+64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

There is lots to do when you visit the Island.

So much so that the Island really deserves a stay of at least three nights for even the most cursory of visits. It’s a great place to relax and recharge “Mid Holiday” and to explore at your own pace. Remember if you decide to join at us at “Sails” you will be part of a either a very small group or exclusive to you, and our Concierge Services are here to help you. . We are available on demand, to suit your timetable and the day..

Suggestion.………… Our weather can be very changeable. If you are staying at Sails Ashore or Kowhai Lane we are happy to advise on when to do things to make best use of the fine periods.. Firstly we always suggest a scenic tour of the Island roads ….. all 28k of them…..with “Sails” Scenic Tours..This is a great way to “get your bearings” and also to learn about the Island and what life here was and is like. This tour perfectly complements our “Sails” Guided Ulva Is Walks. Transfers are included for all “Sails” activities..


Concierge Services

We want our guests to enjoy our hospitality while with us, and to get the most out of their time on the Island.
So the following are just some of the concierge services and assistance we offer………

Complementary transfers from plane and ferry on arrival and departure on the Island, but please do note if coming by ferry that wharf parking is limited, and also delays in unloading luggage from the ferry can result in significant time delays, buy cytotec online no prescription required, sometimes as long as 45 minutes from arrival to collecting your luggage. So while we will pick you up we do ask that you phone us on 03 219 1151 once you have your luggage in hand.

Complimentary Transfers to and from “Sails” Guided Walks & Tours and we’ll drop you at the star of the Rakiura track, and store your gear…. no charge

Normally we have a two person minimum numbers requirement for our Ulva walks. However if you’re travelling on your own and staying at either Kowhai Lane or Sails Ashore we waive this requirement.

On arrival an introductory “mini tour” around the village, pointing out businesses and places of interest so you can get your bearings.

When you arrive for Kowhai Lane and want to stop at the local shop for any provisions we are happy to wait.

We will give you a complimentary Dept of Conservation (DoC) local walks pamphlet plus a village and environs map and discuss the best options with you.

We also give you a 7 day weather map which will help you plan your activities around our sometimes changeable weather.

Eating Out …..  We strongly suggest you use the contact details for the various restaurants under the “Eating Out” tab and make your first night dinner reservations at the least. This can be very important as with limited numbers of tables in the village it is not unknown for them to be booked out.

And we can also book a fishing trip for you. These trips are also a great way for birders to view our pelagic birds.

 “The Stewart Island Gift Shop”  …….Crafts with an Island theme. Megan has some lovely things, our guests really do like it…… and she’s saved many an Island husbands bacon with last minute birthday gifts.

Booking and Advice for these Services & Activities is restricted to guests at Sails Ashore & Kowhai Lane

With 28 k of roads, and many more of excellent walking track there are lots of opportunities for our guests to discover all sorts of things really easily.

For example we suspect someone sees a Kiwi around the village every day. Certainly we regularly hear them in the next door garden (ours if fenced, and they can’t get in !!). And we regularly see dibble holes in one of Iris’s gardens.

Sails Ashore, Stewart Island FantailTui’s, Kaka, Parakeets (red crowned only), Bellbirds, Grey Warblers are everywhere, and in fact Warblers are easier seen around our house than they are on Ulva Island. Weka are about, as are Pied Tits, Fantails, MorePork (generally heard but not seen) Pigeons (Kukupa) and we are also on the hunting path of an Australasian Harrier.

Little Blue Penguins nest all around our shores, and can be seen every night going in to nest. They can actually be considered something of a pest, when they choose to nest under a house. They smell very bad, and are very vocal when they are in love. In bad weather, or occasionally when following a particularly good source of fishboat offal Mollymawks will come right into the Halfmoon or Horseshoe Bay wharfs.Sails Ashore, Stewart Island Orchids

In the appropriate season many different species of native orchids can be found, many of them growing in quite stunning profusion on our road sides. As an aside the local road man goes out of his way to schedule roadside maintenance to cause least disturbance, and as a bonus this also produces an ideal habitat for many species.

Sails Ashore, Stewart Island Rata

The larger rata, kamahi and manuka flowering seasons can be quite spectacular, as can the smaller and less obvious trees, shrubs and vines.

Some of these things are of course quite seasonal, and for others they are wild creatures and thus quite unpredictable. Which we think adds to the excitement. We have seen lots of Kiwi for example, but we still get excited when we see one,
and as much as possible we like to share this with our guests



The Local Museum…….    gives a glimpse of the Island communities past. It’s open most mornings..

DoC (Dept of Conservation) Visitor Centre. ……. DoC have a great display including Audio Visual and static displays..

Glowing Skies…..   Locally produced high class casual clothing..Sails Tours, Stewart Island

Stewart Island Gift Shop……  Crafts with an Island Theme..

Rakiura Jade ….   Make your own Jade Treasure under the guidance of a master carver

Fishing….. Off a rock or on a fishing charter…..catch your supper

Stewart Island is a walkers paradise

Local……..  From a few minutes along the graded metal paths of Raroa Reserve and the Fuchsia Walk, to a couple of hours around the Deep Bay Track, Ackers Point or perhaps to Kaipipi Inlet along the old mill road. Every corner opens vistas of serene native forest or deserted beaches. A great way to enjoy a few hours..

