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Review Highlights
Kiwi trip was fantastic

Really enjoyed the night time Kiwi trip. We saw several Kiwi on the beach. Boat ride was... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Craig-World-Travelle
,
Agoura Hills, California
Great tours

We had a fantastic time in the island, many thanks in special to Johnny , our tour guide , who... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Brazilian_Kiwi
,
Wanaka, New Zealand
via mobile
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Reviewed 20 March 2015

We thoroughly enjoyed the immense Patterson Inlet, with a very good commentary giving information about earlier times and birdlife. The highlight was being able to see native birds on Ulva Island - robins and saddlebacks, and around the boat - albatross and muttonbirds. On the island, because of my wheelchair and some others using walking sticks, we did a shorter circuit as a small group with a very knowledgeable, ex-DOC guide, and the birds approached us, because we were quiet and moving more slowly. I was so happy to be able to participate so fully.

The crew were extremely helpful all the time. There was a hoist at the main wharf, but I chose to use the steps and several crew supported me four times to make sure I did it safely, getting on and off at Ulva Island as well as Stewart Island. The path from the wharf at the island is rough at first, but only for 4 metres and then the tracks on the island are wide with a smooth shingle base - very easy for the wheelchair. My husband pushed me around. The track does go up and down a little.
Definitely worthwhile doing! Special memories of the curious, tame little robins, and a big thank you to the kind, friendly staff.

2  Thank Kay B
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

KayB, Saddlebacks, robins and albatross – what a delight. Thanks for your feedback. We look forward to seeing you again. Kind regards, The Stewart Island Experience Team

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Reviewed 12 March 2015

Travelled and unfortunately stayed over in Invercargill to make this tour along with the crossing from Bluff however it was worth the effort and time. Stewart Island was wonderful and then to add this cruise and visit to Ulva Island and guided tour made it special. As a novice with flora and fauna and bird life it was great to now be able to recognise Saddlebacks Bell Birds and the cocky NZ robins it was all over far to quick. The guide was good and answered every question along with the need to keep developing the redress from non-native visitors such as the introduced and feral animals and humans that have exploited this environment
However if I am this way again I will revisit perhaps by water taxi and spend more time alone discovering and learning. Give it a visit it is really worth it and your dollars will help the further the maintenance and natural beauty of this lovely place.

Thank StPolo
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

StPolo, Ulva Island is a highlight for lots of our customers. Thanks for taking the time to post a review. Kind regards, The Stewart Island Experience Team

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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.

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.

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.

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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