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Ulva Island Explorer from Stewart Island

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from US$62.87
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from US$31.12
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Reviewed 20 December 2018 via mobile

This was a truly fantastic night. From start to finish our guides impressed us with their passion for and knowledge of NZ flora and fauna and their easy, relaxed manner. On the way to see kiwi we were able to spot both yellow-eyed and blue penguins and seals. We were also lucky enough to watch a pod of dolphins following alongside the boat. Our guide Johnny then took us out for a couple of hours in the bush which ended up in us seeing a male kiwi. So magical. Johnny’s enthusiasm was infectious and his knowledge and ability made the trip a really special experience. Well worth every penny and a trip I would highly recommend.

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank LisaC7765
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 2019

LisaC7765, We are pleased you had a fantastic night seeing dolphins, seals, penguins and kiwi. Thanks for the five star review and your recommendation. We will pass on your positive comments to Johnny and the staff. Once again thanks for taking the time to post a review. 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 20 December 2018

The Nature Cruise allows you to see seals upclose and learn more about the flora and fauna at the fiords. It helps a bit that it was drizzling and misty, the waterfall was stronger, we could all experience the spray of the thunderous waterfall!

Date of experience: December 2018
1  Thank dashingblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 19 December 2018 via mobile

We thoroughly enjoyed our late night trip to find the elusive little kiwi, and with quite a lot of luck, and following the guide’s instructions on being quiet and light-footed, we were lucky to see a baby kiwi (very rare) and one adult.

We certainly saw fewer than some groups, but were so lucky to see the youngster. It just highlights that you really are up watching them in their natural surroundings.

And we learned a lot from the guide about this special little bird, and their habitat. Also how he tracks them with sound and sight.

Finally, we had the added benefit of seeing seals and numerous birds on the trip out, and even a little Blue Penguin when we returned to sure and got off the boat.

Very enjoyable, but this trip is for a nature enthusiast, and you do need to be a reasonably mobile Walker.

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank Jjmc_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 14 December 2018

We booked directly with Real Journeys. That piece went completely smoothly.

The tour through the cave was remarkable, more for the caves than for the glow worms themselves. They ran a pretty efficient operation, separating us into groups of about a dozen and guiding us on a walk through the caves (filled with running streams, waterfalls, etc.) and then into a relatively short boat ride to see the glow worms. Our guide was fine, although to some extent it was like she was going through the motions. There was a brief educational slide show afterwards that was pretty good.

I do think that the tour was expensive, given the amount of time involved. It was unique, so I guess that's something.

Tip: Make sure that you're slathered in insect repellant, or you'll get eaten alive by the sand flies.

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank Steven J
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 8 December 2018

What an incredible experience this trip was, and our guides really made it for us by being so passionate about the job they were doing. We were so lucky on our trip and actually got to see 3 kiwi, one even walked right in front of us which was amazing and so special to see, especially in their natural habitat.
The whole trip is around 4 - 5 hours in total which includes a 1.5hr return boat trip and then a guided walk to spot the kiwi. I would advise wearing appropriate walking shoes and dressing warmly as you are walking on tracks/the beach for a few hours.
It's well worth the money and a must do if you're visiting Stewart Island!

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank Katherine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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