Flora & Birds


Ulva Island is one of the few places in New Zealand where you can view a near-pristine native, mixed hardwood-podocarp forest. Podocarp trees include the majestic rimu, miro and totara. There are flowering southern rata and kamahi, tree ferns, delicate ground ferns and mosses. The coastal area includes endemic coastal tree daisies.  A number of orchid species are a delight to see, especially during the spring and summer months.


Ulva Island offers the opportunity to view a variety of native birds, at such close range in a totally natural setting. 

After rats were eradicated, five bird species were released on Ulva Island:

  • South Island saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus curunculatus)
    Status: recovering. Released April 2000.
  • Stewart Island robin (Petroica australis rakiura)
    Status: nationally vulnerable. Released September 2000.
  • Yellowhead (Mohua ochrocephala)
    Status: nationally vulnerable. Released October 2001.
  • South Island rifleman (Acanthisitta chloris chloris).
    Extinct from Stewart Island, declining. Released February 2003.
  • Stewart Island fernbird (Bowdleria punctata stewartiana)
    Status: nationally vulnerable.  Released October 2004.

Fernbirds did not survive on Ulva Island.

A variety of other endemic and native land and shorebirds occur on and around Ulva Island. They include:

  • Kaka
  • Red and yellow-crowned parakeet
  • Weka
  • Brown creeper
  • Bellbird
  • Tui
  • Fantail
  • Tomtit
  • Grey warbler
  • Wood pigeon
  • Morepork
  • Kiwi
  • Stewart Island shag / spotted shag / little shag / pied shag
  • Kingfisher

Additionally, depending on the weather, a few seabirds may occasionally be seen on boat trips across to Ulva Island.