"Stewart Island In New Zealand -
A Piece Of Paradise At
The Bottom Of The World"
Stewart Island in New Zealand is a part of the country very few people experience, whether New Zealanders or visitors from other parts of the world. It's not very easy to get to, has only one settlement, and most of it is covered in dense rainforest.
"Rakiura", as it is called in the Maori language, is thus a paradise for native birds, some of which are no longer seen in other parts of New Zealand.
It is only a few years ago that Stewart Island was raised to the status of a New Zealand national park. While the numbers are nowhere near those of the famous New Zealand walking tracks, such as the Milford Track, the Routeburn Track in the South Island or the Tongariro Crossing in the volcano landscapes of the central North Island, those who take up the challenge of a walk across or around Stewart Island are rewarded with a unique experience they will remember the rest of their lives.
Stewart Island is one of the best places to see a kiwi in it's natural habitat. Native parrots, the almost extinct South Island Robin, the weka ... all thrive on this island that has no predators.
The sea also teems with life, whether seals, tiny crabs and other crustaceans, or the diverse range of seabirds that populate its coastline.
Stewart Island combines a wide range of different landscapes that can all be experienced on a walk lasting several days, as one member of a hiking party in the video below comments:
"I really love how you can be walking through lush vegetation, wet rainforest one minute, and the next minute, dry, mountainous dunes or bouldery beaches with three metre swells rolling in off Foveaux Strait."
Some other comments from the video below: "About every half hour there was something cool and spectacular"... "It was unreal man"...."It's beyond anything I've ever imagined it could be ... it's more New Zealand than New Zealand is, just the bush, the birds, ... you've got to come here to really understand"...."Tell you what, the view up here is absolutely worth it".
Oban in Halfmoon Bay is the "capital" of Stewart Island. All other settlements, mainly established by whalers, sealers and those who came to cut down the trees for wood in the 19th century, have long since disappeared, with barely a trace to be seen.
You can get to Oban by ferry or small aircraft. Once you are there, and have left the little fishing village, it's just you, the forest and the birds, as you will see - and hear - when you watch this video of Stewart Island in New Zealand !
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