The Free Spirit

Like to go with the flow? Experience a chilled-out holiday with a little bit of everything on this trail.

Day One

Stewart Island Flights (20 minute flight):

Proudly Southland owned and operated, Stewart Island Flights is the only commercial operator to Stewart Island that has regular scheduled flights year round. After just a 20 minute flight, you’ll land on the largest island national park in New Zealand.

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Take a 10 minute boat ride to Ulva Island

Take a tour with one of the many local guides. Ulva Island is located off the coast of Stewart Island and is home to a renowned wildlife sanctuary. The island is the habitat of weka, bush robins, rare saddleback and yellowheads, amongst other species. It is also a protected habitat for some of New Zealand’s rarest plant species.

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Take a 10 minute boat ride back to Stewart Island and walk 15 minutes to Stewart Island Electric Bikes

Explore picturesque Stewart Island in style on eco-friendly electric bikes. You can travel at your own pace around the 30 km of roads, stop and see the amazing scenery and wildlife, and go to places you never would have explored before. 

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At night, take a look up – Dark Sky Sanctuary, Stewart Island

Take a moment to stop and look up. Deep into the Milky Way and its billions of stars. Stewart Island is the southern-most Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world and offers one of the darkest locations to view the night sky – largely due to the lack of light pollution that many urban areas are faced with.

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Take a walk from your stargazing spot to Jensen Bay House

Enjoy the spectacular nature setting with inspiring views across Foveaux Strait. With easy and convenient access to nature walks like the Ackers Point Lighthouse.

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DAY Two

From Jensen Bay walk 20 minutes to Rakiura Jade

Join Rakiura’s jade carver and sculptor David Goodin in his studio overlooking the harbour in Halfmoon Bay, Stewart Island to carve your very own piece of pounamu (greenstone).

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Walk 10 minutes to…

Phil’s Sea Kayak

Explore the pristine clear waters of Stewart Island, through these 2.5hr and half day tours. Experience this sea-kayaking paradise with amazing marine life, bays, and sandy beaches – you may even see some penguins!

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Walk 10 minutes to Bunkhouse Theatre

The Bunkhouse Theatre is a comfy 53 seat cinema in the heart of Stewart Island. It is home to “A Local’s Tail” a film which introduces local characters and the struggles & Triumphs of the island pioneers – past & present.

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Catch the 1 hour Ferry Back to Bluff Land’s End Boutique Hotel

Situated at the Land’s End of  the South Island, this spectacular hotel consists of spacious hotel rooms with all of the facilities you need. It has been designed and decorated to provide you with a totally relaxing experience.

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Day THREE

Drive 1 hour to…

Environment Centre, Riverton

In a historic brick building on Palmerston Street in Riverton you’ll find the Environment Centre, a collective of community-based groups all working to leverage and care for the lush landscape and friendly people of Southland.

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Drive 5 minutes to…

Southland Surf School

Have you ever dreamed of barrelling down waves on a surfboard? The Southland Surf School is your opportunity to learn. As they’re mobile, they can give you lessons at the best surfing locations according to the weather, swell size, winds and tides and with their expert advice you’ll be carving up the surf in no time!

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Drive 5 minutes to…

Jacobs River Bakehouse

Don’t miss the newest café in the seaside town known affectionately as the ‘Riveria of the South’. Opened in Riverton in July, the new organic café is the brainchild of Lewis Beattie – who boasts 15 years’ experience as a chef throughout Southland and the North Island.

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The Free Spirit

Like to go with the flow? Experience a chilled-out holiday with a little bit of everything on this trail.