Stewart Island Tours
Ulva Island Explorer from Stewart Island
5

Ulva Island Explorer from Stewart Island

By RealNZ
Recommended by 98% of travelers
98% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About

Ages 0-99, max of 10 per group
Duration: 2h 30m
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More


  • GST (Goods and Services Tax)
  • Catamaran cruise and island tour
  • Live commentary on board
  • Local guide
  • Picnic lunch (must contact operator directly after booking to purchase)
What's not included
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off


Start:
  • Visitor Terminal - Stewart Island Experience, Southland 9818, New Zealand
    Please check in 20 minutes prior to departure.
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Infants must sit on laps
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 2264P21

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 2264P21

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    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • RealNZ
      1,252
      New Zealand
      Joined in May 2009
    • BundyClub
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Good intro to the Island
      We went to Stewart Island for the day and doing this tour was a good introduction to the island. The tour guide Rhys had a very laconic sense of humour and made the tour very enjoyable.
      Written May 18, 2024
    • Long L
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A beautiful family trip!
      虽然我们一般都是自己探索一个新的地方,我们这次参加了这个小小的旅行团,结果非常满意!我们的导游是一个非常优秀的女士,解说非常详细,涵盖了历史背景和自然景观!We usually do self guided tour but we booked this tour as time limited. It’s such a beautiful experience! Our guide is a great lady who has covered historical and cultural topics during our short tour. There are many beautiful stops in this short tour! Highly recommend!
      Written April 19, 2024
    • ShayKotzi
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Phenomenal Guide!
      Absolutely amazing experience. Boat tour was engaging and entertaining! Sea lions came right up to the boat, thanks to the frantic clapping and whistling from our incredibly dedicated and enthusiastic guide. Our guide, Karen, made the experience unforgettable with their infectious enthusiasm and knowledgeable commentary. Karen knew exactly where to look and how to walk quietly through the woods to not scare the kiwi. WE SAW 6! Cannot recommend this experience enough, RealNZ did an incredible job!
      Written April 17, 2024
    • lejvs
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A must do tour of Stewart Island
      Fantastic 90min tour around some of the magical spots in Stewart Island. Rhys does a great job explaining the history and has a wonderful sense of humor. Well worth the money.
      Written April 8, 2024
    • mattec078
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Natural beauty
      Fantastic tour! Our tour guide Reece was very knowledgeable, had a great sense of humour and showed us all the little bays and local highlights. Seeing the Sea Lion relaxing in the sand was great. Would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Stewart Island to give a better perspective of the uniqueness of what island life entails.
      Written April 6, 2024
    • AndyJewson
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Albatross, mutton birds and kiwis galore
      Fantastic trip, starts with a boat ride out to see albatross, seals, mutton birds, sea lions etc Then some introduction to Kiwis and a Kiwi walk through Bush to a beach. Our two guides were wonderful, so enthusiastic and in the end just as excited to see kiwis as the guests. Had 4 sitings, 3 on the beach which lasted over an hour. Highpoint was when we witnessed a male meet a female and watched them put their beaks to the sky and call to each other, spine tingling stuff.
      Written March 12, 2024
    • AndyJewson
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Friendly and helpful driver and a lovely dog
      We booked the shuttle from Invercargill airport to Bluff and the ferry across to Stewart Island. Arrived at the airport expecting a 3 hour wait but found the shuttle bus was there for the earlier time, the driver was very happy to take us early and to sort out an earlier ferry crossing which was really helpful. Had a good chat in the bus on the way to Bluff, learnt a lot about the area. And really enjoyed meeting the driver's dog!
      Written March 5, 2024
    • Kelsofly
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Tokoeka Tour of Lifetime
      Cannot recommend this tour enough! This was our second RealNZ tour of the day, and while we may have felt tired before setting out, this quickly dissipated with the excitement of the journey. We stopped in several incredible spots en route to the ultimate destination, observing penguins (hoiho/yellow-eyed and tawaki/Friodland crested), seals and albatross, among other native species. Once night fell, the kiwi tour was an absolute dream. We crept through the impressive forests, listening for the signs of Stewart Island tokoeka. Our guide, Karen, who we were lucky enough to have for the second time that day, truly went above and beyond. She made sure we had the best possible experience, and between the two groups, we ended up seeing three tokoeka. Pure magic. Even with wet weather threatening to roll in, this couldn't possibly put a damper on our experience. Our captain Matt was fabulous as well, starting our return trip in the dark with the Titanic theme song, just perfect. Hot chocolate on board was the night cap we needed. Thank you RealNZ, and Karen in particular, for an adventure we'll always remember.
      Written March 2, 2024
    • 907JLeMay
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Kiwi Excitement
      This adventure was exciting! We took a scenic boat ride over to Tribal land and hiked through the woods at night from 10 pm to 12 am. We were fortunate and saw a couple kiwis. One was unfazed and spent about 20 minutes with us.
      Written February 29, 2024
    • robinmC3184DO
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Kiwi hunt
      Our guides were excellent and made the whole adventure exciting. On the boat we spotted a rare penguin and other birds. They offered binoculars during the boat trip and torches/flashlights for the trek through the bush on our kiwi hunt. We saw 4 kiwi which was very exciting. We rather felt like thrives in the night the way we had to be so quiet, it was a hoot! A great time, glad we spent the money.
      Written February 25, 2024
    • S9913BMolivial
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing experience!!
      We had the best time on this tour! We saw kiwis and lots of other wildlife on the boat part of the tour, the guides were so engaging and had so much knowledge of the animals and local area including cultural history! The hot drinks and biscuits was such a lovely touch as well! Would recommend bringing lots of layers as was chilly even in summer!
      Written February 20, 2024
    • RoJo1012
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing wildlife and the best opportunity to see wild kiwis
      We saw penguins, seals, sea lions, albatross, pied shags and kiwis!! The guides could not have been more accommodating or enthusiastic. Really worth the money in my opinion. My only advice would be take lots and lots of warm clothes and layers as the weather changes very quickly even in summer.
      Written February 20, 2024
    • Fish B
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Must do on Steward island
      Well organized tour with penguin, sea lion and seal watching from a boat, free coffee/chocolate/tea and easy guided night walk where we saw two kiwis. There is additional layers and jackets on the boat if you feel i like you are not warm or dry enoughY
      Written February 13, 2024
    • PerthRJB
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Stewart Island bus tour.
      We flew to Stewart Island for a very short stay (only 5 hours) and chose the bus tour to fit as much in as possible in a short time. Our group was small, and we received very personal service from the guide/driver. Rhys was very informative and entertaining. He had a real working history of the settlement and island. He pointed out all the local attractions and things to do on such a short visit. What a ripper bloke! The tour unfolded stunning panorama after panorama. Highly recommended!
      Written February 10, 2024
    • I5660QJmaryd
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      See Stewart Island Up Close and Personsal
      This was a great tour! It was raining cats and dogs but Di still managed to be entertaining and informative. We loved learning about the island’s history.
      Written February 9, 2024
    See all 1,252 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