Observation Rock…….  3 minutes walk from Sails Ashore, enjoy our wonderful sunsets. Rakiura means “Land of Glowing Skies”

Ulva Island Open Sanctuary…….  is an absolute must do. The trails are metaled (suitable for handicapped visitors) and very easy. Enjoy the guided experience with Sails Guided old_tartsWalks or explore the island solo, using the DoC interpretive booklet. We do water-taxi’s as well..

The Rakiura Track……  is three days easy to moderate stroll (DoC Huts available) through forest and along coastal tracks. Very popular. (This is a NZ Great Walk) Guests at Sails Ashore and Kowhai Lane Lodge enjoy complimentary drop off at the start of the walk, as well as free gear storage while on the track.

The Northern Circuit.…….  This is the “Biggie”, and involves at least 8 days. DoC Huts are available 4 to 8 hours apart. There is a real chance of seeing Kiwi and the scenery is just stunning. This track requires a high level of fitness and experience. Guests at Sails Ashore and Kowhai Lane Lodge enjoy complimentary drop off at the start of the walk, as well as free gear storage while on the track.

Mt Rakiahua……..   A superb full day trip, which is totally dependant on tide and weather. The views are just stunning and well worth the climb. Requires a reasonable level of fitness.

Are you planning on doing one of the “several day” tracks?? 
If so we can give you free secure storage for extra gear, as long as you’re staying with us before and after the hike. And we’ll drop you at Lee Bay at the start of your hike. No Charge


Sails Ashore, Village, Stewart Island

Eating out is a great part of Travelling.

And if Seafood is your thing, then Stewart Island offers some great choices.

Please note prices may change without warning

We strongly suggest you use the contact details for the various restaurants and make your first night dinner reservations at the least. This can be very important as with limited numbers of tables in the village it is not unknown for them to be booked out.

Churchhill Restaurant is our premier restaurant. And Deanne does the best Blue Steak I have ever had in a restaurant, Click to Read Churchhill Menu …….

Contact Chris & Deanne at   ….. restaurant@churchhill.co.nz         ph +64 3 219 1123

South Seas Hotel has an excellent table, and their fish chowder is superb. Click to Read South Seas Hotel Menu …….

Contact the hotel at   southsea@stewart-island.co.nz  Ph +64 3 219 1059

Kiwi French Cafe offers superb coffee, together with filled croissants, excellent pies and pastries as well as cakes etc.

Contact Britt & James at brittmoore@hotmail.com
ph +64 27 314 6192

The “Kai Cart“ is open again this season and Holger’s take aways and dine in are right up there with Hillie’s standards … Click to Read Holgers Menu …….

Contact Holger at  hoggykaikart@gmail.com   Ph +64 3 219 1123

Two excellent longer hikes are very popular

Port William to the Village

This is the first day of the Rakiura Track, one of DoC’s “Great Walks. We’ve never sent a guest on it who hasn’t raved about it. The track itself is of a very high standard, metalled and with well formed steps. It takes about half a day, and involves a water taxi ride to Port William, and then a walk back to the village via Lee Bay

Port William Walk

Water Taxi from Halfmoon Bay to Port William, then walk back via Lee Bay


Port William Walk

Water Taxi ride of around 20 minutes


Port William Walk

Arrival, Port William


 Port William Walk

The first step on the Journey


 Port William Walk

The Hikers Hut at Port William


 Port William Walk

The first part of the walk along Port William beach


 Port William Walk

But soon into forest and a climb over the first low hill


 Port William Walk

Dropping down over well built path and steps towards Maori Beach


 Port William Walk

Maori Beach bridge, site of an early massacre of sealers by local Maori


 Port William Walk

Maori Beach Sawmill Village site, time for lunch


 Port William Walk

Arriving at Lee Bay, National Park entrance, and the road back to the village

Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

This is a full day walk and involves a plane flight, 4 hour walk from Mason Bay to Freshwater Landing, and then a water taxi ride down Paterson Inlet to Halfmoon Bay. As it require a low tide to land on Mason Bay, and High tide to boat the Freshwater river the walk requires more or less a full day. Tides will sometimes dictate the journey be done ” The other way”.

Its a great days walk, and traverses quite a different landscape to the Port William Track.

Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

Fly to Mason Bay, walk to Freshwater Landing, watertaxi back to the village (or the other way)



Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

Take off from Ryans Cree Airfield



Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

Looking up across the Freshwater Valley to the Ruggedy Range


Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

Mason Bay, and Mason Islands beyond



Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

Landed, Low Tide Only



Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

On your own as the plane departs



Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

Alone on a deserted beach


Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

Leaving the beach at Duck Creek and heading inland to Freshwater River landing


Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

The track is an old “road” and some of it is through dense manuka forest


Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

Maybe sight a kiwi out feeding


Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

Orchids on the track side, depending on the season


Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

The watertaxi arrives at Freshwater Landing


Mason Bay “Coast to Coast”

Down the Freshwater River, heading for home.

Sails Ashore, Kowhai Lane & Sails Tours

11 View Street,
Stewart Island,

Phone + 64 3 219 1151

Email: tait@sailsashore.co.nz
Web: www.sailsashore.co.nz