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“Ulva Island with Ulva - not to be missed” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ulva's Guided Walks

Ulva's Guided Walks
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Ulva Island is located on Stewart Island,New Zealand. A predator-free and picturesque island, it is an environmental treasure. Rare, endangered, endemic and native birds abound - it is also a botanist's dream in a pristine primeval forest environment. Ulva's Guided Walks is the Ulva Island specialist natural history guiding team that provides visitors with truly memorable experiences in this unique forest sanctuary. We provide personalised and small group experiences - and absolutely guarantee that you will love our southern-most bird sanctuary in the world!
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Ulva Island with Ulva - not to be missed”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2013

At 9:30 am on 14 April we met Ulva at the water taxi for the start of what was to be our New Zealand birding highlight. No sooner had we walked from the jetty on Ulva Island when it all started to happen. With Ulva's sharp eyes and incredible hearing she was quickly pointing out Saddleback, Robin, Rifleman, Tui and others. We had great looks and this was just the start. Ulva's knowledge of the local plants was incredible. As the day progressed we had very rewarding sightings, ticking off all the endemic passerines (Yellowhead, Brown Creeper, Grey Warbler, Grey Fantail, Tomtit, Silvereye & Bellbird) on Ulva Island plus NZ Pigeon, Kaka and both Red & Yellow-crowned Parakeets. An inquisitive Weka seemed to like Shirley's jeans as it spent some time tugging on them. It was a great day in a great place with great company.

For any birder visiting Stewart Island a guided tour to Ulva Island with Ulva is a must.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank BillandShirley-Melb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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70 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Steyr, Oberosterreich, Austria
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Stewart Island New zealand”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2013

Fantastic place,paradise...clean air,no pollution,no rubbish,friendly locals,fab fish and chip caravan.the walks from Oban around the coast are unbelievable

Watch the short video and you will see me,in orange anorak and husband in. Very short interview

We went on the boat trip. To Ulva island with. Guide and really loved it.
Also went on the night boat to do kiwi spotting,saw two...my first ever in thewild.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank Ju S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Level Contributor
339 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 248 helpful votes
“Ulva Island guided by Ulva - The perfect Combination”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2013

Ulva Island near Stewart Island is a fantastic nature paradise, where the original pre-european-influence plant and animal environment has been recreated at great effort. That alone makes Ulva Island a very special place. Having the pleasure of being led around this island by Ulva multiplies this experience. The combination of her intimate knowledge of and her strong emotional connection with the island has created a lasting impression on us and has made our visit to Ulva Island the highlight of our stay on Stewart Island. Highly recommended!!

Visited February 2013
1 Thank travelnarr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
136 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“Brilliant Birding Bonanza”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2013

I am a lifetime birdwatcher with a patient wife, so on our five week trip to New Zealand we just had to do Stewart Island. Ulva (the lady not the island) puts together a birding bonanza so that on Monday evening you go Kiwi watching with Phillip Smith; on Tuesday morning you are on Ulva Island, and on Tuesday afternoon out at sea on a pelagic trip looking for albatross.

Even non-birders would enjoy this because of (a) the knowledge of guides and (b) the sheer beauty of the surroundings and the wildlife you will see.

But let me give some thoughts for those who really like wildlife.

If you want to see Kiwi in the wild, go out with Phillip Smith. We had had a pretty average experience Kiwi watching a Okarito, and this was a real contrast and pleasure. Phillip and Gregg have been studying Kiwis for donkey's years. They tell you wonderful information, but not in a lecturing or academic way. You leave the Oban Quay at about 8.30 pm (depends) go about 30 minutes at sea, and then walk paths through the bush for about 20 minutes. The walk isn't too onerous. And the Kiwis are there. We had just wonderful views because every one on the trip was pretty disciplined and quiet. This was a really uplifting evening.

On the Tuesday morning we met our guide Matt Jones at around 0900 and went to Ulva Island. this is a totally unspoilt temperate rainforest island. Matt is quite simply the best bird guide I have been with anywhere (and I have done a few trips). He really knows his birds and his territory. We saw endemics that were really difficult to find and all because he knew his territory so well.

At about 1330 we got onto Ty Jenkinson's Aurora boat out to sea for a pelagic trip. Now this is a lottery because no one can tell an albatross where and when to go. But Ty and Matt know their territory even at sea. I especially liked the flexibility that "there isn't much here, lets go there" and spotting a feeding frenzy and going to it.

I could write a very long essay on what we saw, but this isn't the place. In my sixties, until now I have had two bird days out of the UK that I shall remember all my life - one in Kenya and one in Cambodia. I now have three.... Phillip, Gregg, Matt, and Ty put this all together to make it an experience I shall remember all my life. It is invidious to choose one, but if I could put Matt in my pocket and take him on all my bird watching trips, I would be a happy bunny! Look up his photos on the web, just type in Matt Jones Stewart Island.

Visited January 2013
13 Thank archaeologyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ulva G, Owner at Ulva's Guided Walks, responded to this review, 16 February 2013
Thank you for your stunning review of our Birding Bonanza. Your response is the exact reason why we started this package activity of the three major birding opportunities available on Stewart Island. You have written a perfect acknowledgment of our (very happy) guiding team members. To be one of the three ‘experiences that you will remember all of your life’ is a superb tribute to their specialist skills and expertise. We also need to thank your patient wife….
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Ulva, and Ulva Island - such a special privilege.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2012

Everything I read in my research for my trip to New Zealand indicated, that if you go anywhere, you must go to Stewart Island and Ulva Island!! That is so true!! What a truly special place!! And it is people like Ulva who are ensuring it remains so, for the future.
12x kiwi - that is amazing!! Is this a record of sorts?? Or have you seen the kiwi that often in the daytime in other years?? Yes, what a privelge!!
Thanks again, Ulva, for all your assistance, and knowledge. All the best to you and your family, until we meet again.
take care

Visited March 2012
4 Thank jane x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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