Bay is situated on the west coast of Stewart Island. It has approx.
14 kms (9 miles) of beach, one of the most extensive natural sand
dune systems in New Zealand, native coastal plants, some seabirds
and a healthy population of kiwi. A great place to go kiwi spotting,
enjoy the stunning seascape, watch the surface crash on the
beach and feel at one with nature!
provide an opportunity to discover kiwi habitat, listen to a kiwi
calling in the night and with some luck actually seeing a kiwi.
More than just a kiwi spotting trip, we provide a chance
for you to view an array of ecosystems and wilderness habitats,
from east to west and across Stewart Island's interior, and to to
see other native birds and plants.
two similar options for the Mason Bay trip, Kiwi
Journey, (one night trip) and Kiwi,
Dunes and Beach (two night trip).
recommend that you come on one of our Ulva Island -Birds & Forest
guided walks before coming on a Mason Bay Kiwi Spotting Trip to
appreciate the diversity of ecosystems on Stewart Island. See Options
to the extinct moa, kiwi are New Zealand's most ancient bird,
having evolved 30 million years ago. To Maori, kiwi are known as
"te manu huna a Tane" the hidden bird of Tane,
probably because of the bird's nocturnal and shy nature. Due to
New Zealand's long period of isolation and lack of mammals, kiwi
occupy a habitat and lifestyle which mammals have occupied elsewhere.
Stewart Island Tokoeka, is one of several varieties of kiwi found
only in New Zealand. Although kiwi are nocturnal, the Stewart Island
Tokoeka is known to be active during the day and night. Find
out more about this fascinating bird on one of our trips.
Summary – KIWI JOURNEY
1/2 Days, 1 Night
1: 15.5 kms (10 miles) to Mason Bay and 3 – 5 kms (2 – 3 miles)
for kiwi spotting. Day 2: 15.5 kms (10 miles) to Freshwater
to Freshwater River is only at high tides. Trips usually depart
early afternoon Day 1and return afternoon Day 2. Other times
may be available.
(10 mins walk from Oban, Halfmoon Bay)
easy walk, some mud & boardwalk. Beach and dunes at Mason Bay.
transfers to and from Golden Bay Wharf, Water taxi, all meals,
hot drinks, snacks, hut/camp fees, use of tent/sleeping mats
if required, use of cutlery/utensils and cooking gear.
If you are only one or two persons, please note that other clients/agents
are also booking our trips and it is likely that minimum numbers
will be achieved for the trip. You can also check with us at
the time of booking.
in the steps of kiwi, New Zealand's national icon and most ancient
bird. Travel across the heart of Stewart Island, along a primeval
river, through wetland, scrub and across dunes to a wild west coast
beach. Learn about kiwi, enjoy the contrasting scenery, other native
birds and plants.
Now (click here to make a booking). Prior bookings are essential
to allow food, equipment and travel arrangements to be made.
We have a limited number of newly purchased10 x 42 binoculars for hire at $15.00 per binocular per day trip for our guided clients. Let us know if you require a pair when you make a booking.
we do (click here for Map)
have had over 90% success of seeing kiwi on our guided trips.
with your guide from Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience before
your trip, for a briefing to discuss plans for your Kiwi Journey.
1 - Meet with your guide and take a water taxi westward to the
head of Paterson Inlet, then northwest along Freshwater River into
the interior of Stewart Island. Richly stained by tannin, this winding
primeval river is flanked by manuka (tea tree), ferns and mosses.
Arrive at Freshwater Landing about 40 minutes later.
time to enjoy birdlife including, the friendly Stewart Island robin
and fernbirds, flora and orchids in season on your 4 - 6 hours trek
(15.5 kms or 10 miles) along Freshwater Flats to Mason Bay, through
manuka scrub and board walked wetland. There is also evidence of
kiwi to mull over and sometimes a surprise daytime sighting! Camp
near to or stay at Mason Bay Hut, nestled amongst forest-covered
dunes a short 15 minutes walk from spectacular Mason Bay Beach.
Watch the surf crashing on the beach. In the evening, the search
for kiwi begins, listen to their shrill calls. Kiwi are wild birds
and sightings are not guaranteed. Seeing a kiwi is a privilege and
experience never to forget!
2 - Time
permitting, explore the surrounding rolling dunes, great for photography,
with superb views of the wetlands of Freshwater Flats. Depart for
Freshwater Landing, enjoy more sightings of native birdlife. Relax
in your water taxi as you travel back down Freshwater River and
across Paterson Inlet to Golden Bay Wharf. You will be assisted
with transfers back to Halfmoon Bay.
to Freshwater River is only at high tides.Trips
usually depart early afternoon Day 1 and return afternoon Day 2.
Where there is demand for the trip on days where tides differs from
the usual departure times, we vary the itinerary times to fit in
with high tides.
NOTE : We are now operating additional trips that include a
one way flight and walk out or a return flight to Mason Bay. These
trips are suitable for those who do not want to do long hikes or
where our standard trips cannot operate due to timing of client's
visit and unsuitable high tides. These trips still require a night's
stay at Mason Bay. Please note the costs are higher than our standard
trip above. Please contact us if your require further information.
Pack & Gear Transfers / Porter Service
For our trips to Mason Bay, we have gear and dry goods stored at Mason Bay. Your packs should not be heavy for this tour. However, if you are a Group that enjoys overnight hikes but do not want to carry full backpacks, we may be able to arrange for food and gear drop off at the hut. However, there are extra costs involved (flight / staff / porter) and we can only do this for private group bookings or where all party members wish to take up the service. If you are interested please let us know.