Within touching distance of the South Island's southern tip, the majority of New Zealand's third-largest island is handed over to a beautiful sprawl of National Park. Taking its name from the Māori word 'Rakiura' which means ‘land of the glowing skies’ this is an island sanctuary of radiant beauty. Sunsets and sunrise are magical, but it’s the swirling patterns of lights that dance across the heavens above that enchant above all else - as the southern hemisphere’s version of the northern lights dazzles overhead.
Slow the pace, on this island of leisurely fishing villages and swirling Maori legend. The majority of Stewart Island has been claimed by dense forests, which conceal wonderful wildlife watching opportunities, and reveal isolated coves and dramatic cliffs. Bring your hiking boots, as with only 15 miles of road, the best way to see the rugged beauty is by crunching along seaside trails. Coastal hikes along sweeping bays lead to viewpoints like Ackers Point, or you can take to the sea's waves to undulate gently offshore, admiring the island’s coastline from the turquoise waters. Pleasure cruises along the scenic Paterson Inlet will take you out to islands teeming with life and animal activity. Stewart Island, and its scattered skerries, provide the perfect sanctuary for crowds of brilliant birdlife. Encounter everything from blue penguins to albatross and New Zealand's national icon - wild kiwis.