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“Beautiful island, wonderful nature, excellent guide”

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!
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Beautiful island, wonderful nature, excellent guide”
Reviewed 23 March 2014

We had a gentle stroll around the island of Ulva in the company of Sandy our guide and 2 other couples. We saw lots of native birds including saddleback and yellow-head that we didn't see elsewhere on our travels, lots of confiding robins, weka on the beach and a sealion. But the whole ferny, mossy forest is just magical and filed with the calls of tui, bell-bird and kaka as New Zealand ought to be. A very special place and a very enjoyable half day.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank WildlifeWatcher90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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71 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“New Zealand as it once must have been”
Reviewed 7 March 2014

The trip to Ulva Island, accompanied by Ulva Goodwillie herself, was a highlight of our New Zealand holiday.
Named after the island, and descended from the Maori first settlers in this country, Ulva brings alive this haven for endangered native birds and plants, with her passion and her willingness to share her enthusiasms. For half a day we criss-crossed the island with her, accompanied for a lot of it by a show-boating Stewart Island Robin - the birds here have no reason to fear humans, and rats and weasels are kept away by ceaseless vigilance. So the island is full of birdsong, and full, too, of plants which can't live elsewhere in New Zealand due to pressure from those other alien animals, deer and rabbits. It's a lovely, and strange, vision of what has been lost.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank Rachel50_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“amazing island, amazing guide”
Reviewed 21 January 2014

I really can't imagine seeing Ulva Island without our guide. He not only pointed out what wasn't obvious, but gave us great insight into the wildlife and history of the island. It surprised me how much different the birds and foliage were from what we saw in Oban. If you have a chance to go, make the most of it with a guided walk!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank HikinAndy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5,153 reviews
1,904 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,847 helpful votes
“Choose your birding guide carefully”
Reviewed 15 December 2013

Certain Stewart Island tour operators manage to massage the publicity machine better than others.
Ulva gets a good rap from lots of people but for the specialist birder wanting more targeted birds, it pays to ask Ulva for a specific guide.
Ulva owns Ulva's Guided Tours and has a personable approach with tour groups taking them to Ulva Island.
All very confusing with names.
I however, did not want a tour with six other non-birders; that would have driven them and me mad.
Ulva is clever and caters for the tourist as well as the birding specialist. But you need to ask the right questions.
For one off birding where seeing the right bird really matters, ask Ulva to book her specialist birding guide, Matt Jones.
Matt is a true birder, the sheer joy of watching birds, nest, feed, and what else birds do gives him a thrill and he does not rush to the next location.
If the birds are happening he stays, essential for difficult birds like the Rifleman to see and enjoy. We got killer views of this green gem of a bird.
Matt knows the territory of every bird on Ulva Island and in two hours of guiding; every target bird on our list had not just been sighted but enjoyed for lengthy viewings.
Nor was Matt in a rush to go home when we had seen all the birds. He enjoys birding as much as his clients.
Matt makes a difference to your Ulva Island trip, yes you can do it yourself, but a good guide helps. Matt can be booked thorough Ulva's Guided Tours.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
13 Thank RonWamberal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“superb experience”
Reviewed 4 December 2013

I had the good fortune to participating in one of Ulva's guided walks in mid November on a sunny day.The island of Ulva is largely unspoilt and is a short water taxi ride from Golden Bay on Stewart Island. It has an abundance of native birds and plants . Ulva, who has the same name as the island was the most wonderful guide, she is courteous friendly and extremely good natured . Ulva has a huge knowledge about the island and answered all our questions insightfully and with good humour. If you only do one thing on Stewart Island then let it be this I cannot recommend highly enough. One the highlights of my trip to New Zealand .

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank mutiny92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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