Experience Ulva Island

Ulva Island is a picturesque, forested island with easy walks, beautiful beaches and interesting coves. It is significant as an Island free of introduced predators. During the 1990's, rats were removed from the Island to create a safe haven for native birds and plants, and now the Island's ecology is thriving.

It's intrinsic natural and scenic values were recognised as early as 1892, when a scenic reserve was established on Ulva Island, the first in the Stewart Island area.  

Since 2002, Ulva island has been managed as part of Rakiura National Park, except for 7.8 ha (19 acres) of private land owned by the Hunter Family. Conservation work is carried out on the whole island including the private land.

A real nature sanctuary – a visit to Ulva Island is a must for anyone interested in New Zealand birds, flora, ecology and conservation.

Size and Location

Ulva Island is approximately 267 ha (660 acres) in area and about 1.5 kms by 3.5 kms (1 mile by 2 miles). 

It is situated in the middle of Paterson Inlet, a large pristine waterway in the centre of stewart Island and only a short boat ride away. 


Facilities are limited in order to ensure the Island remains in its natural state and predator-free.  

Jetty with shelter, walking trails, picnic shelter with picnic tables, cold running water and long drop toilets are available on the Island for day visitors only.

There is no visitor accommodation or cafes. Buildings seen on arrival are the holiday homes of the Hunter Family.

Getting to Ulva Island

Ulva Island is a short 6 - 10 minutes water taxi ride from Golden Bay Wharf, Stewart Island.

You can visit Ulva Island on one of our highly recommended guided walks (see options below), with travel included aboard our boat Aihe. We also provide a water taxi service aboard Aihe, for independent walkers subject to prior booking.  

Golden Bay Wharf is a 10 to 20 minutes walk from accommodation venues in Oban Village, Halfmoon Bay. We also offer a road shuttle service to and from Golden Bay Wharf: see Getting Around.  


Conservation Fund

We donate some of our revenue into our Conservation Fund per person and per tour.

Our aim is contribute to the protection and enhancement of our native species (terrestrial / marine) and our natural environments. We wish to foster the development of sustainable conservation techniques, support meaningful research and genuine conservation projects.

Customised Tours

We can customise and offer private tours at cost, to suit your interests, abilities and timeframes. These are available subject to the timing of your trip and our feasibility. We can put together an itinerary for day or overnight options. Let us know and we will do our best to ensure your Stewart Island experience is what you want and more!