SEA KAYAKING TRIPS
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
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
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
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.