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

Signs of Spring ???

Spring does not officially arrive until 1st September, but things are looking distinctly spring like around Sails Ashore. Fuchsia has been in flower for 2 or 3 weeks, and this morning I checked the lawn and garden soil temperature, and both were at 9.6 deg C. Last year the lawn was 6.0 deg and the veggie garden 10 deg. Looking at our met station records it looks like average temps for August this year are around 4 deg higher than last year.


Fuchsia Flowers, Sails Ashore Lodge, Stewart Island

The first of the seasons Fuchsia Flowers

And last year the garden had been under cover for a couple of weeks. This year we haven’t covered it yet. So today it will get the covers. I got our big rotary hoe out to give it a whiz up, and discovered one tire was flat. So waiting for a new tube.

Fantail, Stewart Island, Sails Ashore Lodge

Fan Tails are always a welcome sight around Sails Ashore

Kukupa, Sails Tours, Stewart Island

Pigeons are starting to re-appear  in increasing numbers around the village

Winter and Spring Birds

It’s well known that many (most ??) of our native pigeons depart the Island for the mainland in late summer early autumn and trickle back in the spring. These last couple of weeks Iris & I have noticed more than the normal numbers about Sails Ashore, and these maybe the returning migrants from the mainland.

Winter is also FanTail¬† time, when they come down to the lower altitudes, presumably to escape the harsher environment up in the hills. And this year we’ve seen lots, although it’s probably been as mild a winter as I can remember here.


In my last post I failed to mention a half day at Orokanui Eco Sanctuary. Something of a bus-mans holiday perhaps, but a very enjoyable afternoon. The forest is nothing like Ulva of course, being mainly second growth, and far drier than the temperate rain forest climate that Stewart Island enjoys. The paths and interpretive resources are excellent, and afterwards it was great to be able to relax with a cup of coffee in the attached cafe. .. sorry, but that’s something Ulva Island does not run to.



I was delighted to see a couple of Takahe at Orokonui.

There are some on TiriTiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf, but really I associate Takahe with the Murcheson Mountains in Fiordland, which is where I first saw them as a young Ranger, in 1968.