I had seven days off and Ryuichi was also on hoiday so it was perfect time to do something we both really wanted to do- Go to Stewart Island.
When I left Mt Cook it was snowing… my bus just made it over the Lindis Pass without snowchains (crazy!) but somehow we did it and got to Queenstown. It was snowing a little in town but not quite at that point. But in the morning it had snowed A LOT and our bus was cancelled.
After a lot of thinking and rearranging our plans we spent the rest of the Snow day having EPIC snow fights, snowmen and more Snowfights.
The next day thankfully the buses were going and we got to Invercargill. I got to catch up with family and friends. I really enjoyed that night.
The next day we caught a coach to Bluff and ferried to Stewart Island. The ferry ride was not so bad… But my stepmum slipped us some motion sickness pills. So that may have been why. The Fouveux Strait is famous for it’s rough crossing.
Once we arrived we headed straight for the Visitor centre and looked up water taxi companies. Due to being a day behind we planned on catching a water taxi to the first hut- Port William Hut and walking to the second hut in the same day… but no taxis were ‘available’. It was fustrating but we then decided we would do the track Clockwise direction and go to North Arm Hut first as it was the shortest distance to walk.
Ferry from Bluff
View of Stewart island from Ferry
Waves on the ferry
We arrived at North Arm hut at approximately 4pm just before sunset. We had our backcountry cuisine meals. They were surprisingly good (well mine was! and I was surprised at Ryu’s sheppards pie one) I was exhausted and was asleep by 7pm.
Sign for kiwis
stewart island rainforest
A little inlet with a boat
North arm hut
We got up early and departed by 8am. It was raining and inside the hut it sounded like it was quite heavy- there was discussion of turning back instead of the long haul via port William back to Oban. But I was stubborn and said there was no way I was turning back now! A little rain wouldn’t stop me. So we continued on. In the forest it was still dark at 8am in the morning. We kept a steady pace and stopped every once and a while to listen to birds or take photos.
A view of the coast along the rakiura track
along the track
Tomtit on stewart island
creek along the track
Surprised my camera made this shot!
Close up of fan tail
My favourite spot was of the beach with all the fantails chasing their lunch up and down and all over. They were almost completely oblivious to us, or at least so focused on their lunch they didn’t hide when we got up close to take photos.
We got back to Oban about 4pm. We had a good rest and caught the ferry back to Bluff the next day. It was tiring but glad I finally got to see Stewart Island. I would love to come back and take more time to enjoy it, see ulva island and eat a crepe at the creperiea.
Sunrise at Oban