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Ultimate Ulva, Southland

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Ultimate UlvaBeginner

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Info Info
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Trail Information







Back country - remote


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


1:00 (Slow)
0:45 (Moderate)
0:30 (Fast)



Ulva Island is a DOC bird sanctuary and as such check in with Oban visitor centre just in case there are any operations or restrictions in place. Please stick to the marked trails

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Ulva Island is the gem in Rakiura/Stewart Island's highly glittering crown. It is an amazing place and is the result of much hard work. A few hours spent exploring this Island will change you, and give you a taste of what all of NZ must have been like before the arrival of humans. Its basically a modern living ark.

Once you've organised your boat travel across from Oban and the Steward Island "mainland" head over and put aside as much of the day as you can to explore and experience Ulva. The trail network isn't overly long or taxing, but a perfect Wild Things day here would involve getting there, having a run around the loop described to start with and then doing it all again at a slower pace and soaking up the birds and atmosphere of amazing Ulva. An absolute must to for anyone visiting Stewart Island and would act as a great 'warm down" perhaps a day after running or tramping the Rakiura Trails.

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Features of interest

Stunning birdlife - kiwis , weka, saddlebacks and many many more  Perhaps NZ's most significant sanctuary

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 25%

Easy Single Track: 75%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Ulva Island Wharf at Postmans Bay

    There are several water taxi options from Oban, 6-10 minutes on the boat, priced approx $20 ish depending on operator and time of year. Would also be easy to kayak over in most conditions

    0 km

    0 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Its all well marked and some of the side 'nature' trails are totally worth an explore


    Lightweight fleece top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    There are a few small creeks but you'd be advised to bring enough water from Oban

    It's Stewart Island and as such expect constantly changing weather

    Don't miss the boat!

  • Post run indulgence

    South Seas Hotel
    Oban, Stewart Island
    Best place for a beer or two and a feed of Blue Cod

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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