Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary (Guided or Freedom Walk)

We offer a flexible, on demand Ulva Island Connection water taxi service to Ulva Island for freedom walkers, as well as guided walks.







Ulva Island is the largest of many small islands located in Paterson Inlet (Te Whaka a Te Wera), with a land area of 266 hectares (roughly equal to 400 rugby pitches) combining native bush, picturesque sandy beaches, rocky outcrops and around 4.5 kilometres of easy walking track for visitors to enjoy the birdlife, with a rare opportunity to spot robins, kiwi, kākāriki, saddleback, riflemen, yellowhead and more. 

Guided Walks

If you would like a guide to join you; our Ulva Island guides are internationally renowned, and simply the most experienced guides on Stewart Island. Passionate about this open sanctuary’s inhabitants, as well as its unique forest habitat and cultural history, our guides will enhance your birding e

Enjoy full commentary on the short, scenic trip across Paterson Inlet and the Ulva Island Marine Reserve, now and then glimpsing a penguin or dolphin along the way.



The Ulva Island Connection

Go your way…!Flexible badge 3

“The Ulva Island Connection” service offers convenient, ON DEMAND Golden Bay water taxi departures, with no strict schedules! Ulva Island is open between 8am and 6pm and we work around your needs. Typically a 2 to 4 hour visit with a flexible pick-up time can be arranged to suit.

CALL FREEPHONE 0800 725 487 to book a time that suits you.

A self-guide booklet “Explore an Island Paradise – Ulva Island” is available from our Booking Office (10 Main Rd) or the shelter on Ulva Island itself for a $2 donation to the Ulva Island Charitable Trust.


There are no shops on Ulva Island so you should take lunch/ snacks and water with you. There are also no rubbish bins on Ulva – please take all your rubbish off the island with you. Ulva is also a pest free sanctuary – it is good practice to check your packs and shoes for rats and seeds before boarding the water taxi.