Stewart Island, for eons called Rakiura by the Maoris - island of the glowing skies, is the almost forgotten third largest island of New Zealand, and is the most southerly with it's southern portion being at 47 degrees south.
Triangular in overall shape it is not of high altitude, swept by the constant Roaring Forties and deeply incised with many inlets and harbours. Settled early in the history of both Maori and Pakeha it is now largely unpopulated in all but one area, Oban in Halfmoon Bay. A haven for both fisherman and tourists alike, it is warm and sheltered with numerous native birds. Whereas the rest of the convoluted shoreline has dense bush to the sea edge and is exposed to cold winds and very rough seas.
Multi-day tramping trails go in all directions from Oban and it is even possible to reach a limited area of the most southern wild parts of the Island, which is portrayed in most of the photos in this album.
Virtually all vegetation is unique to the Island in contrast to what grows on the South Island of New Zealand, only 20 mins. flight away or just over an hour in a high speed ferry across the notoriously wild Foveaux Strait. There are also vast differences in vegetation, geology and weather between northern and southern Stewart Island.
Of special note is the wildlife sanctuary Ulva Island in Paterson Inlet, which is just minutes away by water taxi from Oban's Thule Bay.