This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Stewart Island / Rakiura. To help you make friends with Stewart Island / Rakiura before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Stewart Island, or Rakiura to the natives, is the southern-most point of New Zealand. You can take the ferry across the Foveaux Strait from Bluff to get here (it takes around an hour); it docks in Half Moon Bay, where most of the Stewart Island hostels are located.
The island itself is spectacularly beautiful and abundant with wildlife. You can go kiwi hunting to spot the iconic, flightless New Zealand bird; they are abundant on the island, but mostly nocturnal and stay away from humans. There are an abundance of walking tracks with which to go hiking on your own or if you prefer there are also guided walks around Stewart Island that are available. There is plenty to see in the way of marine life if you are into scuba diving or snorkeling. There are chartered cruises around the island, some of which offer fishing as an option. For those interested in the heritage and history of the island, a trip to the museum to learn about the Maori lifestyle and early settlement of the island by the missionaries. Then of course, there is the option of just kicking back and relaxing in the very quaint and peaceful environment that Stewart Island provides and soaking up its beauty and quiet ambiance.
You do have a few choices of hostels on Stewart Island. For eating, there are only a few restaurants and cafes to choose from on the island. If you would prefer to cook, there is a small supermarket that stocks fresh and packaged produce along with other everyday needs.
Written by local enthusiast for Stewart Island / Rakiura hostelsGlobetrotter