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Wild Kiwi Encounter - Stewart Island Experience
Ranked #11 of 16 Tours in Stewart Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Cruise at dusk to Little Glory Bay for an opportunity to encounter wild southern brown kiwi in their natural habitat. Depart Halfmoon Bay, Oban at dusk for a cruise across Paterson Inlet. During the cruise, pass Ulva Island (a predator-free sanctuary) and learn about Stewart Island's rich history. The walk, led by a nature guide, is on a track across the peninsula, through spectacular coastal forest to a secluded sandy beach. The track emerges on a wide sandy beach and as daylight diminishes, this is where Southern brown kiwi (Rakiura Tokoeka) are often found feeding among the grasses and seaweed. - Departures: Sep - May - Small group: 8 per guide, max 16 per night.
Reviewed 4 December 2017

This was a disapointing night with no views of kiwi - mainly because of unexperienced guides with bad field skills. Listening for the kiwi walking on the ground is essential to find these birds, but our guide did not even once take her time to listen carefully. Short stops lasting less than 10 seconds is not even close to enough to hear the birds - even if they are close. Same problem with her "scanning the beach with a flashlite-tactique".

We are experienced birders and realized very soon that this would go wrong, so we kept a little bit distance to the rest of the group to be able to listen carefully away from the sounds of moving people. The two of us heard a kiwi call and move on the ground BEHIND the group. The rest of the group did unfortunately not have any encounters at all and because of this we at least got a 50% refund.

There are other operators offering kiwi-trips on Stewart island and we absolutely recommend to choose one of them. They are run by more experienced birders and cost way less.

Thank Terje K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at Wild Kiwi Encounter - Stewart Island Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 19 December 2017

Hi there and thanks for taking the time to post this review. We are disappointed to receive this low rating. We will definitely pass your comments onto the team however failing to see a kiwi on this trip is the exception, rather than the rule, hence why we are happy to offer the 50% refund for any persons who do not see a kiwi.
Kind regards, the team at Stewart Island Experience.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"split into groups"
in 3 reviews
"digital camera"
in 2 reviews
"muddy conditions"
in 2 reviews
"magical experience"
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"new zealand"
in 3 reviews
"boat trip"
in 2 reviews
"glory"
in 3 reviews
"shoes"
in 3 reviews
"johnny"
in 2 reviews
"kiwi"
in 25 reviews
"path"
in 3 reviews
"bugs"
in 2 reviews
"woods"
in 2 reviews
"presence"
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in 4 reviews
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8 - 12 of 30 reviews

Reviewed 28 November 2017

I had no idea what to expect when I did this trip other than knowing that this was the best way to see a kiwi in the wild. Despite the bad weather making visibility and listening difficult, we kept to our guides and in the end we found one! A very worthwhile experience to see one in it's natural habitat, but more than that it was fun just tiptoeing through the woods and beach looking and listening and stalking the elusive kiwi. I highly recommend this trip while on Stewart Island.

Thank Dan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at Wild Kiwi Encounter - Stewart Island Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 5 February 2018

Kia Ora and thanks for the review. We are delighted you experienced this trip with us despite not really knowing what it entailed. Seeing a kiwi in the wild should be on the 'must-do' list for anyone!
Kind regards, the team at Stewart Island Experience.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2017 via mobile

I went on this trip last Saturday night.
Arrived and it was a full group - oh no I thought.
But we were split into 2 groups for the walk but before we went on a cruise to look for wildlife, so much to see little Blue Penguin’s swimming in the sea. Yellow-eyed walking on the beach and 50+ Albatross flying and swimming in the sea.
Then we arrived at dark for the kiwi walk a nice walk through the Bush (nice path) to the beech. First we saw a male on the beech walking quite quickly came within a 30 ft of use. Then as we retraced the path back to the boat we came across a young female kiwi in the bush feeding we waited and watched it for over 20 minutes and it came to within 2 ft from use - AMAZING!!
I would recommend booking before you arrive as it sells out very quickly. A lot of money but worth every dollar!

1  Thank Julia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2017 via mobile

Seriously, I've been living in NZ for 1 year and half, went to a lotta beautiful places, never thought about Stewart island, but when I saw an opportunity, thought why not? And that's when I realized it took me too long to come down here. I did a few tracks and learned about the island and it was mind blowing how much story that place has, and of course coming around and not seeing kiwis better not come at all. First of all Real Journeys crew amazes me how much love and passion they have for their job (why wouldn't they? It is awesome haha) with the best staff everything could be more or less and I still woulda enjoyed it, but no it wasn't more or less, it was awesome. When we got to the island of the kiwis, it felt like a mission, like in a movie, and it was so cool walking around pitch black darkness like we were looking for an treasure (and we were) we saw a kiwi outta no where for the grand finale of the trip, even tho was for a few seconds. so please Stewart island is your place if you wanna come down to NZ. People here treat you like a real person not just like a money sign tourist. Everything has heart and passion, is the history of not just Kiwis, Maoris or New Zealand is history of the entire world. Stewart Island is a must do, period.

1  Thank André C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 October 2017

This was an excellent experience made even better by the sightings of 2 kiwi. there were 14 of us in our total group and once we arrived at our destination, we were split into 2 groups - sadly the other half did not spot the kiwi. This really was a great overall experience, starting with the boat trip to the island and spotting 3 species of penguin. The company provide the torches, but remember to bring waterproofs and shoes for muddy conditions.

Thank dippy_sal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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