Thursday, 5 June 2014

Ulva Island - New Zealand island sanctuary

Well worth a visit, Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara deserves to be better known.

Ulva Island

Being close to main centres: Tiritiri Matangi and Kapiti Island get more publicity. But Ulva Island has some wonderful points of difference. Situated close to Oban on Stewart Island, here you might see the Stewart Island Robin (Toutouwai), South Island Saddleback (Tieke), Brown Creeper (Pipipi), and Yellowhead (Mohua), none of which can be seen on the North Island sanctuaries. If you are lucky you might even see a Stewart Island kiwi (Tokoeka).

Stewart Island Robin, photo Peter Tait

Once you are on Stewart Island, Ulva Island is easy to reach. There are several companies that take tours and it is also possible to visit without a guide, just take a water-taxi. We thoroughly recommend the Sails Ashore tour, Peter Tait gave our small group of four people, a four to five hour tour - we learned and saw so much. Peter writes a blog about Stewart Island too (see My Favourite blogs in the column on the right).

You can read my article about Ulva Island - 'Safe Haven' in the May Forest and Bird magazine.