The day after we arrived, we jumped on a small plane and flew across the Foveaux Strait to Stewart Island. After landing we were transferred to Oban on Halfmoom Bay and had to walk over to Golden Bay to catch a water taxi to Ulva Island. Ulva Island is about 90% national park with only one private residence on it and well signed walking tracks and wild life but I don't think the rest of the party had done their homework.
They were expecting resorts, shops, cafes, etc and when we got dropped off it reminded me of the scene from Madagascar when the penguins arrive in Antarctica. After all the effort they put in to get there they are standing on a cold beach in the wind and the only comment is "Well this sucks!" I loved it!
I had a ball wondering through the rain forest until I rolled my ankle on Boulder Beach, about a 40min walk from the pick up point. It was a long sore hobble back but I did get to see a Weta with her chick and got some good photos of a Kaka which is a kind of parrot.
We were a sad and hungry looking group by the time the water taxi came back but by the time we a meal at a little cafe everybody cheered up before taking a bus tour around the township. The guide on this trip was great, very informative, and funny as well. He told us the Foveaux Strait was the third most dangerous stretch of water in the world - after we booked to return to the mainland on the ferry. The crossing was very rough and a number of people got sick. The crew handled it well and have obviously dealt with it plenty of times.
Tea tonight was a quite meal of Chinese left overs.