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

The Rakiura Track as a Day Walk

We have a two night minimum stay policy at Sails Ashore, and 14 years ago we seldom had longer stays.

But the last couple of years we’ve noticed guests booking for 3 or 4 nights, and once 8 nights. We’ve never had (or I hope we’ve never had) an issue with …. “what on earth can we do today”
We do of course package a 4 hour Guided Tour of Ulva Island Open Sanctuary, and we also offer  a 2 hour “Island Life” Scenic Road tour But these is lots more to do.

Our local museum and our Department of Conservation both have great displays which can easily keep our guests attention for some hours. We’ve pelagic bird and scenic boat trips, fishing of course and various craft and gift shops, but most folks will enjoy at least one of our excellent local hiking trails.

Lots of Great Local Walks.

We often suggest guests take a water taxi up to Port William, and walk back, and you can see a slide show of this on our Concierge Page. And every now and then guests will decide to do the entire Rakiura Great Walk as a day trip. At 31 k long this is not for the casual walker. Some years ago I dropped our daughter Anne off at Lee Bay at 0730, and by chance found her just out onto the road at the end of the walk at 1415. Anne is quite fit, and does a lot of walking. She said she walked briskly, but stopped for 30 minutes for lunch, and also to enjoy the view from time to time.


Guests Do It

We dropped two guys at Lee Bay recently and the slide show and email below is from them

Dear Peter and Iris,
First of all many thanks again for your hospitality, advice, transport and tour whilst we visited Stewart Island.  We both had a lovely time and will remember very fondly your island and Anne’s lovely home for many years to come.
As promised please find attached some pics we took whilst we did our walk.   I think the main advice we would give to any future guests thinking of doing the walk would be to check the weather first.  We had no rain but it crossed our mind that if it had rained we would have found the walk much harder and the ground potentially a lot more muddy.
Second we would recommend that your guests wear appropriate footwear and ideally walking boots due to the mud which is particularly extensive on the inland route which is the wettest.
Final point for your guests or blog readers to consider is the terrain which, as you know, undulates a lot so you are frequently going up and down hill, sometimes with the aid of steps built in to the slope but sometimes not.  If people prefer mainly flat/level terrain walking then this walk could be a challenge for them.
The walk took us 9 hours to complete and that was with 3 short stops of about 10 – 20 minutes for snacks and lunch.
The views of the beaches were stunning as we walked around but the majority of the walk was within the rain forest.  Having done the tour of Ulva Island with Peter we were able to appreciate the forest and birds so much more but your guests should note that this is mainly a rain forest walk.
The old abandoned boilers used to saw felled trees by the early settlers were particularly interesting.  How hard life must have been for them trying to make a living from the forest.  It is quite humbling when you compare it to all the comforts we have today.
Feel free to add any or nothing of the above or the attached pics to your blog.
Have a lovely time in the Chatham Islands.  Will look forward to reading about it.

Best wishes  ….. Luke and Rob

We are happy to drop guests off at Lee Bay, and also we are happy to pick up guests who do the “watertaxi to Port William and walk back to Lee Bay”.
No guarantees, but we’ve never failed yet. Guests have to cell phone us for pick up.
There is no charge to our guests for this service.