Ulva Island is a pristine forested island situated within Paterson Inlet. It is managed by the Department of Conservation and supported by the Ulva Island Charitable Trust as an open island sanctuary. It is one of the few predator-free sanctuaries in New Zealand. Open to the general public, whether it be for a family picnic or for anyone interested in native birds or flora. Its well maintained tracks offer easy walking for most people and gives one the opportunity to enjoy the birds, lovely beaches and views. Guided walks are also available.
The island, which covers an area of 269ha is a 10 minute ride by boat from Golden Bay. Although it has no permanent inhabitants, about 7.6ha is privately owned. Please respect their privacy.
The Ulva Island Charitable Trust are a group of dedicated Stewart Islanders who help to raise funds for tracks and infrastructure and assist with bird releases and research work.
Since the eradication of rats, Ulva Island has become our ‘Jewel in the Crown', offering a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds including South Island Saddleback, Yellowhead, Rifleman, Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island Brown Kiwi. See the ‘Birds' section for more information.
A brief re-invasion of Norway Rats in 2010 highlights how easily biosecurity standards can be breached. Before departing for Ulva Island, visitors are urged to thoroughly check all equipment, including footwear, to ensure they are not unwittingly transporting stowaways, especially weed seeds and rodents, to the island.
Please respect the wildlife, especially Kiwi. Do not approach any wildlife within 5 metres or disturb them in any way.
Ulva Island self-guiding booklets are available to visitors for a small fee. A booklet will assist you to get maximum enjoyment from your visit and may be purchased from DoC, Ulva Island, some boat operators and The Fernery - Gallery & Gift Shop.
Have a care for this island. Sanctuaries such as these are imperative. There is no song of Bellbird or Tui on the moon.
Olga Sansom, 1970
Past Curator, Southland Museum and Stewart Islander