Photo © Furhana
“A magical place and superb guiding. A fitting climax to a marvellous six weeks in New Zealand. And a kiwi too. Thank you, Furhana, for a morning I’m unlikely ever to forget.” R Gilbert – UK.
Come and experience Ruggedy Range™ Wilderness Experience’s guided trips - we are passionate about our wildlife and environment. Receive personal attention in small groups from friendly, knowledgeable guides and enjoy tours that are generous in length with descriptive commentary on the behaviour and habits of birds.
Owned and operated by Furhana (BSc Hons Geography) - our focus is natural history and bird watching in Stewart Island, Ulva Island and Rakiura National Park. Furhana has been guiding here for 14 years and is passionate and knowledgeable about the local fauna and flora.
ULVA ISLAND - Our two tours: Ulva Island Birds & Forest (birding and flora) or Ulva Island Birding (birding), on predator-free Ulva Island is set in luxuriant, primeval, rainforest. Look for penguins and other seabirds on the way to Ulva Island. Take time to listen to birdsong and enjoy close encounters with endemic/native species including: saddleback, yellowhead, robin, rifleman, red and yellow-crowned parakeets, kaka (parrot), wood pigeon, brown creeper, weka and more. Our trips are 4.5 or 8.5 hours (slightly shorter in winter). We aim to take you further and show you more!
KIWI JOURNEY – Follow in the footsteps of kiwi to Mason Bay with its stunning seascape and sand dunes on our two day, one night trip. Search for this incredible bird, learn about its unique features, listen to its distinctive call whilst marvelling at southern stars. Some of our daytime sightings will leave you in awe! We have seen kiwi from a couple of minutes to an hour, from a few inches to several feet away. Our success rate is is 95%. Robin, fernbird, NZ pipit, bellbird, tui, red-crowned parakeet, brown creeper, tomtit and other species can also be seen. Depending on the tour / time of year, the Southern New Zealand dotterel may be viewed.
AIHE PELAGIC BIRDING - Aihe is a small vessel, offering excellent viewing and comfortable seating. Our small group pelagic tours for upto 8 persons, around the north east shore of Stewart Island offers a great opportunity for close views of albatross, petrel, prion, terns, penguin, cormorants and other species. Tours are weather dependent and subject to minimum 4 persons.
PERSONALISED PACKAGES (including travel and accommodation) are available.
CONSERVATION FUND- we donate $1.00 per participant per tour into our conservation fund.
HOW TO BOOK - We are a small business - prior bookings are recommended. Please book direct for accurate and upto date tour information. We choose not to operate through the i-sites network or visitor / information centres in Stewart Island or rest of New Zealand. Thank you for your understanding.
Department of Conservation Concessionnaire
Marine Mammal Viewing Permit
Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity
Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Transport
Marine Transport Association
Sustainable Tourism South
Ruggedy Range™ Wilderness Experience Contact Details
Ruggedy Range™ Wilderness Experience
14 Main Road
Stewart Island, New Zealand
P O Box 188
Stewart Island 9846
Phone: (+64) 3 219 1066
fax: (+64) 3 219 1078
mobile: 0274 784 433
Birds always seen
Birds very likely seen
Yellow-eyed Penguins are one of the rarest of the world's 18 species of penguin. There are only 5,000 - 6,000 Yellow-eyed Penguins in the wild and they only live in New Zealand.