We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Pristine forest and beaches”
Review of Ulva Island

Ulva Island
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Paterson Inlet Cruise including Ulva Island from Stewart Island
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed January 9, 2014

Easy to get around on foot, a pleasing mix of lovely beaches and forests/understorey, with birds that came up to you if you as so much scratched over the leaf litter. Sheltered, with many international tourists soaking up the sun on an otherwise coldish day.

Thank BarbaraCSmith_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (452)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

357 - 361 of 452 reviews

Reviewed January 8, 2014

Caught a water taxi to Ulva Island ($25/head return) at 0930. Organised to be picked up at 1230. The weather turned rather wet but still managed to walk all the tracks in the 3 hours. If the weather was fine could have spent more time walking along the beaches. Didn't see many birds but the little robins are friendly and managed to see a few fan tails. The oyster catchers were chasing each other around on the beach, quite amusing. Didn't see any kiwis, but did see evidence of them. They are nocturnal so it was expected.

Thank Chez-from-Oz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

A must to visit if you are travelling to Stewart Island. Removal of predators has enabled bird life to flourish. We saw adult and young Saddlebacks which had been near to extinction. We saw the South Island Robin, Tomtit, Kakariki, Kereru, Mollymawks, Titi, Oyster Catcher and Kaka. We also heard a Stitch Bird but unfortunately never saw it. The bush pathways are easy to walk and the beaches are beautiful.

Thank Jude L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Ulva island is predator free and the birds calling out through the bows of the trees are proof that the enormous effort to keep them safe is paying off. I walked quietly and slowly on a well mapped trail to sounds of wings flapping and conversations. Ending up on a beach fur seals groomed themselves in the surf uninhibited . How much fun to sit and watch this
This is a place not to be missed

Thank sheryl r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

Ulva Island, now predator free is a bushwalking gem, small enough to explore within half a day but enough to keep you entertained, beaches where you share the sand with the sea lion and oyster catches and no one else.
Or easy walking tracks through ancient forests where birds are free to breed as they once did before predators wiped them out from the main islands of NZ.
You don’t need to be a bird watcher to see or enjoy the birds.
Just stop on the track and a friendly robin will find you, hoping you will scuff your feet and scare up some insects.
This is up close and personal birding.
A five minute water taxi ride gets you to the island and there are scheduled times with one operator or you can book your own time with any numbers of operators. Prices vary and it is best to ask around first.
Now here's the rub with Stewart Island.
Different water taxi operators have different rules and different prices. A trip or several trips to Ulva Island is a must but every extra $5.00 you don't need to spend adds up if you go every day.
Several of the tour companies offer the water taxi to Ulva Island but a minimum number is needed to go and the cost is $25 return. Times vary.
A better option if you are venturing to Ulva Island and don't feel the need for a guide is take the scheduled water taxi that leaves at set times and costs only $20 return, no minimum number.
You don't have to book; just front up at the Golden Bay wharf at the scheduled time and five minutes later you are exploring Ulva Island.
Easy and the dollars you save you spend on a kiwi tour or a pelagic tour with the other operators.
Call Peter at Ulva Island Ferry on 03 219-1013 for more details.
But don't expect the taxi to go Sundays, if you have to visit Ulva Island on a Sunday you need to book another taxi and hope minimum numbers can be made.

Grab some of the brochures on the ferry over or call at the tour shops that dot the wharf and small cluster of shops at Oban.

Shelve any thoughts of seeing a kiwi on Ulva Island unless you are very lucky and stumble across one of the 40 that now live in the forest there. You cannot go to the island at night and chances of a daytime sighting are slim. But many other rare and endangered birds are so easy to see on Ulva that missing a kiwi does not matter. Book a trip on Stewart Island to see your kiwi.

2  Thank RonWamberal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Ulva Island also viewed

Stewart Island, Southland Region
Stewart Island, Southland Region

Been to Ulva Island? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing