Stewart Island – Rakiura

Stewart Island – Rakiura

Stewart Island – Rakiura

As New Zealand’s third largest landmass with 1,746 sqkm, Rakiura or Stewart Island had a permanent population of just under 400 people at the last census. Much of the island is very close to the original landscape prior to human habitation and draws a number of environmental tourists. Wild kiwi roam and the dense bush is well populated with other birdlife.

A big drawcard is nearby Ulva Island which the Department of Conservation has managed for a number of years and is considered a pristine, predator-free example of prehistoric New Zealand.

Stewart island - Rakiura

The Rakiura Track is now one of the Great Walks

Fishing excursions, scenic boat trips, hunting and walking the many tracks are the main forms of activity on the island with the three-day Rakiura Track classified as one of the Great Walks of New Zealand.

The Maori name Rakiura is commonly translated to glowing sky, a reference to the southern lights or Aurora Australis which occur in the south.

Stewart Island – Rakiura has traditionally been a fishing community but now tourism is the area’s largest earner. A fishing fleet is still based there however as the waters surrounding the island and Foveaux Strait itself are rich in blue cod and also is the base of the highly acclaimed Bluff oyster industry.

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