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Stewart Island Insulated From The World

Aug 17, 2007
Stewart Island is located in the Southland region. It is New Zealands third and southern most island.

The island is about seventy kilometres long and up to fort five kilometres wide. Eight five percent of the island is a national park and it has only one town, Halfmoon Bay, also known as Oban.

It is a haven for native bird life and the only place in New Zealand where you can readily see kiwi in their natural habitat.

Insulated from the world by its remoteness, it is a haven for people looking for tranquillity and adventure.

Many residents are direct descendants of the whalers and early Rakiura Maori, with family histories reaching back almost 200 years.

Most of Stewart Island is protected by the boundaries of Rakiura National Park, New Zealands newest national park. Rakiura is the Maori name for Stewart Island.

The western coast of the island is characterised by sea pounded cliffs and sandy beaches. On the eastern side of the island there are three sheltered inlets, Paterson Inlet, with a one hundred and sixty kilometre shoreline, is the largest. Vegetation ranges from hardwood forest in the north to low forest and coastal vegetation in the south.

A paradise for hikers. It has about two hundred and fifty kilometres of walking tracks, all of which can be accessed from Halfmoon Bay. The tracks range from short walks around the township area to epic journeys that require fitness, stamina and a large degree of self reliance.

Bird watchers are drawn to the island because in one day with a pelagic cruise, a visit to Ulva Island bird sanctuary and a kiwi spotting trip its possible to see more than thirty species.

Bonus sightings on these trips include bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, sea lions and the occasional sea elephant. Five penguin species are found on the island yellow eyed, southern blue, rock hopper, Fordland crested and Snares crested.

Stewart Island is the most natural of New Zealands three main islands, the least farmed, least logged, least burnt and least built on. The forests contain the last remnants of what the rest of Southlands native forests were once like.

For anyone seeking peace and tranquillity it is the ultimate spot. There are superb bush walks and great launch cruises around some of New Zealands most beautiful coastline. The islands amazingly clear and clean waters make it a snorkelling and diving paradise.

A place to remember.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Stewart Island Rental Site
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