Sea Kayaking trips
stewart island


Paterson Inlet has always played a big part in Island life, with a history in whaling, milling and fishing. The Inlet in now recognised for its natural features and is spending its retirement as an adventure playground.

Ulva Island
Ulva lies across the mouth of Paterson Inlet, about 2 km from Rakiura Kayaks Thule Boatshed. At a mellow cruising speed it will take you about 40 minutes to paddle there.
The walking tracks on Ulva provide the ideal platform from which to see native birds. From the bold and brassy wekas to the elusive kiwi, Ulva will keep any ‘bird nerd’ happy for hours. When you’re all walked out, jump back in the kayaks to explore some of Ulva’s 11 km of coastline, indented with small bays and beaches.
Just to the west of Ulva is Tamihau Island. During the summer months you will often find NZ Fur Seals diving and playing there. Some of the more curious seals come right up to the kayak to check the rudder out.
Along the way keep an eye out for Little Blue Penguins to pop their heads up between dives.

Freshwater River - Mason Bay
A fantastic trip for those with time and kayaking experience. In this trip you cross the island from East to West seeing the dramatic change from the (usually) placid Inlet to rugged but beautiful Mason Bay.
Along the way you may wish to stay at Millars Beach or North Arm Hut for a night, ensuring you reach the river to go up on the high tide. Once at the mouth of the river it is an easy 7 km paddle up to the Freshwater landing. Here you unload your kayak, swap your trusty paddle for a pair of tramping boots and head off on the 4 hour hike to Mason Bay.
At Mason Bay there is a Department of Conservation hut where you may stay. Mason Bay is famous for its ‘night life’ - this is one of the places where you are most likely to see the Stewart Island Kiwi. Ask in the hut for where to go for the best chance of seeing one.
Beach combing is another great pastime here, with plenty of flotsam and jetsam washed up on the 14 km beach.