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Stewart Island and Rakiura National Park

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Rakiura National Park is a nature reserve park located on Stewart Island. It is the newest national park, opened in 2002. The protected area covers about 85% of the island. Rakiura is Maori for 'Land of the Glowing Skies' and that's because you can often witness the Aurora Australis appearing in their southern skies. Travel here by ferry from Bluff or by plane from Invercargill to experience some wonderfully isolated hiking and birdwatching. The island's special gift is a glimpse into a simpler, slower past, a life in rythmn with the sea and tides, in tune with nature. Stewart Island is a haven for brown kiwi or Tokoeka, which outnumber humans on the island and are active day and night. Blue penguins and the rare yellow-eyed penguins waddle among the rocks.

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