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“Amazing trip! An unexpected visit from a Southern Right Whale!”

Stewart Island Experience
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Oban
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Enjoy a leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet, viewing hidden coves and beaches including a visit to the Ulva Island – a renowned wildlife sanctuary. An on-board nature guide provides commentary throughout the cruise and leads a 45 minute walk through part of the Ulva Island. This island is home to abundant birdlife, including some of New Zealand’s most rare and precious plant species. Departs: Oban. (Previously named Paterson Inlet Cruises).
Reviewed 9 November 2017

We booked the Bird watching trip to Ulva Island. We were surprised that there were only 3 of us on this trip! Talk about a treat! Our crew was great, very informative and fun. We were on our way to Ulva Island when suddenly our captain spotted a whale breaching the water. We spent quite a bit of time following him and watching. It was great! We saw blue penguins playing in the water and seals laying on rocks. Our tour of Ulva Island was great. A very beautiful place and our guide was fantastic, sharing all sorts of information. We saw several rare birds and the Southern Right Whale?! It was the best finale to our last day in NZ! You can't beat it!

1  Thank shutter_bug1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at Stewart Island Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 20 November 2017

Kia Ora and thanks for the amazing review. We are delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your trip to Ulva Island, it really is a fantastic experience. And wow! Seeing whales breaching is an absolute treat! Hopefully the rest of your time in New Zealand was just as good.
Kind regards, the team at Stewart Island Experience.

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Write a ReviewReviews (47)
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"blue penguins"
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"robin"
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"nz"
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11 - 15 of 47 reviews

Reviewed 5 November 2017

Looks like this is the trip mum and I did today. For $95 it was excellent value. A bit of history, two free cups of tea/coffee, stopping to watch albatross fly near the boat, various little bays and (often old) buildings, and Ulva Island. Luckily the weather held out, I imagine Ulva Island wouldn't be so good in the wet unless you've got good raincoats & rainhats. One by one we came across a lot of different birds, led by our guide (Erin?). I'd never seen Yellowheads before. I missed the Stewart Island Robin the first time around (others saw it) but right near the end myself and another got a fantastic view of one. Though not fast enough to get a picture.

Thank glennomeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at Stewart Island Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2018

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. We are delighted to see how much you enjoyed this wonderful experience.
Kind Regards - The Team at Stewart Island Experience.

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Reviewed 2 April 2017 via mobile

With only a short time to explore, we booked the Paterson Inlet Cruise. We were warmly greeted, and the boat was very clean and tidy-including separate Ladies and Men's toilets! We preordered a lunch and the portions were generous, and food was fresh. The crew were professionally attired and knowledgeable of the land and sea. Shortly after leaving the wharf we encountered a group of dolphins including a mother and calf. Next a large group of albatrosses arrived in the waters, and they were exciting to watch. Penguins greeted us as well. The inlet tour was gorgeous and the guide shared its history as we cruised. We disembarked at Ulva Island and we're split into small groups, each with a guide. The guide facilitated numerous bird viewings-Stewart Island robins, mohua, saddlebacks, spoonbills, kaka, kakariki, and weka. She also shared interesting facts about the flora. Great value for price and time budgets! Would highly recommend!

Thank Kenna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at Stewart Island Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2017

Hi Kenna S, thanks so much for this fantastic review. We are delighted to read how much you enjoyed your visit to Ulva Island on your Paterson Inlet Cruise. It sounds like you had a brilliant day out with the local wildlife out in force!
Hope the rest of your time here on Stewart Island was just as memorable.

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Reviewed 30 March 2017

The tour was very professionally run and visited a number of places in the inlet as well as Ulva Island which I thoroughly enjoyed. The boat stopped several times to attract Mollymawk Albatrosses and even a few Royal Northern Albatross. The tour of Ulva Island was excellent with a great description of the history, bird life and vegetation of the island. The tour is recommended.

Thank george45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 February 2017

A nice cruise combined with an informative guide made this trip interesting and useful. They use a catamaran which tours the Inlet before stopping at Ulva Island for a 45 minute nature walk. Guide was excited about the fauna and knew a lot about the nuances of trying to keep an Island pest free for native species. Very enjoyable trip.

Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at Stewart Island Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2017

Hi John M, thanks for the review. We're pleased to read how much you enjoyed your trip with us.
Thanks, the team at Stewart Island Experience.

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