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Ulva Island Explorer from Stewart Island
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Reviewed 22 February 2019

The introduction at the beginning before we set off was very well done by Johnny and he clearly knew what he was talking about, even adding in extra little stories along the way that related to what he was talking about. I even had a toy kiwi with me and he told me straight off that it was a female because it had a curved beak. We went to look for yellow-eyed penguins and there were binoculars available to use which was very good as I didn't bring my own. For the actual walk, I was in Johnny's group and he stopped often if he thought he heard even the faintest noise of a kiwi. On the beach he showed us the food that kiwi feed on and even pointed out kiwi tracks that I never would've even noticed myself. He even touched what looked like kiwi poo to see how fresh it is and that's dedication! He was also able to tell how old a hole in the ground made by a kiwi's beak was. By the end of the night, all we'd found was a possum standing in the middle of the path and the back of a kiwi before it quickly disappeared into the bush which was a little disappointing. What was impressive was that just by this small glance, Johnny was able to identify the kiwi as being a male adult that's not quite fully grown yet. All through the tour Johnny and Robyn effectively communicated to each other and they make a very good team.

I tried again the next night with Johnny and Robyn again but with a smaller group this time. Because of the smaller group, we went with Robyn while Johnny went up ahead to look for signs of kiwi. Thankfully this time we were able to get more than just a tiny glance, but a proper long look at one! Johnny identified it as being a 1-2 year old male that is in some way related to the kiwi we previously saw the night before, whether it be a brother or a son.

Awesome experience and I hugely appreciate not only the effort that Johnny and Robyn put into the tour and how well they work together but also our skipper Miriam who safely got us there and back both nights.

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank luckyme2332
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.
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 20 March 2019

luckyme2332, Having time to go back a second night to try and see the elusive kiwi was well planned. I will pass on your comprehensive review and kind words to the team (Johnny, Robyn and Miriam). Your review will make good reading fol for other travellers too. Thank you for taking the time to upload a post. The Stewart Island Experience team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2019 via mobile

An excellent day! We were picked up at our hotel in a van and taken to a larger bus for the two hour drive to Milford Sound. Along the way our driver Barry, narrated interesting and informative facts and stories about the land formations, flora and fauna. He was very knowledgeable about the region. Arrived and went out into the Sound for an awesome ride in the rain. Beautiful scenery, our captain nudged the ship into a waterfall which totally soaked those of us on the deck - fantastic! We really enjoyed ourselves. A knowledgeable narrator was excellent and answered our questions. Bring rain gear and dress appropriately - some people in shorts and flip flops regretted their choice of attire.

Date of experience: February 2019
1  Thank Rob B
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 20 February 2019

Yes they told us this is the most rough sea in NZ, but hey we are sailors as well.......
So check-in at the terminal 30 min before departure to change our voucher in a ticket. Left the luggage in a luggage cart. Lots of seats in the boat. Quiet sea so were lucky. Free tea and coffee on board. The journey took 1 hour.
Parking available 41 hours NZ 30,-
Return journey after 2 nights, Sunny day, but not expected very rough sea. All the ladies were sick, the host was running with cold towels and sickbags, but we were with too many. We left the boat with a green face........
We decided upfront not to take the bikes at the boat, too much trouble for 2 days, but it is possible to take your bike for only NZ 5,- per bike one way. Book it in advance.

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank MTBAnna
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 17 February 2019

You can only get to Stewart Island by flying or by ferry. You could say the ferry ride was a bit rough the day we traveled. On the up side the ferry is very safe and the staff very friendly and helpful

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank ManDoFood
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 16 February 2019 via mobile

Organised and easy to travel between islands - really impressed with ease of journey. I'm not the best traveller but staff and team made it so straight forward and felt extremely safe

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank LidT
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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