Naturalists would love to visit Stewart Island, off the southern tip
of the South Island. Only a part of Steward Island is inhabited by humans,
and on the rest of island, only and only nature resides. Anyone can be
impressed by the island's magnitude. Steep, bushed promontories jut out from
a clear sea, sheltering numerous golden beaches coves.
The life is full of leisure. Most part of the island is carpeted by
reserves for the preservation of scenery. Flora and fauna is safeguarded,
and activity centres abound the island's fishing fleet and important
salmon-farming undertakings. The island is a haven for a care-free holiday;
for walking, tramping, fishing, boating, and for collecting unusual
seashells. People derive great pleasure in indulging in these activities.
Attractions of Stewart Island
This was for many years the bushclad home of the naturalist Charles Traill
(1826-91), who combined the running of a general store with a passion for
botany, birdlife and the study of shells. An hour's launch trip separates
Ulva from Halfmoon Bay, but the water between Ulva and the shore has not
deterred deer, which have swum across to cause considerable damage, though
this is not apparent to the untrained eye. Rimu, rata, miro and totara
stretch skywards from a floor of moss in some of the region's most
delightful bush. The bird life is prolific. Sandy beaches ideal for a day's
picnic, old buildings and the graves of the Traills add further interest.
Rakiura Museum (Halfmoon Bay)
The collection here reflects the island's fascinating history. Giant crabs,
coral-like growths from the island's South Cape, Stewart Island weka and
kiwi, and Little Blue Penguins are exhibited with the mollymawk and shag.
Samples and a plan of tin-mining claims at Port Pegasus record a brief era
of mineral exploitation.
Walk up the hill and along a short signposted track to reach the
observation point. Below, a jetty marks Golden Bay, in the middle distance
are the three islands of Faith, Hope and Charity; in the far distance the
South-West Arm of Paterson Inlet curls out of sight, below the outline of
Rakeahua (675 m). An outstanding view in almost any weather, it is charged
with dramatic intensity at sunset. By the police station at the start of the
walk is a brown house whose gables have a nordic flavour.
Tramping: A broad network of tracks has been established, generally with
huts to accommodate ten or so trampers for each four-hourly section.
Tracking is virtually confined to the area north of Doughboy Bay, leaving
the southerly portion (which includes Port Adventure and Port Pegasus) as a
wilderness area. A favoured eight- to ten-day route is the North
Circuit'. This follows the coastline north-west from Halfmoon Bay, with
perhaps a detour up Mt Anglem, and returns to Paterson Inlet by way of
It is quicker to reach distant coastal hunting areas by launch (arrange at
Halfmoon Bay) or plane (charter from Southern Air Ltd, Invercargill). Spread
over the island's coastal regions is the last accessible herd of whitetail
deer in New Zealand . An attractive deer with delicate facial features, the
whitetail (or Virginian) deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is named for its
habit of holding its large tail erect when alarmed. Lined underneath with
long white hair, the tail and its splash of white are believed to act as a
guide for the young when parents flee through dense undergrowth .
known but little visited, the lonely Chatham Islands group is home to the
country's most remote settlements. Volcanic in origin and comprising three
principal islands, Chatham, Pitt and South-East Island, "the Chathams"
lie in the Pacific Ocean some 800 kilometres to the east of Christchurch and
about 700 kilometres south-east of Wellington. the Chathams lay claim to
being the first part of the world to greet each new day. Reached by regular
flights from Wellington and Christchurch, the principal island of Chatham
(where about 90 percent of the population reside) now offers an unusual
holiday prospect for those with a taste for rural life.
Increasingly the islands are visited by birdwatchers, attracted by the
prospect of glimpsing birds so rare as to be included on the World Wildlife
Fund's list of endangered species. Chatham Islands offer its visitors good
beaches, scenic trails, bird watching, scuba diving (shipwrecks to
investigate) and good fishing. A small museum in Waitangi displays artifacts
of the Moriori. Local cuisine makes use of the weka (a flightless hen),
black swan, swan eggs, lobster and fish .
The country's southernmost city, the "capital" of Murihiku ("tail
end of the land"), stretches over open plains beside the New River
estuary. While its level setting inhibits a ready appreciation of the city's
geography, it makes possible broad main streets and many trim public
gardens. More than this, it gives rise to the views over rooftops of the
slender square tower of First Church and of the massive dome of St Mary's
Basilica. Long summer twilights are recompense for a climate that has been
compared unfavourably with that of more northern regions.
The city's debt to its pastures is acknowledged in the Blade of Grass, a
revolving statue of polished steel outside the Civic Administration
Buildings .Though not at the top of most travelers' itineraries,
Invercargill, on the South Island, is a convenient stopping point for trips
to Stewart Island, the Catlins forest ranges and southern Fiordlands. For
the fisherman there are fish, for the hunter, game; and for all is the lure
of Stewart Island, viewed invitingly across Foveaux Strait.The other
attractions of Inverscargil include Queens Park, The venue of many and
varied sporting activities, Anderson Park Art Gallery, Bank Corner, Waihopai
Walkway,Murihiku Marae, Water tower and much much more............