    Popular mentions

    5.0
    5.0 of 5 bubbles52 reviews
    Excellent
    48
    Very good
    3
    Average
    1
    Poor
    0
    Terrible
    0

    Sue
    Auckland, New Zealand1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    May 2022 • Couples
    Absolutely loved the boat cruise! And our walk on Ulva was even better. Our guide Bridget contacted us to see if we would be willing to shift our tour to a day earlier. She suggested that the weather was better and that we would have a tour with a smaller group. It was definitely worth the move! With only 6 of us on the tour we got an hour and a half exploring the island. Bridget was so knowledgeable finding all the birds well before we heard them. She took her time to talk to every member of the group and find out what they were interested in learning about. I was really impressed by her knowledge of the history of the island and her passion for the area. I thought she was a true bred stewart islander, would never have picked her from Auckland. To top it off she showed us blue mushrooms!

    Thanks again Sue!
    Written June 6, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    To hear feedback like this warms our heart! Bridget especially, will be thrilled to read this. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with RealNZ Sue. We hope to see you again one day. There is so much more to explore in our beautiful backyard.
    Written June 8, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Calum W
    London, UK9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mar 2023 • Friends
    I would give this more stars if I could. Karen - you are a superstar tour guide & made this adventure everything we could’ve hoped for and more. Such incredible knowledge & passion for the wildlife, everyone in our tour group was so engaged with your stories and sights to be seen.

    I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is lucky enough to make their way to Stewart Island. A walk around the bush on Ulva Island is a great way to spend an afternoon

    Thanks to the RealNZ team. Lots of love. Kia Ora x
    Written March 31, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lovely review. We're thrilled to hear that you had a great experience on our tour and that Karen, your tour guide, made it even more special for you. We're glad that her knowledge and passion for wildlife made your tour engaging and enjoyable. We hope to welcome you back soon! x
    Written April 4, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Trish
    Auckland, New Zealand13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2022 • Couples
    We were fortunate to have booked both the Stewart Island tour and the Ulva Island tour as a package deal in the Winter months. What an amazing adventure 🥰
    To make it even more special we decided to grab some e-bikes before our Ulva Island experience, would you believe we rode and found the gorgeous wee sod cottage of Lewis Acker. Got to explore inside.. how wonderful an experience.
    Who was to know we'd also get to see it on the ferry ride over to Ulva Island 🤗 How lucky were we 👍👍👍
    Written August 24, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    It sounds like the perfect winter getaway and you managed to get out and really explore the island and what it has to offer. Thank you for taking the time to right a review.
    Written August 26, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Paige
    Christchurch, New Zealand4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Apr 2022
    I chose RealNZ for my recent trip to Stewart Island! Their Ulva island tour was fantastic! I highly recommend! Our guide Britz was so knowledgeable! She knew all the bird calls and spotted the birds well before any one else in the group! Her passion and love for wildlife definitely showed! We saw kakariki, mohua, saddleback, robins and even a rifleman.

