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Ulva Island Explorer from Stewart Island
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Reviewed 15 February 2019

What a fantastic experience! We met in Te Anau Visitor Centre, Trudy was our guide/driver for the day. She explained the itinerary before jumping on the 20-30 minute shuttle to Te Anau Downs, there we got on the 1 hour ferry to the start of the Milford Track.

The tour took us off the main track following an old river bed, with so many plants, mosses, ferns, trees to tell us about, there was never a dull moment.

We were lucky enough to see robins, fan tails, tui, bell birds and a baby weka!!

Eventually we got to the first hut (Glade Hut) where we had lunch before following the Milford Track for a couple of kms.

It was beautiful, following the river before turning back around and making our way back to the boat.

Fantastic introduction if you are looking to take a glimpse of one of NZ's greatest walks and don't perhaps have time or a booking for the full walk. It was a fairly easy walk which you can do with trainers (no need for hiking boots).

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank Kirsty M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 15 February 2019

There may only be a few kilometres of road on Stewart Island but it is well worth taking the bus tour to see what is otherwise out of way of a day's walk. The tour takes you from Oban jetty to Observation Rock then around the bays and along Lee Bay Road to view the Anchor Chain Sculpture. This is the Stewart Island end of sculpture, the other end can be seen at Stirling Point, Bluff. The tour only takes a couple of hours but the views and the commentary make it a very informative excursion.

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank RonP967
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 15 February 2019

We joined the Real Journeys launch at the Oban Township jetty and were given an introductory talk by the guides. They outlined where we would be going and what we could see during the four hour tour. As we boarded the launch our guide pointed to a blue penguin that was sitting on the rocks beside the jetty. Because the evening was light and clear the launch skipper said he would take a detour to see if we could find the rare yellow eyed penguin before we reached our destination of Ocean Beach. At the Ocean Beach jetty we were given a torch each and asked to walk in single file through the now dark sub tropical forest. All the time the guide was looking and listening for kiwis. After a fruitless thirty minutes walk we came out onto the beach. Still no kiwis were in sight. As we walked along the shoreline our guide told us to stand still because he had seen a sea lion hiding in the tall grass on the sand dunes. The seal was a female with a pup. As we stood the seal came out at us. The guide had to distract the seal by shining his torch at it. We were then asked to walk quietly and in single file along the beach whilst he continued to distract the one tonne animal. Safely out of harms way we watched as the seal crossed the beach and disappeared into the sea. Walking back through the forest our guide eventually located a kiwi grubbing about in the undergrowth. We all stood around and had good views of the elusive bird for about fifteen minutes before it walked away and out of sight. Because the guide was using a torch with a red filter it was difficult to take photos because both undergrowth and kiwi were shown in the same light. Returning to the jetty we joined the launch and were ferried back to Oban. The night was cloudless and our guide pointed out the Southern Cross, Orion and the Milky Way. We left the launch at 1am and all admitted we had enjoyed the evening's entertainment. Not only had we seen kiwis but we had been chased by a protective female seal and seen the rare yellow eyed penguin, blue penguin, various albatross' and done some star gazing. What an adventure.

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank RonP967
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 14 February 2019 via mobile

Super efficient ferry service - 1 hour crossing - staff are great - what more is there to say. Only other option is to fly which is a lot more or charter your own boat.

Date of experience: February 2019
1  Thank Northamptonmark
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 13 February 2019

We had superb weather and the crossing both ways was a doddle. Have done crossings in the past with BIG seas and it can be an assault on the nerves! The crew as ever were slick and super well organised. As I have seen previously, those who sit towards the front and cant see outside tend to get sea sick, so sit towards the back, or even stand up, will reduce chances of seasickness dramatically.

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank stevem7620
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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