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

Stewart Island / Rakiura

Land of Glowing Skies

Paterson Inlet

One of our many fine harbours

Evening Light......Mt Anglem

Oor highest Mountain …. 980 metres

Oban Village

Set at the head of Halfmoon Bay

Magical Stewart Island

There is something about an Island that seems to attract the small boy in some of us. Swallows and Amazons or perhaps Treasure Island. You won’t find Long John Silver’s bullion here but we think Stewart Island an infinitely more important treasure.

Comprising some 173000 hectares of weathered granite, and straddling the 47th South parallel on the edge of the Southern Ocean, the Island ranges from heavily forested to bald fell fields with everything in between. While small areas of the forests have been milled for timber some 70 + years ago, the areas concerned have recovered well. Although we have white-tailed and red deer, possums, rats and feral cats the forests and our  bird life is exceptional. Beech trees are absent, making our forest associations quite unique. Many of the Island’s plants are to be found nowhere else. The unique land forms, particularly around the Tin Range and Port Pegasus give an almost lunar aspect in places while on the west coast Mason Bay is home to one of New Zealand’s largest areas of undisturbed sand dunes.

The shores are iron bound, but also with the most amazing sandy beaches, inlets, bays and superb harbours. Port Pegasus and Paterson Inlet were said by an early explorer to each be capable of anchoring the largest of navies. Several slow flowing rivers allow easy small boat access considerable distances inland. These and the myriad of small and large islands and convoluted shore line makes for almost limitless scope for exploration by boat or kayak.

Some 85% of the Island is now Rakiura National Park. The park was declared in 2002, recognising the outstanding natural and historical values the Island has long been renowned for.

The seas around are full of fish and famous for blue cod, a local delicacy and the cool waters home to extensive kelp forests. Being as we are on the edge of the Southern Ocean many species of pelagic birds frequent our coastal waters.

Historically the Island was home to Maori from the earliest occupation of New Zealand. That and a European involvement as old as any in New Zealand has left a rich legacy and a firmly ingrained sense of identity of residents with the Island.

The above is a very cursory overview.

Our Bibliography page has book titles and information for further reading

 Gog & Magog, Port Pegasus

Typical of the landscape of the Southern part of the Island

An Iron Bound Coast

Looking south towards Doughboy Bay, on the west coast

A sandy beach, cliffs either side

Beaches, both sheltered and exposed, are found everywhere

Evidence of the Island’s historic Past

Sluicing Valves and Monitor, Port Pegasus

Evidence of the Island’s historic Past

Old photos of the Port Pegasus Fish Factory and small village


Sails Ashore, Kowhai Lane & Sails Tours

11 View Street, Stewart Island, 9846 NEW ZEALAND

+64 3 219 1151

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