Guest Book & Magazine Articles

The best thing about what we do is the friendships we make and also that we get to see so much more of our Island home through our guests eyes.

We are often asked to host Journalists looking at the Island and the People who live here.
And again it's always fascinating to see how they see the Island and ourselves.

Click on the links below for PDF copies of recent articles. We apologise for the size but any smaller and they would be illegible.

NZ Gardener, Size 914kb. Published May 2006.


Guest Book

.  A short flight over to Stewart Island, we had to be weighed to get on the small plane.  I sat in the co-pilot’s seat – thrill! 
At Oban on Halfmoon Bay, Iris Tait, our hostess at “Sails
Ashore Boutique B&B”, met us and so started a two-day
dream-like experience of elegant comfort and interesting discussions.
  A trip on Peter Tait’s boat to Ulva Island, the local history, a walk through the rain forest, meeting again tiny unusual plants,
such as the Hen and Chicks fern which clones itself, miniature orchids, and unusual – for us – birds, the flightless Weka, the Kaka, and many others. 
Too soon the flight back to the mainland

Anne & Ivor......... UK, January, 07

Why has it taken us four visits to NZ to find the perfect hosts and location.
We were made to feel welcome and at home from the moment we arrived.
The accommodation is excellent as is the hospitality coupled with the
knowledge of the island and it's flora and fauna.
We would have no hesitation in recommending it.

Barry & Jacquelyn L........ UK, December '06


The accommodation and attractions were excellent, especially after we had a chance to compare this part of our NZ
trip with the rest of our South and North Island stopovers, which happened afterwards.
Rooms were 5 star, guest relations were 5 star and (Iris & Peter) were extremely patient and
helpful with us as first timers. The experience was an adventure.
We will come back for a "more roughing it" journey.
Stewart Island has much unspoiled beauty to explore without any commercialism.

George & Marsha S...........Florida, March '05


Thank you so much for having us at your house. We had a wonderful time and will never forget your Southern Hospitality.

Amisha, Jayesh & Vidhi...... Auckland, May '05

I would like to thank you for your time and hospitality when I stayed at Sails Ashore. You guys are definitely "Hosts with the Most".....

Dianne Mc..... Maniototo, June '04.

I would really love to come back to Stewart Island one day, it was one of the best bits of my trip and I shall always remember your hospitality- thank you.

Joanna W...  UK., April '04.

Bob and I had such a great time staying with you at Sails Ashore I just wanted to write a short "thank you"

Greg E......USA, Feb'05

Talisker circumnavigation of the Island was the highlight of our holiday

Pauline, Tony & Philip....... UK, Nov'04

thank you very much for your hospitality at Sails Ashore when we were down on Stewart Island. Had a wonderful time and your smoked salmon is superb. We do plan to return.

Jenny...... Wellington, March'04

Halfmoon Bay
Once back in town--while the village is called Oban on maps, it's correct name seems to be Halfmoon Bay, but everybody here calls it simply "the Bay"--I walk wearily back to my comfortable lodgings at Peter and Iris Tait's guest house, Sails Ashore. Perched on a scenic hillside just above the village, with an unobstructed view of the Foveaux Strait, the Tait's place is truly a luxurious refuge in a very rough part of New Zealand. Iris lays on some hot soup, and laughs when we tell her of our trials going up Thomson Ridge.

"Twelve hours for me last time we went up there," she says, knowingly. "Worst weather I ever saw." It's a relief to know we weren't the only ones to be tested by the island's infamous ridge.

Peter and Iris not only boast perhaps the finest accommodations on what is otherwise a pretty funky Stewart Island, they know the place as well as anyone. For decades, Peter Tait WAS the government here, acting as sole park ranger for the entire island. His encyclopedic knowledge of the place is reason enough to stay here, as he can tell you what you need to know. If I had known that before, I would have let Peter plan my visit, start to finish, and could have made even better use of my time in this remote spot.

The other guests that night included a doctor and his wife from Auckland (both had left India to escape the stigma of a mixed caste marriage), who had a bottle of Laphroaig Scotch whiskey to share. That inspired Peter to get out the Talisker and Oban, and me my duty free Glenmorangie, for comparison, and our impromptu single malt tasting moved into full swing. It's the kind of evening you'll never have at a hotel, the kind of socializing that happens even on a backcountry trip when you're at the ends of the earth. The Tait's have a couple of border terriers, Piglet and Penny, and, as I'm partial to the breed, the dogs increased the sense that I had found a home away from home during my long stay down here at the bottom of the world.

Life in The Bay is pretty relaxed. A ferry from Invercargill, and surprisingly frequent air connections to the tiny hill-top strip, bring hardy travelers, backpackers, birdwatchers, fly fishermen and kayakers here in small but growing number during the summer season, October through April. There's a couple of restaurants, including a famous fish and chips place run by a German woman who discovered on a visit she liked Stewart Island so much she moved here. The bar at the venerable South Sea Hotel, right on the water, is the center of the action, and the post office next door also serves as the airport ticket counter.

Peter Potterfield...... (Excerpt from an on-line article at

thank you for hosting us on your lovely Island. Didn't expect to see such fantastic accommodation on the Island

Lin............ Wellington  April 2007

Our time with you on the Island is something we will also treasure, thank you so much

Sheila & David ...... Oxford UK, Summer 2007

During the last weeks we often thought about your wonderful Island and the time we spend at this lovely and beautiful place. It was great that you've shared your experiences and passions with us. We also often remember the few moments we could spend evening by evening with our little blue friends in the harbour (Little Blue Penguins) We hope they are fine too.

Dirk & Heike, Germany, Summer, 2007

Still remember the great time we had on your Stewart Island hope to come back soon

Dominique & Gary, .... Singapore, Christmas 2005

      Contact Us At :-    

Sails Ashore & Talisker Charters ( )
Peter & Iris Tait,
(  )
11 View St, P.O. Box 66, Stewart Island , New Zealand,

 phone +64 3 219 1151
free-phone 0800 783 9278