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Ulva Island Explorer from Stewart Island
18

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Traveller rating
725
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62
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All reviews stewart island real journeys doubtful sound te anau both ways the bus glow worm caves sick bags return trip day trip across lake manapouri wilmot pass tasman sea free tea and coffee south island paterson inlet overnight cruise
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Reviewed 23 March 2018 via mobile

We went island on this cruise. The crew are very friendly and the cruise is very comfortable. Free coffee tea and hot chocolate. Sometimes you can see different animals surrounding you. Very interesting !

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank NicoleChiu
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2018

Hi Nicole, thanks for taking the time to post this five star review. We'll be sure to pass your positive comments onto the team here.
Regards, the SIE team!

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Reviewed 21 March 2018

We crossed back from Stewart Island because it was too foggy to fly. All arrangements were very efficient and we felt safe on the journey despite thick fog as there were 2 people looking out for other vessels. Thanks

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Paul and Teress... W
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2018

Kia Ora and thanks for the review. We're pleased you enjoyed your crossing with us, even if it was a back up plan for you! Hopefully you had a great time on Stewart Island while you were here.
Regards, the Stewart Island Experience team.

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Reviewed 19 March 2018 via mobile

As the title suggests, this has been quite a disappointing experience, especially when compared to all the awesome things and great nature we have been seeing in New Zealand so far. The beginning of the tour is a 'pleasant' cruise on the lake that you do with another 50-70 people fighting over seats. Once you reach the area of the caves you are divided into smaller groups of around 10 people, which was apparently too much for our guide. I could not hear a single word of anything she said for the entire tour because I was standing towards the end of the single file line. Most of the time was spent on anything but the glow worms: cruises, walks, pictures in the forest (by the company photographer, to be sold to you later for hundreds of dollars), presentations etc. Somewhere in the middle of that you get to spend around 10 mins in a boat observing the worms, possibly because the company needs to run another 5/600 people through there on the same day. Then we come to the picture policy. No pictures whatsoever. The glow worms themselves are very sensitive to light and sound, so no flashes, lights etc. is understandable. Why pictures were prohibited completely, especially in the brightly lit first half of the cave, that has lamps all over the place to highlight the waterfalls and guides shouting in every direction, seems a bit too much to me. Especially given the fact that the guide will point a Bright flashlight at the face of anyone who talkes out a phone to remind them about No Pictures policies. Since they seem to have a monopoly on glow worm tours in the area though, they can impose whatever policies they like and you still have to go with them. You also have to pay 95 dollars per person for two hours, when a full day cruise is usually 250. The thing that puts this review up to 2 stars is the beautiful New Zealand nature that is still spectacular to see.

Date of experience: March 2018
4  Thank Marta D
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 19 March 2018

There is little point in going to Stewart Island unless you plan to see kiwis. Wild Kiwi Encounter is the perfect choice. Johnny Sharplin is an exceptionally knowledgeable, exceptionally caring guide. He led us through the dark forest, stopping occasionally to point out kiwi calls and kiwi beak holes. I have no idea how he was able to initially spot this holes with a flashlight, but he did. We reached the beach and Johnny located a kiwi. Neither Johnny nor the kiwi were in a rush to leave, and we enjoyed a long, lingering viewing. Obviously seeing kiwis is up to chance, but Johnny also found us one on the return trip. We had about 16 on the trip, with one other guide, so the ratio of guide to client was perfect. Hot drinks and coffee were included in the trip.
A photography tip: you can use your iPhone--the pictures I have posted were with my iPhone. I also used my digital camera with a strong telephoto lens and an ISO setting of 6400.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank PraisePhotography
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 20 March 2018

Kia Ora and thanks for posting this review. We are delighted to see how much you enjoyed this trip and to learn how well Johnny looked after you all. We have passed on this feedback to him already! Hope the rest of your time in the region was just as good.
Regards, the team at Stewart Island Experience.

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Reviewed 18 March 2018

The hour long ferry ride to Stewart Island takes place on a wide body catamaran which minimizes the sea waves and allows for a pleasant ride. The experienced crew loaded supplies, luggage and passengers quickly and efficiently.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2018

Kia Ora and thanks for the review. We're delighted to receive five stars! Hopefully you enjoyed your time on Stewart Island.
Kind regards, the Stewart Island Experience team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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