Stewart Island Pelagic options and recommendations request

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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seattlebirdman
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Stewart Island Pelagic options and recommendations request

Postby seattlebirdman » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:07 am

My wife, 15 year old daughter and I are visiting NZ for the second time over the Christmas/New Years time. We didn't make it to Stewart Island last time and would love to do a pelagic and visit Ulva Island. It looks like there are a few pelagic options. I have found Rakiura Charters, Aihe and Ruggedy Range. I'm not sure if they operate their own boats or are booking agents for others or if there are others

Anyway I would love to hear any recommendations and differences between the options.

My daughter is not too excited about birding so the costs add up for the 3 of us when we are not all fully engaged. I would also like to add on a visit to Ulva Island. I expect that a guide would yield much better results than on our own and would love any advice on that too.

We have booked two nights of logging and plan to do the pelagic on Jan 3rd, 2020

Thanks
Doug Schurman
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rowey
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Re: Stewart Island Pelagic options and recommendations request

Postby rowey » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:05 pm

Hi Doug

My wife and I visited Stewart Island 5 years ago, primarily for bird watching and for her to do the Great White Shark Dive.

We got a water Taxi to Ulva and spent the morning self guiding ourselves around the Island. We saw all of the target species,albeit with a little luck. I had left my cap and spare lens at one of the bays and had to run back to find them when I came across a flock of Yellowhead, which I had missed earlier. We got picked up from the Island by Rakiura Charters for a half day pelagic. We had a wonderful afternoon with a fantastic guide. Birds were a bit quiet,however this was more than made up for by the wonderful experience of the scenery and wildlife. I am not sure if they still pick up from Ulva , however I would sure recommend them. Because there were only two of us, we did have to pay for 3 people though...still fair enough.

Regards Kieran
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zarkov
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Re: Stewart Island Pelagic options and recommendations request

Postby zarkov » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:38 am

Plus one for Rakiura Charters, totally professional.

It was blowing hard from the West the day I went last year, so we wound up way down at Port Adventure on the East coast.

Worth it for the scenery alone, and saw more birds than at Kaikoura.

Pick ups and drop offs depend on what's happening on the day I think.
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seattlebirdman
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Re: Stewart Island Pelagic options and recommendations request

Postby seattlebirdman » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:35 pm

rowey wrote:Hi Doug

My wife and I visited Stewart Island 5 years ago, primarily for bird watching and for her to do the Great White Shark Dive.

We got a water Taxi to Ulva and spent the morning self guiding ourselves around the Island. We saw all of the target species,albeit with a little luck. I had left my cap and spare lens at one of the bays and had to run back to find them when I came across a flock of Yellowhead, which I had missed earlier. We got picked up from the Island by Rakiura Charters for a half day pelagic. We had a wonderful afternoon with a fantastic guide. Birds were a bit quiet,however this was more than made up for by the wonderful experience of the scenery and wildlife. I am not sure if they still pick up from Ulva , however I would sure recommend them. Because there were only two of us, we did have to pay for 3 people though...still fair enough.

Regards Kieran


Thanks Kieran. Rakiura offers the option to drop us off on Ulva in the morning and then pick us up for an afternoon pelagic. That's certainly an option I'm considering. Thanks for the review.
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seattlebirdman
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Re: Stewart Island Pelagic options and recommendations request

Postby seattlebirdman » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:35 pm

zarkov wrote:Plus one for Rakiura Charters, totally professional.

It was blowing hard from the West the day I went last year, so we wound up way down at Port Adventure on the East coast.

Worth it for the scenery alone, and saw more birds than at Kaikoura.

Pick ups and drop offs depend on what's happening on the day I think.


Thanks. Glad to hear Rakiura has satisfied customers.

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