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Ulva Island Explorer from Stewart Island
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Reviewed 3 March 2024

Cannot recommend this tour enough! This was our second RealNZ tour of the day, and while we may have felt tired before setting out, this quickly dissipated with the excitement of the journey. We stopped in several incredible spots en route to the ultimate destination, observing penguins (hoiho/yellow-eyed and tawaki/Friodland crested), seals and albatross, among other native species. Once night fell, the kiwi tour was an absolute dream. We crept through the impressive forests, listening for the signs of Stewart Island tokoeka. Our guide, Karen, who we were lucky enough to have for the second time that day, truly went above and beyond. She made sure we had the best possible experience, and between the two groups, we ended up seeing three tokoeka. Pure magic. Even with wet weather threatening to roll in, this couldn't possibly put a damper on our experience. Our captain Matt was fabulous as well, starting our return trip in the dark with the Titanic theme song, just perfect. Hot chocolate on board was the night cap we needed. Thank you RealNZ, and Karen in particular, for an adventure we'll always remember.

Date of experience: February 2024
Thank Kelsey F
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.
RealNZ_Aotearoa, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

It's absolutely delightful to hear that you had such an incredible experience with us on Stewart Island! Observing penguins, seals, albatross, and other native species along the way must have been truly remarkable. The kiwi tour sounds like a dream come true, especially with the expertise and dedication of our guide Karen, who ensured you had the best possible experience. We're glad that Captain Matt added a special touch to your return trip, and that the hot chocolate onboard was the perfect way to end the night. Thank you for your kind words and for choosing RealNZ for your adventure. We're honoured to have been a part of such a memorable experience, and we hope to welcome you back for more in the future!

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Reviewed 3 March 2024

My parents and I visited Stewart Island for a couple days, and both RealNZ tours we did were truly amazing. We were fortunate enough to have the incredible Karen as our guide (but all the other guides seemed pretty cool too), and her passion for what she does, and the beautiful environment we were visiting, was clear. I've lived in NZ for 10 years, but learned so much on Ulva Island about our native species. We got to see an incredible variety of birdlife and spend time just taking everything in. The highlight was seeing mohua/yellowheads and sea lions on the beach (and Karen's bravery ensuring the stroppy male sea lion stayed well away from the group). Highly recommend this tour! You'll gain so much knowledge and walk away happy with a few hours incredibly well spent.

Date of experience: February 2024
Thank Kelsey F
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.
RealNZ_Aotearoa, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

We're thrilled to hear that you and your parents had such an amazing experience with us on Stewart Island! It sounds like Karen's passion for the environment and her dedication to ensuring a memorable experience truly made a difference. We're delighted that you learned so much about New Zealand's native species on Ulva Island and had the opportunity to witness a diverse range of birdlife. Thank you for your glowing recommendation, and we're thrilled that you found your time with us to be incredibly well spent. We look forward to welcoming you back to Stewart Island for more enriching experiences in the future!

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Reviewed 1 March 2024 via mobile

This adventure was exciting! We took a scenic boat ride over to Tribal land and hiked through the woods at night from 10 pm to 12 am. We were fortunate and saw a couple kiwis. One was unfazed and spent about 20 minutes with us.

Thank 907JLeMay
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.
RealNZ_Aotearoa, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

We're thrilled to hear that you had such an exciting adventure on the Wild Kiwi Experience with us! Seeing a couple of kiwis, especially one spending 20 minutes with you, must have been truly magical. We're delighted that we could provide you with such a memorable and unique experience. Thank you for sharing your feedback, and we hope to welcome you back to Stewart Island for more thrilling adventures in the future!

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Reviewed 26 February 2024

Our guides were excellent and made the whole adventure exciting. On the boat we spotted a rare penguin and other birds. They offered binoculars during the boat trip and torches/flashlights for the trek through the bush on our kiwi hunt. We saw 4 kiwi which was very exciting. We rather felt like thrives in the night the way we had to be so quiet, it was a hoot! A great time, glad we spent the money.

Date of experience: February 2024
Thank Robin 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.
RealNZ_Aotearoa, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

We're thrilled to hear that you had such an exciting adventure on the Wild Kiwi Experience! It's fantastic that our guides made the trip memorable and enjoyable for you. Spotting a rare penguin and other birds must have been a special treat. Seeing four kiwi was undoubtedly an exciting highlight, and we're glad you enjoyed the thrill of the quiet nighttime exploration. Thank you for choosing to spend your time on Stewart Island with us, and we hope to welcome you back for more thrilling adventures in the future!

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Reviewed 22 February 2024 via mobile

Many thanks for the great day. Thanks to the skipper for the boat ride, Sarah and Jan for the tour on the island. It was great to see the seals and Mick for his strong πŸ’ͺ getting us on and off the boat ☺️

Thank Mary 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.
RealNZ_Aotearoa, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2024

Thank you for your kind words and feedback! We're thrilled to hear that you had a great day on Ulva Island. We'll be sure to pass along your appreciation to Sarah, Jan, and the rest of the team. We truly appreciate your visit and hope to welcome you back for more adventures in the future!

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