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Stewart Island

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Rakiura National Park, Oban.

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If the South Island of New Zealand isn't isolated enough for you then you can always head further south to New Zealand's third largest island, Stewart Island. The main gateway to Stewart Island is Bluff in Southland. Ferries depart daily across the Foveaux Strait.

Oban in Halfmoon Bay is the only town and gateway on the island. This town uses renewable energy for its power needs. The rest of the island remains a paradise of forest and hills, where many rare and endangered birds can be found. The island also has a long sandy beach (Mason Bay), with a remaining rugged coast. The sea surrounding the island is excellent for fishing.

With an area of 1,746 km², the island is signifantly bigger than New Zealand's other outer islands. The highest peak is Mount Anglem which rises to 979 metres (3,212 ft). The climate is wet with persistent rainfall year round. Most of Stewart Island lies within Rakiura National Park, a pristine protected wilderness area.

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Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual Oceania)


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