Glowing Skys

Stewart Island

Article submitted by chasann
November 30th, 2007

After years of wanting to go to Stewart Island, I finally made it and wasn't disappointed. Sure, it is like stepping back in time but that ain't such a bad thing is it?

Stewart Island is the third largest island of New Zealand and lies 30 km south of the South Island, across Foveaux Strait. It's common Maori name is Rakiura, which roughly translates to Glowing Skies. Stewart Island is famous for it's sunsets, and the many species of birds that thrive because of the isolation and protection from predators.

The trip on the bus, was an excellent introduction to past and present history, and an excellent opportunity for question and answer time. With a range of nationalities and characters on board it was most entertaining. A boat trip out to Ulva Island to view the bird sanctuary really made me appreciate virgin bush. With no animals or rodents to destroy the forest floor our bush looked so inviting. After seeing kelp growing on the sea bed one now appreciates its true beauty.

Local life centres around a vibrant community, the local hotel having an atmosphere all of its own. Accommodation to suit all types and pockets is readily available but be warned, numbers on the ferry across and plane fill up fast. We were amazed at the popularity so bookings may be advisable especially during the busy season.

Next trip will be longer, a spot of fishing and tramping on the agenda.

Stewart Island is well worth a look, to really relax and enjoy the peace, quiet and solitude of nature.

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