, referring to the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) and the spectacular blood-red sunsets often seen here. The island’s coast is deeply indented with harbours such as Paterson Inlet, Port Adventure and Port Pegasus. Fishing and diving are popular activities, as well as hunting for both red and whitetail deer.

Plan to spend a few days on Rakiura. A good starting point would be a gentle beach walk, to catch a glimpse of Fiordland crested penguins, yellow-eyed penguins or little blue penguins in the bay. You may even see fur seals on the headland. A short boat ride to Ulva Island, a bird sanctuary, can reward you with close up views of tui, bellbirds, kaka, and kakariki and perhaps kiwi and weka foraging in the seaweed along the shore. Overnight tramps on the 3 day Rakiura Track and 10 day North West Circuit, will reveal New Zealand’s southernmost forest giants – rimu, totara and kaihikatea, along with a great variety of vegetation in shrub land, wetland, and alpine herb fields.

Go the extra mile to visit this southern outpost of New Zealand. It’s a naturalist’s dream and ornithologist’s delight. The tramping ain’t half-bad either.

By | 2014-08-10T22:46:42+00:00 February 17th, 2014|National Parks|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

Leave A Comment