|This article is incomplete.
This article is missing one or more sections. You can help the BirdForum Opus by expanding it.
This large and heavily wooded island lies off the south coast of South Island, New Zealand and is famed among birders as the best place in the world to see kiwis. It is also home to various other New Zealand endemics and a wide range of spectacular seabirds can be seen offshore.
Southern Brown Kiwi can be seen more easily on Stewart Island than anywhere else in New Zealand and there are boat trips at night to Ocean Beach where the birds can be seen at close range foraging along the tideline. These kiwis belong to the endemic Stewart Island race lawryi.
Fiordland Crested Penguin and Yellow-eyed Penguin can be seen in Foveaux Strait between Stewart Island and South Island and other seabirds to be found offshore include Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Shy Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross and Buller's Albatross, both Antarctic Giant Petrel, and Hall's Giant Petrel Cape Petrel, Mottled Petrel, Cook's Petrel and White-chinned Petrel and Black-bellied Storm Petrel. Little Penguin and Sooty Shearwater can be seen at dusk at Acker's Point near Oban, where Stewart Island Shag and Spotted Shag also occur and South Georgia Diving Petrel breeds on Southwest Cape.
Birds you can see here include:
Southern Brown Kiwi, Fiordland Crested Penguin, Yellow-eyed Penguin, Little Blue Penguin, Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Shy Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross, Buller's Albatross (Southern, Northern), Cape Petrel, Cook's Petrel, Mottled Petrel, White-chinned Petrel, Grey Petrel, Sooty Shearwater, Broad-billed Prion, Fairy Prion, White-faced Storm Petrel (Aug-Apr), Common Diving Petrel, South Georgia Diving Petrel, Australian Gannet, Great Cormorant, Pied Cormorant, Little Pied Cormorant, Stewart Island Shag, Spotted Shag, Eastern Reef Heron, White-faced Heron, Paradise Shelduck, Pacific Black Duck (New Zealand), New Zealand Shoveler, Pacific Marsh Harrier, California Quail, Buff-banded Rail, Weka, Spotless Crake, Baillon's Crake, Variable Oystercatcher, South Island Pied Oystercatcher (non-breeding visitor) (New Zealand), Bar-tailed Godwit (Oct-Mar), Grey-tailed Tattler, Red Knot, Ruddy Turnstone, Brown Skua, Red-billed Gull, Black-billed Gull, Kelp Gull, White-fronted Tern, Antarctic Tern, Black-fronted Tern, New Zealand Pigeon, Shining Bronze Cuckoo, Long-tailed Koel, Kakapo, New Zealand Kaka, Red-fronted Parakeet, Yellow-fronted Parakeet, Morepork Owl, Sacred Kingfisher, Rifleman, Bush Wren, New Zealand Pipit, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, New Zealand Fernbird, Pipipi, Yellowhead, Grey Fantail, Tomtit, South Island Robin, Grey-backed White-eye, New Zealand Bellbird, Tui, Chaffinch, North Island Kokako, South Island Saddleback
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Kiwis can be found during the day at Island Hill homestead which forms part of the North-West Circuit, a 10-day trek around the north of the island.
Access and Facilities
Unfortunately Codfish Island, off Stewart Island's west coast, is not open to the public.
Oban is the main town of Stewart Island and can be reached by air from Invercargill or by sea from Bluff.
Kiwi excursions can be arranged at Oban as well as other boat-trips.
The best seabirds are most likely off the west coast and it may be possible arrange days out on fishing boats.
Content and images originally posted by Steve