Southland region

Weka watching, Ulva Island photo Jeremy Pearce.

Weka watching, Ulva Island

Map of New Zealand highlighting the Southland region.

Ulva Island is unique, pretty noisy and you can go there. Come and visit and be inspired!

Unique Visiting our southern-most open sanctuary, you'll experience an almost entirely untouched part of New Zealand that's pest free. Species that may not survive elsewhere can thrive here.

Noisy Ulva Island is noisy with birdsong - a rare taste of how New Zealand once was and perhaps could be again.

You can go there An open sanctuary, Ulva Island is a fantastic place to experience ecology close-up. Take a water taxi or book a guided trip to explore the island's forest and golden beaches via a series of well-maintained tracks.

Be inspired Walking through bush vibrant with bird life, you'll begin to understand just what's possible without predators.

Rat alert! Rats are a serious risk. Before going to Ulva Island, you must check inside your gear for stowaways. Weeds can be a problem too so check your footwear, pockets and Velcro tabs for any seeds that may be hitching a ride. If you are taking your own boat, then please take the time to check it over for any temporary stowaways.

Taking care to follow these simple measures will mean everyone can continue to enjoy the richness and wildness of the island.

View the Ulva Island Open Sanctuary brochure (PDF, 1.830K).


The 3.5 kilometre-long Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara is located in Paterson Inlet/Whaka a Te Wera, off Stewart Island/Rakiura.



Find out more



DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map

Learn more

Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.

Walking track categories


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Stewart Island/Rakiura places


Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 219 0009
Address:   15 Main Road
Stewart Island
Full office details