Southland region

Weka watching, Ulva Island photo Jeremy Pearce.

Weka watching, Ulva Island

Map of New Zealand highlighting the Southland region.

Ulva Island Open Sanctuary offers visitors the chance to experience unspoiled New Zealand rainforest, alive with rare native birds.

Never milled and pest-free since 1997, the island offers threatened native species a safe haven in which to flourish. Healthy populations of kiwi, saddleback and yellowhead can be found – birds which often struggle on the mainland.

Ulva Island features well-maintained walking tracks that explore the island’s forested interior and golden beaches.

The island is accessible by water taxi, with guided walks also available.

Rats are a serious threat to the safety of the sanctuary, and visitors must check their packs and gear for stowaways. Weeds can also be a problem so check footwear, pockets and Velcro tabs for seeds.

Taking care to follow these simple measures will ensure the sanctuary continues to thrive and provide a safe home for threatened New Zealand species.

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


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