Stewart Island factsAbout Stewart Island
Rakiura: About Stewart Island
On Stewart Island you will find wildlife enthusiasts from all over the globe for a full days trip or various outdoor pursuits for a more comfortable sojourn. In spite of the apparent remoteness, Rakiura/Stewart Island is indeed easily reachable by a one-hour boat from Bluff or 20 min by plane from Invercargill. Ancient Stewart Island's wealth of man-made history goes back to the thirteenth century, when Maori called the island Rakiura (land of the blazing sky) or Te Punga o te Waka a Maui (the anchors of Maui's canoe).
Stewart Island is a birdwatcher's paradise with New Zealand's biggest available indigenous bird populations. Visiting the famous nature reserve of Ulva Island is home to wild chickens, scrub grubs, saddleheads, yellow heads and other indigenous animals and is also a conservation area for some of New Zealand's few remaining flora and fauna.
New Zealand Stewart Island Tours
Stewart Island has been inhabited since the thirteenth cenury. At the beginning were the Maori peoples - here, when the colossus Moa crossed the continent. For them, the island was Te Punga o te Waka a Maui (the anchors of Maui's canoe) or Rakiura (Glowing Skies). While there were small, semi-permanent communities, most visitors came to them on a seasonal basis.
Wood was needed because the continental cities of Invercargill and Dunedin were growing fast during the 1860s golden age. Stewart Island woods could offer it. There was a brief pewter mine booming in Port Pegasus, southern on the island, in the 1890s. Cod, gropers, crabs and mussels made their way to the continental shelves.
Nowadays, lobsters and albino lobsters make a livelihood for fishermen and generate good exports for New Zealand. Furthermore, breeding and shellfish find their way to many international marketplaces. Agriculture on land has always been restricted on Stewart Island. In contrast to most parts of the land, the woods were not clearly cleared and burnt after the large felling tree was shed.
Furthermore, already in 1900 large parts of the island were designated as protected areas. Demanding tourists perceived the island as a tranquil, pristine refuge. New Zealand as we were" - apparently secluded, but in reality very easy to access. With views of Halfmoon Bay and the Foveaux Straits Isles, Kowhai Lane Lodge is just a 5 minute stroll from the city....