Rakiura National Park is a nature reserve in Stewart Island/Rakiura, New Zealand. Established in 2002, the park is especially popular for the famous Rakiura Track. One can witness native birds, including the kiwi and even the Weka, which can only be found in the offshore areas of the Island. If you are eager to visit Rakiura National Park, check out the highlights we have shortlisted for you.
Some Interesting Trivia
Rakiura National Park is located on Stewart Island across an area of around 1570 square kilometres. The park spans nearly 85% of the Stewart Island and has more than 280 km of walking tracks. The average temperature in summers is 16° Celsius, and in winters, it is 9° Celsius. Rainfall is quite regular throughout the year but July, August and September are not too wet. It’s a delight to hear the call of the kiwi and the chirping of other birds amidst the green jungles.
Enjoy Short and Long Tracks
The Great Walk or the Rakiura Track is a very long one and you will need three days to complete it. The graceful trees, majestic sunrises and sunsets, and the quiet pristine beaches completely refresh the senses. One can also plan a day trip for hunting, fishing or go boating. If you prefer short daytime walks, try the 3 hour long Ryan’s Creek and Horseshoe Point or the 2 hour long Fern Gully. Yet another option is the Moturau Moana, which is just an hour long route.
Besides Rakiura National Park, one can explore other nearby attractions such as the Ulva Island, an open sanctuary managed by the Department of Conservation. It is a good idea to spend a day here. The Island is home to many rare birds and plants. Masons Bay is another interesting place to visit around Rakiura, where you can watch kiwis make a meal of sand hoppers at the beach. You may spot a huge variety of birds, including penguins and the weka.
One may visit the charming Rakiura National Park anytime of the year. The park is a one-hour ferry ride from the South Island town of Bluff, where one can find a good place to stay overnight. The nearest city is Invercargill, which can be reached by ferry. Besides, it’s a roughly 20 minute drive from Bluff on the mainland.