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Stewart Island, New Zealand (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Stewart Island, New Zealand

Map of Stewart Island, New Zealand

Beached Pilot Whale on Mason Bay
Variable Oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor) Bullers Albatross (Diomedea bulleri) White-Capped Albatross (Diomedea cauta) Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) Silver Gull (Larus novaehollandae) Brown Skua (Catharacta lonnbergi)
White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata) New Zealand Robin (Petroica australis) - South Island Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) South Island Oystercatcher (Haematopus finschi) Shy Albatross (Diomedea cauta) - Salvins Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus)
Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae) Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) Tomtit (Petroica macrocephala) - Male Tomtit (Petroica macrocephala) Cooks Petrel (Pterodroma cookii) New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) - Juvenile
New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) Bronzed Shag (Phalacrocorax chalconotus) New Zealand Kaka (Nestor meridionalis) South Island Saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus) - South Island Juvenile
New Zealand Bellbird (Anthornis melanura) - Female Brown Kiwi (Apteryx australis) Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) Fairy Prion (Pachyptila turtur) Mottled Petrel (Pterodroma inexpectata) Common Diving-Petrel (Pelecanoides urinatrix)
Pipipi (Mohoua novaeseelandiae) Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) Mallard/Grey Duck Hybrid (Anas platyrhynchos)

Stewart Island is New Zealand's third largest island. It is found at the southern tip of the country.


New Zealand

1/3/2012: We started off our trip to New Zealand by going to the furthest spot first. We flew overnight from San Francisco to Auckland to Christchurch to Invercargill to Stewart Island. All of this took about 20 hours, but strangely I did not really feel jet lagged. I learned much later that New Zealand is 21 hours ahead of San Francisco time which means only a three hour (and one day) difference.

We arrived late in the day to Oban which is the only real settlement on the island. Everywhere else is mostly covered with forest. We took a hike out to Akers point from where we saw some albatross. We meant to be there at dusk to see some penguins, but the sun was not setting until quite late at night.

The next day we took a short trip over to Ulva island which is supposed to be the native forest bird island. We walked around there for a couple of hours, and then I was picked up for a boat journey to the wreck reef on the south part of the island. The boat trip was good with a number of albatross and other sea birds as well as a few sea lions.

The next day, Barbara and I joined Abe from Santa Cruz whom I had met on the boat for a trip out to the Mason Bay hut. We took a water taxi to the Freshwater hut, and from there it took about 3.5 hours to walk in. The hut was basic but very clean and a good value for $5. We walked for a few miles to find some pilot whales that had washed up on the beach.

That night, we went looking for the kiwi that are supposed to be living here. As we were walking on the trail, a kiwi came crashing out of the undergrowth. It ran straight toward Barbara and then across the road into some ferns where it started digging into the ground. As I crouched there watching it, the kiwi walked up to me. It was only a few inches away from my leg when it decided it did not like what it was seeing and ran off a few feet away to dig in another spot.

The next day, as we were hiking out, we saw possibly the same kiwi at 9 o'clock in the morning!

Another highlight of Stewart Island was seeing blue penguins coming in to roost near the wharf. After four nights on the island, we took the ferry back over to the South Island to start our rental car adventure.

Next Visit (Queenstown: 1/8/2012)

Species Recorded (51)

Birds ( 46 )

Honeyeaters ( Meliphagidae )
New Zealand Bellbird - Anthornis melanura
Tui - Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae

( Apterygidae )
Southern Brown Kiwi - Apteryx australis

Penguins ( Spheniscidae )
Little Penguin - Eudyptula minor

Albatrosses ( Diomedeidae )
Cape Petrel - Daption capense
Southern Royal Albatross - Diomedea epomophora
Fairy Prion - Pachyptila turtur
Buller's Albatross - Thalassarche bulleri
White-Capped Albatross - Thalassarche cauta
Salvin's Albatross - Thalassarche salvini

Shearwaters and Petrels ( Procellariidae )
Sooty Shearwater - Ardenna grisea
Northern Giant-Petrel - Macronectes halli
Common Diving-Petrel - Pelecanoides urinatrix
Cook's Petrel - Pterodroma cookii
Mottled Petrel - Pterodroma inexpectata

Cormorants ( Phalacrocoracidae )
Stewart Island Shag - Leucocarbo chalconotus
Little Pied Cormorant - Microcarbo melanoleucos
Spotted Shag - Phalacrocorax punctatus

Herons ( Ardeidae )
White-faced Heron - Egretta novaehollandiae

Swans, Geese, and Ducks ( Anatidae )
Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Paradise Shelduck - Tadorna variegata

Rails, Gallinules, and Allies ( Rallidae )
Weka - Gallirallus australis

Plovers ( Charadriidae )
Double-banded Plover - Charadrius bicinctus

Oystercatchers ( Haematopodidae )
South Island Oystercatcher - Haematopus finschi
Variable Oystercatcher - Haematopus unicolor

Sandpipers and Allies ( Scolopacidae )
Ruddy Turnstone - Arenaria interpres

Jaegers and Skuas ( Stercorariidae )
Brown Skua - Stercorarius antarcticus

Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers ( Laridae )
Silver Gull - Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae
Kelp Gull - Larus dominicanus
White-fronted Tern - Sterna striata

Pigeons and Doves ( Columbidae )
New Zealand Pigeon - Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae

New World Parrots ( Psittacidae )
Red-fronted Parakeet - Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae
New Zealand Kaka - Nestor meridionalis

Jays and Crows ( Corvidae )
Pipipi - Mohoua novaeseelandiae
Yellowhead - Mohoua ochrocephala

Old World Warblers and Gnatcatchers ( Sylviidae )
Fernbird - Poodytes punctatus

Thrushes and Allies ( Turdidae )
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula
Song Thrush - Turdus philomelos

Wagtails and Pipits ( Motacillidae )
New Zealand Pipit - Anthus novaeseelandiae

( Pardalotidae )
Gray Gerygone - Gerygone igata

( Eopsaltriidae )
South Island Robin - Petroica australis
Tomtit - Petroica macrocephala

( Callaeatidae )
South Island Saddleback - Philesturnus carunculatus

Cardueline Finches and Allies ( Fringillidae )
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs

Old World Sparrows ( Passeridae )
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
Dunnock - Prunella modularis




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