Stewart Island is a magical place, best savoured in peace and at a relaxed pace…..
Not for us the rush and bustle, nor as part of a crowd….
usually never more than 6 per guide.
And we’ve been here for a while……
40 + years as Forest Ranger, commercial fishers”
and now as Dept of Conservation concessioned guides..
We’ll explain the history, flora and fauna,
and what Island life is like….
and how it all melds into the magic that is Rakiura
Our two Stewart Island Discovery tours compliment each other :—Sails Stewart Island, Ulva Island and Scenic Road Tours
There are two Island “stories” which parallel and compliment each other.
The first story is the Islands Natural History story, which is so well illustrated on Ulva Island, and indeed also shows us something of what New Zealand was before people first arrived… not so long ago, really. My (Peters) position as Forest Service Ranger for Stewart Island in the late ’60’s and also the many research expeditions I field managed then, and while a fisherman and latterly as a charter skipper gives me an unique insight into the changes that have occurred over the last 50 years.
The second is the “People” story of the Island, and the life that our early residents experienced here, and how their story backdrops the present community. Iris’s position as relieving District Nurse for 15 years gave her an “intro” to many of the Islands older residents, as did my position as Ranger, when I would actively “pick the brains” of many of the older fishermen and their families for information to assist me in my duties. … sadly I wish I had had the advantage of some of the cleaver recording systems now available to better record the stories.
We try to present these two separate, but interwoven stories in our two tours, with the Ulva Island tour more focused on the natural world, and the road tour exploring the “peoples” story.
“Sails” Ulva Island Open Sanctuary Discovery
Ulva Island is an absolute “Must Do” for visitors to Stewart Island. The Island is part of Rakiura National Park and now free of introduced animals and is fast becoming a glimpse into New Zealand’s ancient past. . Your guide Peter has over 40 years association with Ulva Island, starting in 1969, when he was appointed Ranger in Charge of Stewart Island
“Sails” Island Life Road, Beaches, Bays and Lookouts
Our commentary celebrates Island life, from earliest Maori to the sealers, whalers saw-millers and fishermen up to the present and what it’s like to live here now and to bring up a family. We visit the beaches, bays and lookouts, with lots of photo opportunities
Unless forced by weather we generally limit party size to six or less.
But if you are a larger group travelling together then of course we will take you all, and you’ll be exclusive as well
While not fully disabled capable, we do try very hard to help disabled guests enjoy both tours.
We have taken wheelchair bound guests to Ulva, and recently a gentleman with a leg off went on crutches over the whole walk.
Please feel free to ask us and we’ll do our best to have all our guests enjoy this special Island
But we now produce 100 % of our electrical needs, and are completely "Off Grid", Excess electricity is used to heat our domestic hot water and central heating system and this has cut our non renewable heating fuel usage to around 20% of pre solar.. All cooking is electric, no more LPG. See More .......
Kowhai Lane is also Solar powered,
Kowhai Lane is "Grid Tied" Excess production is used to heat water. Production beyond the house requirements is exported, thus cutting diesel use in the wider grid. At night Kowhai Lane Lodge receives power from the grid.
Like Sails Ashore, all cooking is electric,,,,, No LPG