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Ulva Island Explorer from Stewart Island
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Reviewed 22 February 2019

The girls at the check-in desk at Bluff we rather friendly as were the crew on the ferry. While travelling to the Island, the skipper pointed out some birds and also that we could see the island in the horizon despite the clouds. The ride itself was rather choppy we went up and down lots but that was all part of the fun!

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.
Reviewed 22 February 2019

The other day I went on a guided walk up to Ackers point with Robyn as our guide. Along the way, Robyn pointed out different trees and explained how they had been used by the Maori people back several years ago and also shared how even she uses these plants for several things. I was surprised that there is a certain type of seaweed that she even uses as a substitute for pasta! Robyn also pointed out different birds and their call and was very knowledgable about everything we encountered.

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.
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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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.
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