Stewart Island is a bird watcher's paradise, teeming with many of New Zealand's native and endangered species - including the kiwi, which outnumber humans by 50 to 1.
Stewart Island is largely untouched by humans, providing an excellent habitat for native and endangered birds. The Stewart Island Brown Kiwi - or Tokoeka - is active during the day and night, with numbers estimated at 20,000. The Southern Sanctuary of the island offers a particularly unique kiwi-spotting experience; where you'll find the birds practically on your doorstep. The Stewart Island Brown Kiwi lives in forested areas and forages for food on the beach.
Residents on the island share their gardens with native birds. Summer evenings resound with the melody of kākā and cheeky weka strut around Oban township.
Ulva Island, a short taxi ride from Stewart Island's Golden Bay, is an open bird sanctuary and predator-free. A visit here is a must-do for all native bird watching enthusiasts. Covered in unspoilt forest, the island is home to birds including the native tui, kaka, rifleman and fantail, as well as the endangered south island saddleback.