Trip Details

One of our popular tours. We walk the Island's track, at a gentle pace with frequent stops to listen to birdsong, view endemic and native bird species. Learn interesting facts about our birds, their behaviour and habitat from our passionate and knowledgeable guides. Enjoy some lovely photo opportunities along the way.

You may hear kaka (native parrot) calling their liquid honey notes, interspersed with the bellbird's exquisite notes and the wonderfully varied calls of the tui. Watch lime-green parakeet flying amongst the treetops. Glimpse rare saddleback and yellowhead and try to spot New Zealand's smallest bird the rifleman. Occasionally a kiwi is seen wondering in the forest.

Our trips on Ulva Island are either 4.5 or 8.5 hours, shorter by arrangement. On full day tours we enjoy an exclusive walk to The Snuggery - a tranquil bay on the southeastern shore of Ulva Island. We spend more time on Ulva Island, take you further and show you more so you get the best out of your visit!


Learn more about Ulva Island.

birds seen

More commonly seen birds include:

Land birds: South Island saddleback, yellowhead, Stewart Island robin, South Island rifleman, red-crowned parakeet, yellow-crowned parakeet, Stewart Island weka, South Island kaka, wood pigeon, brown creeper, tui, bellbird, South Island tomtit, fantail, grey warbler, morepork, kingfisher.

Shore birds: Stewart Island shag, spotted shag, pied shag, little shag, black-backed gull, red-billed gull, variable oystercatcher.

Sea birds: White-capped mollymawks, little blue penguins.

Wildlife seen

New Zealand sealion and fur seals may occasionally visit Ulva Island.

Wear and bring

Day pack, raincoat, warm clothing, warm hat and gloves, water bottle, snack, camera and binoculars. Wear sneakers or comfortable walking shoes.

Special Offers

Please also see our Gift Vouchers & Special Offers page for combined tours that include our Ulva Island Birding tour.


"Absolutely brilliant - probably the best guided trip we have had anywhere."


  • What we do

    Meet your guide at Golden Bay Wharf, 10 minutes prior to our tour departure time.

    Embark our water taxi for Ulva Island, for an 8 - 10 minute boat ride, looking out for occasional seabirds. Arrive at Post Office Cove, Ulva Island to walk the Island's trails. We take a short 5 - 10 minute rest along the way before returning to our boat for the ride back to Golden Bay Wharf.

    Half day: From Post Office Cove, Ulva Island, we walk along well formed tracks, to Sydney Cove, West End Juntion, Boulder Beach and back to Post Office Bay. On some trips we visit Flagstaff Point.

    Full day: Walk the main trails (see above) in the morning, stopping for lunch and a rest at Sydney Cove. In the afternoon, we visit The Snuggery or remain on the main trails.

    Our route may vary on the day, based on client abilities, preferences and weather considerations.  


ClientsIMG 0543
Ruggedy Range™
Clients viewing birdlife on Ulva Island

Pricing & info


Half day: NZ $160.00 per person
(A shorter afternoon option, approx. 3.5 hrs, subject to availability, $145.00 per person).

Full day: NZ $325.00 per person


Half day: NZ $110.00 per person
(A shorter option, approx. 3.5 hrs, subject to availability, $95.00 per child).

Full day: NZ $230.00 per person


Guided walk, water taxi, Department of Conservation fees, admin costs.


Full Day: NZ $20.00 per person (optional or bring your own).


Transfers to and/or from Golden Bay Wharf: NZ $7.00 one-way or NZ $14.00 return per person.

Binocular Hire (10 x 42): $20.00 per pair.

Min persons

Half day: 4 persons   Full day: 6 persons

a) Half day tours can operate for 2 or 3 persons with NZ $25.00 p.p. surcharge.
b) If your booking is for less than the minimum for either half or full day trip, check to see if we have achieved the minimum or, we can reserve spaces, whilst we await further bookings.

Max persons

8 to 12 persons


Half day: 4.5 hours  Full day: 8.5 hours
Shorter tour is 3.5 hours. See times below.


Half day: Approx. 3 – 5 km (1.8 – 3 miles)
Full day: Approx. 9 kms (5.5 miles)


Half day: Well formed gravel tracks – easy walk with steps and short stretches of beach.
Full day: Morning - as above.  Afternoon - forest trail, some mud, tree roots.

Time - Half Day

Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar
8.30 am to 1.00 pm or 1.00 pm to 5.30 pm

Apr & Sept
8.30 am to 12.45 pm or 12.30 pm to 4.45 pm

May, Jun, July, Aug
9.00 am to 1.00 pm or 12.00 noon to 4.00 pm

Shorter Tour 3.5 hours - All year round

9.00 am to 12.30 pm or 1.00 pm to 4.30 pm

Important: During high or off-season, subject to prior booking, numbers and our availability, we may be able to operate tours to fit in with flight/ferry arrival and departures.

Time - Full Day

Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar
8.30 am to 5.00 pm

Apr & Sept
8.30 am to 4.30 pm

May, Jun, July, Aug
9.00 am to 4.00 pm

Important: During high or off-season, subject to prior booking and numbers, we can operate shorter tours or tours to fit in with flight/ferry arrival and departures.


Golden Bay Wharf

Suitable for

Half day: Reasonable fitness   Full day: Good fitness

Departure Dates

Departs daily subject to demand.
Prior bookings recommended.