On the Rakiura Track you’ll discover peace, birdsong and scenery that has barely changed in thousands of years.
New Zealand’s third island, Stewart Island is the place to find peace and solitude, surrounded by a habitat that has changed little for thousands of years.
During the day, your feet will find the rhythm of the trail; at night you’ll be lulled to sleep by the “morepork” call of owls and the occasional screech of a kiwi bird. Stewart Island has a huge bird population.
While people number less than 400, the island’s rich, pure podocarp forest is a sanctuary for native birds. The track itself follows the open coast, climbs over forested ridges and traverses sheltered coastline. Most of the track is board-walked. Beautiful wilderness beaches are a special feature; Māori Beach was once the site of a Māori (the native people of New Zealand) village.
Stewart Island’s largest town, Oban, is home to a range of accommodation – make sure to stay a few days before or after your walk to explore more of the island. Bluff, where the ferry leaves from, offers very limited places to stay. If you’re catching a flight to Stewart Island, you will need to catch it from New Zealand’s most Southern City, Invercargill.