Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz


I can’t quite believe how quickly the last few months have flown by. But then again, looking back I’m astonished at how busy we’ve been. And even more astonishing considering how Iris & I thought the future would be just 10 months ago. Once New Zealand dropped to level 2 our bookings started, and so our normally quiet period in spring, early summer saw increasing numbers of bookings both for accommodation and our tours, and it continues onwards over the summer. Which is very good for Stewart Island, as we see visitors everywhere.

But it has meant I’ve managed to completely ignore our blog, so this post will be “Looking Back at What’s Happened”


I’m very fond of our native orchids, and always look out for them. And it’s always a joy sharing them with our guests, and introducing them to a little known part of our native flora.

This year has not been good, and a couple of species haven’t appeared at all, or at least their blooms haven’t.

Dancing Spider Orchid

The first of our seasons orchids, Corybas acuminatus 
was conspicuous by it’s absence on Ulva, and I found only a  single small clump flowering up Fern Gulley

Spider Orchid

Corybas oblongus are very common, in fact you can’t walk through Ulva Forest without standing on them,
They did flower, but far from the masses I’ve come to expect

Ladies Slipper Orchids

Winika cunninghamii  are  Epiphytic Orchids and are quite common, and normally flower quite prolifically.
This year very poor, and the only blooms I could show our guests were actually in our own garden


Bamboo Orchids

Earina mucronata are  Epiphytic Orchids and are quite common, and normally flower quite prolifically.
There is a very large clump on a Blue Gum tree on Ulva and this year  it flowered very well


Bamboo Orchids (Aestivalis)

Earina aestivalis are  Epiphytic Orchids and are quite common, and normally flower quite prolifically.
This year, not so well


Red Spider Orchids

Corybas iridescens are  not at all common. And there is only one area I’m aware of.
Lots of plants, but this year  only a handful of blooms


Odd Leafed Orchids

Aporostylis bifolia are  pretty widespread on Ulva at least. But this year again, only a handful flowered


Green Hooded Orchids

Pterostylis spc   (P. bluff  pictured) are  pretty widespread on Ulva, and around the roads
A good flowering this year


Sun Orchids

Thelymitra spc   (T. cyanea pictured) are  pretty widespread around the roads, with quite a few in our gardens
T. canea had a moderate flowering in a couple of places, but no sign of the other to I would hope to see


Black Orchids

Gastrodia spc   (G longcolumn pictured) are  not at all common, but usually we can find several.
This year only two, in Kowhai Lane Garden. Both were eaten by deer.


Onion Orchids

Microtis spc   (M unifolia pictured) are  perhaps our most common orchid, and conversely generally overlooked.
This year not as prolific as usual so far


Potatoes well up, October, Small seeds being planted


Spuds Now.
Not long before I’ll be digging them. The wind the last few days has given them a sort out


Chatham Islands Forgetmenot
The colour reminds me of Willow Pattern China


“When It’s Spring Again, I’ll Bring Again …… “
We love tulips, but sadly our spring gales are not kind


Rata around the Village
It’s been a very good year for Rata, Started way early around the end of October, and just finishing now.
Normally just a few weeks over Christmas and the early New Year


Red Rata Carpet For Our Visitors
It’s been a very good year for Rata, It’s almost all gone now, but it does give a lovely red carpet for our visitors


Christmas Dinner
As usual Anne came down for a week, and this year a colleague came as well …. couldn’t get home to family overseas.
An in addition we invited a single guest staying at Kowhai Lane … so 3 Medics in the house.
Sadly none geriatricians which would be more fitting for my advancing years

Christmas Baby
Anne & Szelin found a Sea Lion Mum & Pup on Ulva.
Actually this year we had two, so good to see the population quietly expanding

And it’s Relish & Pickles Time of year
The only problem with Anne coming to visit is that she loads her luggage up from my shelves

Our Garden & Us

As always Iris has been busy in our garden, and as usual it has rewarded us with lovely fresh vegies and lots of colour. The weather has been very ordinary, and we’ve had more rain than normal  … 2nd highest in the last 6 years……  where is the La Nina we were promised ??.  But at least our water tanks are full.