Rakiura National Park
Rakiura National Park is the 14th of New Zealand's national parks and was officially opened on 9 March 2002 by the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, the Minister of Conservation, Sandra Lee, and the mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary. It is New Zealand's newest national park.
It covers 1,570 square kilometres (610 sq mi), which is about 85% of Stewart Island, New Zealand's third-largest island. The park area excludes the township area around Halfmoon Bay (Oban) and some roads as well as private or Maori-owned land further inland. It is made up of a network of former nature reserves, scenic reserves, and State Forest areas.
A chain sculpture at the entrance to Rakiura National Park symbolises the Maori view that Stewart Island is anchored to South Island; the sculpture was unveiled as part of the opening of the national park. In 2008, a similar sculpture was erected in Bluff, and it represents the other end of the chain
The popular Rakiura Track is within the national park. Many native birds can be found within the park, and Rakiura offers perhaps the best opportunity anywhere in New Zealand for viewing kiwi in the wild. This is in part due to the absence of stoats and ferrets. Certain coastal areas of this park are breeding areas for the endangered yellow-eyed penguin. Weka, a flightless and curious bird species, can only be found on offshore islands.
In the 1970s, kakapo were found in the Tin Range at a time when it was thought that the species was nearly extinct. The kakapo have been transferred to nearby Codfish Island, which is not part of the national park.
The Rakiura Track is a 29-kilometre (18 mi) tramping track on Stewart Island/Rakiura, New Zealand, and one of the New Zealand Great Walks.
It lies within the Rakiura National Park and can be walked over a one- to three-day period. It generally follows the coastline for a large parts of its length, passing small inlets, large bays and mudflats, before crossing steep hills covered in bush (dense forest) during its middle section. There are two huts on the track, at Port William and the North Arm of Paterson Inlet, and many people overnight at each. There are also camping sites available at Maori Beach, Port William and North Arm.
Large sections of the track have been gravelled, without this, the track often degrades into mud. This is due to two factors, the peaty nature of the soil, and the large amounts of rain that Stewart Island receives during the year. In general, the track is well-maintained, and of easy to medium difficulty. The given track length does not include several additional kilometres of paved road at the start and end of the walk from Half Moon Bay.
The track is equipped with huts for the use of trampers, though these must be booked in advance. The huts are equipped with firewood, flown in by helicopter as no roads connect to any of the huts and trampers are not allowed to cut their own wood. There are no cooking facilities in the huts, therefore trampers are advised to carry their own stoves and cooking equipment. There is a store in Oban where gas canisters can be purchased as well as other necessary supplies.
Ulva Island (from Scottish Gaelic: Eilean na Ulbha) is a small island about 3.5 km (2.17 mi) long lying within Paterson Inlet, which is part of Stewart Island/Rakiura in New Zealand. It has an area of about 270 hectares (670 acres), the majority of which is part of Rakiura National Park. It was named after the island of Ulva in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland and was formerly called Coopers Island.
Ulva Island's relative isolation, but easy access from Stewart Island has allowed it to become an important natural resource area. It is a sanctuary for both birds and plants, holding species that on the mainland of New Zealand are rare or have died out. In 1997, the island was declared rat-free, following an eradication program, and extirpated birds have been reintroduced to the island. The birds include the South Island saddleback (tieke), yellowhead (mohua) and Stewart Island robin. Other birds on the island that are rare on the mainland include the Stewart Island subspecies of southern brown kiwi (tokoeka), rifleman (Tītitipounamu), yellow-crowned and red-fronted parakeet, and South Island kākā or forest parrot, as well as several other species. The endangered yellow-eyed penguin uses the island for breeding sites
Mount Allen is the second-highest peak on Stewart Island/Rakiura, in southern New Zealand. Located in the southwest of the island, it lies 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the coast at Port Pegasus. Mount Allen rises to a height of 750 metres (2,460 ft), and is the highest point in a short range of hills known as Tin Ridge. Mount Allen lies within Rakiura National Park
Paterson Inlet is a large natural harbour in the eastern coast of Stewart Island/Rakiura, New Zealand, much of which is unspoilt forest.
This region was first inhabited by the Māori, who settled at a locale known as The Neck, which is a long peninsula that extends across the mouth of the inlet from the southern coast. The only town on Stewart Island, Oban is located on the north coast of the inlet, close to its mouth. In earlier times, the inlet was used as a base for whaling. Southern right whales were the main target in this area and over expoited. Fortunately, however, their sightings around the island are increasing recently.
Paterson Inlet has three main arms; North Arm and South West Arm lie at the upper reaches of the inlet, 15 kilometres from its mouth. Big Glory Bay, the third arm of the inlet, lies behind The Neck in the southeast of the inlet. The inlet drains the Rakeahua and Freshwater Rivers, the latter of which drains a large swampy valley that covers much of the northern part of the island
Halfmoon Bay lies on the eastern coast of Stewart Island/Rakiura in New Zealand.
The town of Oban lies in the bay. A small fishing fleet and a ferry service from Bluff use the bay.
The gardens of Moturau Moana built by Isabel Noeline Baker, are New Zealand's southernmost public gardens.
Half Moon Bay and its neighbour Horseshoe Bay are the subject of a name mixup, caused by early cartographers. Half Moon Bay is in fact shaped more like a horseshoe, whereas Horseshoe Bay is shaped like a half moon