    The boat trip was well worth while too! We learned lots about the history of the Island. And as an added bonus our skipper Nick found us lots of albatross.

    I have done a lot of tours with RealNZ and would pick them over other tour companies every time.
    Written April 11, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    This review made our day! <3 It's guests like you that make our jobs so rewarding and enjoyable. Thank you for being such a ray of sunshine. If you're ever visiting Stewart Island again in the future we would love to see you.
    Written April 20, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Kelsey F
    Wellington, New Zealand44 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feb 2024 • Family
    My parents and I visited Stewart Island for a couple days, and both RealNZ tours we did were truly amazing. We were fortunate enough to have the incredible Karen as our guide (but all the other guides seemed pretty cool too), and her passion for what she does, and the beautiful environment we were visiting, was clear. I've lived in NZ for 10 years, but learned so much on Ulva Island about our native species. We got to see an incredible variety of birdlife and spend time just taking everything in. The highlight was seeing mohua/yellowheads and sea lions on the beach (and Karen's bravery ensuring the stroppy male sea lion stayed well away from the group). Highly recommend this tour! You'll gain so much knowledge and walk away happy with a few hours incredibly well spent.
    Written March 2, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    We're thrilled to hear that you and your parents had such an amazing experience with us on Stewart Island! It sounds like Karen's passion for the environment and her dedication to ensuring a memorable experience truly made a difference. We're delighted that you learned so much about New Zealand's native species on Ulva Island and had the opportunity to witness a diverse range of birdlife. Thank you for your glowing recommendation, and we're thrilled that you found your time with us to be incredibly well spent. We look forward to welcoming you back to Stewart Island for more enriching experiences in the future!
    Written April 9, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Steven M
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aug 2023 • Couples
    We were recommended this trip by a fisherman on the wharf at Oban. They said the young girl leading the trip was one of the best guides on the island. The trip was extremely worth while and the highlight of our holiday. Due to an issue with the boat we didn’t get to do the usual tour. Instead our guide Britt took us for a drive to get a good overview of the settlement history on Stewart Island. On our drive she accidentally took a wrong turn which lead us to a beautiful little beach. We then headed out to Ulva island via water taxi. Our guides knowledge and passion was impressive. We had great sightings of yellow head, kakariki, rifleman and brown creeper. We also had a young sea lion popping in and out of the water following us along the beach wanting to play. Thanks Realnz for such a fantastic trip!
    Written September 5, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    We're delighted that you had such a fantastic trip with RealNZ, and we hope to welcome you back for more memorable adventures in the future! 🌿
    Written October 8, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    GKM32
    Dunedin, New Zealand1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Oct 2022 • Couples
    This was an amazing experience! The staff and crew were so helpful, friendly and informative. What a beautiful way to see so much more of Stewart Island. We recommend a guided tour to learn so much about thd bird life, fauna and history. This,was the highlight of our stay.
    Written October 11, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    It's such a beautiful island; it's hard not to geek out! Thank you so much for exploring it with us.
    Written October 14, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Danette31
    Dallas, TX53 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Oct 2022 • Couples
    Karen was our guide and was extremely knowledgeable. We saw so many beautiful species of birds. Karen was quick to describe them by their singing before even spotting them. The trail is beautifully done and the whole tour was just magnificent.
    Written October 26, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    The birdsong on Ulva Island is magical! Thank you for exploring this beautiful island with Karen and the RealNZ team. We hope to see you again soon.
    Written October 30, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Jennifer D
    1 contribution
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Oct 2022 • Friends
    Did this tour with RealNZ and loved it all.
    Our guide on Ulva island Karen was fantastic, so knowledgeable and fun. Bevan our guide on the boat ride to the island and back was also knowledgeable and passionate about the place he calls home. A very worthwhile tour. Great experience.😃
    Written October 25, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    The Rakiura crew are such an awesome bunch of people! We hope they made your Stewart Island adventure one to remember.
    Written October 30, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Katie E
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aug 2023 • Solo
    A big thanks to Britt for saving our holiday! We came down to Stewart Island for a week and unfortunately hit the worst weather possible. Britt went completely above and beyond to make sure we had the best experience possible and were able to make the most of our time on Ulva. It was the highlight of our trip and our bucket list moment!!
    Written September 20, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for sharing your review of Ulva Island! We will certainly pass on your kind words to Britt, and we appreciate your visit. We hope you'll consider returning for more unforgettable moments in the future. 🏝️🌟
    Written October 8, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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