About Us

Who we are

Recommended by Lonely Planet "…an excellent ecotourism operator…",

Ruggedy Range™ Wilderness Experience is small, independent, locally owned and operated.

Our independence is important to us so that we can share our understanding about the environment and things we care about, thereby maintaining our integrity in our work and providing our clients with a more unique experience.  Additionally you are free to choose activities with us or with others and not channelled into tours / services with associated operators based on business and / or personal connections. 

Established and operating since 2000 in Stewart Island by Furhana who first visited in 1994 to hike the Northwest Circuit only to fall in love with this very special place. Find out more about Furhana.

We directly offer the most extensive range of tours and services in Stewart Island. We operate our own boat: Aihe Wildlife Cruises & Water Taxi and the Outdoor Adventure & Gift Shop.

We pride ourselves on our quality interpretation, friendly service and ensuring clients have an enjoyable experience, and they do: "Extremely fascinating and stimulating - learnt a lot and really enjoyed it. Beautiful Island - beautifully presented!" Harrison Family.

Benefits of our Tours

  • Our extensive local guiding knowledge - unmatched by any operator in Stewart Island / Ulva Island
  • Passionate guides with a wealth of knowledge
  • Quality interpretation
  • Fostering an appreciation of nature and conservation
  • Longer tours - you see and do more
  • Better value time for money
  • Small groups
  • Our ability to personalise our tours
  • Our flexibility - offering standard / customised / private tours
  • Variety of trips to suit different interests, abilities and ages

Why Stewart Island & Ulva Island

We have chosen Stewart Island because it is largely wilderness, unspoilt, clean and peaceful - we hope it stays that way.  Here there are also opportunities for us to provide a truly "off the beaten track" wilderness experience - something which is rare in much of the world today.

Ulva Island is a true gem and a fantastic place to showcase our flora and birdlife in its natural state and help to educate our visitors about New Zealand's natural history.

What we offer

  • Ulva Island guided nature walks & bird watching
  • Stewart Island / Rakiura National Park guided nature walks and overnight hikes, kiwi spotting & bird watching
  • Wildlife cruises to view penguins, other seabirds, seals and dolphins
  • Scenic and historic boat cruises combined with guided walks
  • Photography tours
  • Scenic road tours

We also offer:

  • Water taxi service
  • Road shuttle service
  • Travel agency service for Stewart Island travel, accommodation
  • Hire / purchase of outdoor gear and equipment

Conservation and the Environment

Furhana (Owner / Operator / Natural History and Birding Guide) holds a B.Sc.Hons. Geography degree, providing the business with its nature based focus.

The business strives to operate sustainably and we encourage our clients to do likewise. Since 2003, we have actively donated revenue into a conservation fund, raising over $17,000.00.  We plan to use the monies to increase our knowledge and educate our visitors dabout our environment. 

Licenses / Permits / Affiliations

  • Qualmark Enviro Gold Award
  • Qualmark endorsed visitor activity, visitor transport, visitor service
  • Department of Conservation Concessionaire
  • Marine Mammal Viewing Permit