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Ulva's Guided Walks

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Stewart Island, New Zealand
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About Ulva's Guided Walks
Ulva Island is located on Stewart Island,New Zealand. A predator-free and picturesque island, it is an environmental treasure. Rare, endangered, endemic and native birds abound - it is also a botanist's dream in a pristine primeval forest environment. Ulva's Guided Walks is the Ulva Island specialist natural history guiding team that provides visitors with truly memorable experiences in this unique forest sanctuary. We provide personalised and small group experiences - and absolutely guarantee that you will love our southern-most bird sanctuary in the world!
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Ulva's Guided Walks
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TheMcBeaths wrote a review Mar 2022
Christchurch, New Zealand27 contributions24 helpful votes
We booked the combo tour and you won’t be disappointed. We had Ulva as our guide on both occasions and what a delight she was. Managed to see two Kiwis on the night tour which was a bucket list moment and the trip to Ulva Island is a brilliant. Ulva’s knowledge was outstanding and we learnt a lot about wonderful native birds and plants. A big thank you from us and also for being patient as this was the third time booking this trip due to Covid.
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Date of experience: March 2022
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Response from Jules_Office_Manager, Front Office Manager at Ulva's Guided Walks
Responded 24 Mar 2022
Yay! As you know, we are thrilled that you both finally made it to Rakiura! Thank you for sharing your feedback, which I will pass on to Ulva for sure. We are just so pleased to have played a small part in you ticking that bucket list moment. It will give you goosebumps for a long time yet! We greatly appreciate YOU for sticking with us; postponing instead of cancelling was a huge help for us during those lock downs.
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Anna S wrote a review Mar 2022
Melbourne, Australia23 contributions4 helpful votes
Great time! Our guide Emily was so knowledgeable and we learnt heaps about all the trees etc and birds on the island. Would 100% recommend rather than going to the island unguided.
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Date of experience: March 2022
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Response from Jules_Office_Manager, Front Office Manager at Ulva's Guided Walks
Responded 24 Mar 2022
Thank you Anna. We're thrilled that you enjoyed the morning with Emily and learned so much - the ngahere really is her happy place - I will pass on your feedback for sure. Thank you also for sharing your recommendation of going to Ulva Island with a guide. It's a question we are often asked and one that's not always easy to answer. Unguided you would of course still have a marvellous time surrounded by ancient forest. But a guide's local knowledge and passion is something that can only be experienced in the place and at the time things are happening. The Tui calling; Kaka shrieking; a chattering Kakariki; the sound of a Kereru's wings beating ... *sigh* :)
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Mum50 wrote a review Mar 2022
New Plymouth, New Zealand36 contributions2 helpful votes
Matt was informative, knowledgeable, humorous and made the 4.5 hours a total awesome experience. We saw so many of the bird life and learned so much from Matt.
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Date of experience: March 2022
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Response from Jules_Office_Manager, Front Office Manager at Ulva's Guided Walks
Responded 24 Mar 2022
Thank you for sharing your experience; we're delighted that you learned and saw so much with Matt. And yes, he certainly has a sense of humour ;)
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South Island Tours NZ wrote a review Dec 2021
Amberley, New Zealand3 contributions
This tour I have done many times and have always experienced a wonderful time. Last week was no different with Leah as our guide. She was very thoughtful of our customers due to their physical short comings and age Her knowledge and passion comes through very strongly which makes the tour or the more memorable.
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Date of experience: November 2021
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Response from Jules_Office_Manager, Front Office Manager at Ulva's Guided Walks
Responded 24 Mar 2022
Hello Lee, I'm sorry not to have acknowledged your feedback sooner. I used to receive notifications but alas, not any longer! I will pass your comments on to Leah. We agree, she is indeed thoughtful and incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the natural world.
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spidernz wrote a review Oct 2021
Gisborne, New Zealand161 contributions37 helpful votes
I had already rated this trip a 5 star experience before what happened to us near the end of our morning. We met at the wharf (note - it's not the one at Oban, it's a 25 minute walk over a steep hill, thanks to the very friendly local who picked us up or we would have missed the tour!) A 5 min water taxi to Ulva, and away we went. Thanks Matt, our guide. He was magnificent, as good as any guide we've had anywhere in the world. He told us so much, showed us so much, and saw things we never would have if we'd gone on our own (apart from the robins - they were everywhere and the tamest, coolest birds ever!) Matt bought the place to life - even amongst the never-ending bird song - don't go on your own (even if you can't get lost) - take a guide! And we saw a kiwi shoot across our path. Cool. Bucket list ticked. But then, Matt found another one - and we spent 6 minutes just watching (well, taking thousands of photos and videos) this most beautiful of birds just 6 feet away from us. Proud moment for all of us. Life is wonderful. We were so lucky. (They don't advertise seeing a kiwi anywhere on their web site, so are really honest - things like this just don't happen very often.) So, we bought a lotto ticket - and won on that too. Our lucky day, and a wonderful trip (even without Mr Kiwi.) You just gotta go to Ulva, and go with these guys - they are the best.
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Date of experience: October 2021
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Response from Jules_Office_Manager, Front Office Manager at Ulva's Guided Walks
Responded 7 Nov 2021
Thank you for sharing your experience, particularly the benefits of going to Ulva Island with a guide. Matt is an absolute treasure - did he tell you he goes to Ulva Island on his day off too?! Thank you also for pointing out that we don't advertise kiwi sightings on our Ulva Island guided walks - it's a privilege to see any rare bird and we prefer to manage peoples' expectations accordingly. Many people don't know that South Island Saddleback and Weka are more rare than Stewart Island Brown Kiwi! What a day you had, winning Lotto too! Life is indeed wonderful.
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