New Zealand Day Eight: An Evening In Queenstown Then Off To Stewart And Ulva Island
I was disappointed having missed my opportunity to visit Milford Sound because of the cancelled flight from Queenstown. It was one of the highlights of my trip. I still had a good day on my visit to Glenorchy. (I did a blog on my visit while in New Zealand. It can be found in my archives). I returned to Queenstown around 5 p.m. It was a sunny and warm afternoon. After a brief rest at my hotel I took a walk along the waterfront of Lake Wakatipu.
Queenstown is a favorite vacation spot for New Zealanders, or, as they like to be known “Kiwis”. I soon found, that, on a warm, sunny afternoon, like in all resort towns, there were crowds of people enjoying the waterside.
As well as live entertainment provided by all types of performers. Here is a video of one my favorite performances. https://youtu.be/Z47d3IGIWoA
I walked it’s busy streets until I got tired and hungry. There were many fine restaurants but I wanted to eat quick and get back to my room. The internet was good here and I wanted to catch up on some social media and my blog. I also had an early day again in the morning. My shuttle to Bluff arrived at 7 a.m.
and returned to my hotel. Here is a link to some more photographs from my walk in Queenstown. New Zealand Day Seven: Queenstown evening walk. February 12 2019.
I awoke early the next morning. I walked across the street to the information center at 7 a.m. . This is where my shuttle ride to Bluff would pick me. It was a four-hour ride to Bluff. I would then take an hour ferry to Stewart Island.
and finally arriving at the port city of Bluff. Here is a link to some more photographs from my drive to Bluff. New Zealand Day Eight: Drive to Bluff. February 13 2019.
Stewart Island is the third, and smallest, main island of New Zealand. In Maori mythology, it was the anchor of the demigod Maui’s canoe. The South Island was his canoe and the North Island a large fish he caught. There are two ways to get to the island. One is an airplane flight and the other this ferry.
We soon saw the tree-lined shores of Stewart Island. We docked in the small village of Oban. Here is a link to some photographs from my ferry ride. New Zealand Day Eight. Ferry ride to Stewart Island. February 13 2019.
It was noon when I left the ferry. Before I could gather my luggage, my host Peter, from the Kowhai Lane Lodge was waiting to greet me. It was the start of a wonderful three-day stay on the island. Peter and his wife Anne were the most gracious of hosts. They did everything they could to make my stay enjoyable and provided much insightful information about the island, its flora, fauna and its residents.
Peter told me to grab a sandwich and some water at the local supermarket. A guided tour of Ulva Island was included with my stay. He said there was rain in the forecast for the next two days so we were going to tour the island a 1 p.m. We drove to the lodge where I met his wife, ate a sandwich, and dropped off my luggage. I then joined a group of about seven other people. We drove to Golden Bay and boarded a small boat to Ulva Island.
Ulva Island is a forested wildlife sanctuary and nature preserve about 10 minutes by boat from Stewart Island. Rats and other invasive mammals have been eradicated from the island and rare native birds have been re-introduced.
We walked under a few large pine trees that were planted by the first settlers on the island. We then learned about many of the plants, from the large rimu trees, some of which could be a 1000 years old,
This bird is not shy and walked among us as it searched for tiny crabs and mollusks under the rocks of the beach. Here is a link to some more of the birds we saw on our hike. New Zealand Day Eight: Ulva Island birds February 13 2019 .
We watched the weka on the beach for a while and then made our way back under the lush forest. We continued to learn about the region, its people, plants and animals. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike on Ulva Island. New Zealand Day Eight: Ulva Island hike February 13 2019.
We took the water taxi back to Stewart Island and I was back at the Lodge for 4 p.m. once again giving me little time to enjoy its beautiful view. There are only two restaurants on the island and one was booked solid. I had reservations at the other, the South Sea Hotel for 6 p.m.It was a pleasant 15 minute walk from my lodge to the restaurant and I was hungry . And once again they feed me well, starting with a large, hearty and delicious bowl of seafood chowder.
It was now dusk as i walked back to my lodge. It was another long day in New Zealand, but again an unforgettable one. Here is some more photographs from my evening walk. New Zealand Day Eight Stewart Island evening walk February 13 2019.
“Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing!”