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Review Highlights
A memorable experience!

Our visit to Stewart Island in December was great. Excellent accomodation at Jimmy's cottage, a... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Pat H
,
County Wexford, Ireland
via mobile
Unspoiled Island

Our day began with a short hike from the wharf to our bus. We were treated to many beautiful... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Penelopewms
,
Playa Potrero, Costa Rica
via mobile
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Reviewed 7 March 2015

This boat was supposed to go to Ulva Island, which it did, but I was looking forward to seeing some of the rare, native birds. The guide rushed us through a quick (and loud) 1/2 hour jaunt through the woods and then back to the boat. It was an enjoyable enough boat ride, but this is NOT a tour for anyone even remotely serious about birds. I had a limited amount of time on Stewart Island and to have wasted it like this was heart-breaking to me. If you go, take the water taxi instead of this tour and then stay as long as you like.

Date of experience: February 2015
1  Thank Birdteacher1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Public Relations Manager at Stewart Island Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2015

Dear Birdteacher
We are really disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy the Ulva Island part of your Paterson Inlet Cruise. The walk is a loop that our guides say takes a minimum of 45 minutes and usually takes an hour. We apologise that your walk felt rushed. There are many rare, native birds on the island, as you would be aware – and we are sorry they don’t appear to have been in evidence during your visit.
Kind regards
Real Journeys

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Reviewed 24 January 2015

We were not expecting much on the boat trip there and were thrilled to be able to see not only the mollymocks but a rare juvenile white shark trying to catch said birds as they fed off the fish scraps from the boat crew. There was also a lot of great history shared along the way. Once there we found the guide highly knowledgeable on both the flora and fauna.

We found the group to be off-putting to the birds, however, and so when we were supposed to board the boat for the return, we decided to stay on the island and pay an additional fee to catch a water taxi.

Alone we were able to retrace our steps at a more leisurely pace, apply the information the guide provided, and the birds came out in large numbers. We spent three hours walking all the trails and it was a fantastic visit. If you are a non-New Zealander bird watcher, I'd recommend using a guide in the first part and then taking your time to absorb the experience.

Date of experience: January 2015
3  Thank Whats4dessert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Manager at Stewart Island Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2015

Whats4dessert, Pleased that you enjoyed our knowledgeable guides and your trip with us. Thanks for your feedback. Kind regards, The Stewart Island Experience Team

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Reviewed 1 January 2015

We didn't really know what to expect when we booked the tour in the visitor centre on Stewart Island, but as everyone we met so far recommended Ulva Island we couldn't really do anything wrong. We were surprised in a positive way by the trip around the tip of Stewart Island and the things we were told about some special places. The highlight for us was definitely the feeding of the albatrosses. The boat was steered in the wind in such a way that the albatrosses were gliding behind and next to the boat. This way we could take great photos and marvel at the large birds - there were even three royal albatrosses near by the boat!
The walk on Ulva Island was lovely and we spotted some endangered birds like the saddleback and we learned a lot about the plants we saw on our way. Our guide Donald was very knowledgeable and ready to help no matter what the topic was (birds, plants, seasickness...). It was a great trip and we can definitely recommend this! If we ever come back to Stewart Island we will take it again.

Date of experience: December 2014
1  Thank Mietzemaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Manager at Stewart Island Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2015

Mietzemaus, Thanks for your great feedback. Kind regards, The Stewart Island Experience Team

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Reviewed 30 December 2014

We only had a day to spend on Stewart Island, so opted for the Paterson Inlet Cruise to get the most out of our visit and we weren't disappointed. Well worth the money. The crew were very friendly and informative. Ulva Island was the highlight. We had an excellent guide who led us around the island telling us about the many species of plants and what her Maori ancestors used them for. The birdlife was rather elusive, keeping their distance, though we did hear many different and interesting calls. We were treated however to a very friendly robin who was more than happy to pose for photos. No kiwis but we did spot their footprints in the mud. Our guide talked at length about each species of bird on the island so even though we didn't see many we came away learning a great deal about them.

Date of experience: December 2014
1  Thank HelenB59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Manager at Stewart Island Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2015

HelenB59, Great to hear that Ulva Island was a highlight. Thanks for your feedback. Kind regards, The Stewart Island Experience Team

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Reviewed 8 December 2014

I was looking forward to seeing birdlife with our guide but all he wanted to talk about was trees, and didn't seem to have a lot of knowledge about the local birds.
We were only on Ulva island for about 50 minutes the rest of the time was spent looking round the bay.
If you want to seen birds there are much better options on the island, try Ruggedy Range.

Date of experience: November 2014
Thank JackoMiddlesbrough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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