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“Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience”

Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience
Ranked #1 of 16 Tours in Stewart Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ruggedy Range™ Wilderness Experience tours operate exclusively in Stewart Island and Ulva Island. We are an independent, small local operator specialising in guided walks, overnight treks, bird watching (including pelagic birding) and kiwi spotting tours, boat cruises, sea kayaking and scenic road tours. Our tours are designed to capture the best the island has to offer and carefully matching this to the interests and abilities of the most discerning traveller. Whether you are a gentle explorer or adventurous and active, whether your interests are general or you are an avid birdwatcher, botanist, naturalist or photographer, we certainly have something to offer. Guides bring their in-depth knowledge, a sense of fun with a few local tales, to create a truly memorable experience. We care about the environment and strive to adopt and maintain sustainable practises. Since 2003, we have been donating some of our revenue into our own conservation fund per person per guided tour and water taxi charter. Our tours are all of generous length offering great value. We care about your experience so all our tours are personalised and we can adapt them along the way. Small groups range from 2 to 12 persons. We do cater for private tour groups of more than 12 persons. Customised / private tours are also available. We recommend prior bookings. We operate our own booking office in Stewart Island and we strongly advise that you check directly with us as there are no independent visitors centres in Stewart Island.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience”
Reviewed April 16, 2012

Furhana Ahmed met us as we disembarked from the ferry at Oban. We were so impressed by the guiding services offered by her company, ‘Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience’, and particularly by her flexibility, enthusiasm and friendly manner, that we immediately arranged to visit Ulva Island next day with a small group. Furhana tailored the tour according to the interests and stamina of the party. Three of the group opted for a half day visit while four of us decided on a full day tour; we would recommend this as it provides time to see a wider range of rare birds and better explore the island and its vegetation. Ferhana’s bird knowledge is extensive, and her ability to identify species from their calls is uncanny. She was able to predict when and where we would see particular birds, and as a result our bird list for the day was impressive.
The following day Furhana arranged for us and two others to join a morning bird-watching cruise where we observed at close quarters 3 species of Albatross and other interesting birds.
During the week Furhana took us on the Fern Gully walk along a watercourse and through dense forest. She also advised on other independent walks and lent us walking poles. Her university qualifications have equipped her with a good scientific background and her experience on the island has provided a sound knowledge of the local flora and fauna as well its history.

Altogether we found Furhana a first rate guide and we valued her contribution to our memorable Stewart Island visit.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Margaret C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
“Excellent advice - no charge!”
Reviewed April 13, 2012

Having been advised by the DOC that the Raikura walk would take 3 days, I was advised that with the 2 days I had I should get a water taxi to the start of the second day hike (an an approximate cost of $70) then walk from there. Taking their advice I headed off the Ruggedy Range to get a quote for the boat ride. Here the owner was clear that if I was a keen walker and relatively fit that I would be able to complete the 3 day walk in 2 days and would not need the cost of the boat trip at all. I took this advise - with no charge - and completed the track in the two days with out issue.
The owner is able to give good advice without any pressure as she just wants to increase people's positive experience on Stewart Island so definitely go and take a look and have a chat.

Visited March 2012
Thank brokenboiler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California, United States
1 review
“Wealth of valuable information!”
Reviewed April 13, 2012

In late March I visited Stewart Island, not having planned anything out in advance. What can I say, I was spoiled by New Zealand's i-Site network! When I arrived at the Stewart Island DOC office to organize a day hike or two I was told I needed to take a water taxi to access any of the more scenic locations on Stewart Island, and if I wanted to do part/all of the Rakiura Track it would require multiple nights or 1-2 water taxis.
I headed to Ruggedy Range to look into renting some tramping equipment, and I'm thankful I did! Furhana set me straight, giving me up to date information on the terrain and trail conditions, as well as realistic time estimates. She knew about alterations made to the track that the DOC didn't know or bother to mention. In my time on Stewart Island she was by far the most knowledgeable person I met. And she related all of this with a cheerful and pleasant demeanor.
The business side of things went smoothly without any surprises, and Furhana was able to advise me on and rent me precisely the equipment I needed - no more and no less. I'm a minimalist backpacker, so I appreciate that she didn't try to sell me on any unnecessary weight!

When I return to New Zealand I will definitely be spending time on Stewart Island, and my first stop on the island will be Ruggedy Range. I look forward to experiencing the guided tours they offer, and having the opportunity to pick Furhana's brain even further about the local area!

Visited March 2012
Thank Justin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Excellent tour of Stewart Island”
Reviewed April 7, 2012

I agree with the 3 visitors preceding me. Furhana gave us an excellent van tour of the island, not leaving anything out. We felt we had a better grasp of Stewart Island after her knowledgeable tour.

Visited March 2012
Thank New-World-Journeys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“a wonderful wildlife experience with knowledgeable guide”
Reviewed March 27, 2012

We had a wonderful guided tour of Ulva Island, off Stewart Island in New Zealand, in February 2012 with Furhana Ahmad of Ruggedy Range tours. Furhana was very knowledgeable and professional and showed us rare birds such as the NZ Saddleback which we would probably have walked past without her skills.

Visited February 2012
Thank happyramblerKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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