Explore Stewart Island & Fiordland

Pacific Ocean & New ZealandA (very) Brief Background

Stewart Island and Fiordland lie at the extreme south and south west respectively of New Zealand’s South Island. Both are remote from today’s busy world and relatively hard of access and undisturbed by man. Both are extremely scenic and have fascinating Maori and early European history. Both have rich and diverse flora and fauna both above and below the sea. And the sea is an integral part of both areas. However there the similarity ends.

We Jacket Arm, Dusky

is steep!!. Mountains rise straight out of drained glacial valleys. The world’s highest sea cliff is to be found in Milford Sound. The Fiords themselves are often 200 metres deep
only a few metres from shore. The vegetation is very dense as Fiordland is true rain forest with an annual rainfall measured in tens of metres rather than centimetres. Nothofagus species are the dominant large trees.


Port PegasusStewart Island on the other hand is lower and more rounded. Although subject to past glaciation the many bays are drowned river valleys rather than the result of deep glaciation. The bays are relatively shallow and the forest is devoid of beech trees. In the south particularly the climate is reflected in low stunted scrub instead of high forest and large areas of granite devoid of all but the most hardy low growing plants and lichens.

Both areas are home to a large variety of pelagic, shore and land birds. Some in flocks beyond counting. The seas abound with seals and dolphins are regularly seen.

Although our southern climate can best described as boisterous the Inlets and Fiords of Stewart Island and Fiordland offer excellent cruising and shelter for a well found vessel. Anchorages are secure and waterways more like large salty lakes than the sea. Although having a high rainfall Fiordland has wonderful sunny days and is truly a climate of variety. Stewart Island is often described as having all four seasons in one day, (and we think sometimes starting out on a fifth) which while inconvenient at times also gives some wonderful effects of light and changing moods on the land and sea scape.

Fiordland is part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Park. Stewart Island has just been accepted as New Zealand's 14th and newest National Park.

For a brief view of the magnificent scenery to be seen we suggest you browse through all the pages on this site.

Cruise Suggestions

Stewart Island

For Cruise to Port Pegasus we would suggest a minimum of four full days, longer if possible, to allow you time to appreciate all you will see. The passage down will take about 5 hours from Halfmoon Bay, 2 hours longer if we pick you up from Bluff. For one or two day visits we would suggest going as far as Lords River and Port Adventure.

Stewart Island Weekender

We also offer a "Weekender", leaving Bluff on Friday evening, returning Sunday evening or Monday morning after exploring Paterson Inlet and Port Adventure.


For Fiordland Cruises you have the option of departing from either Doubtful or Milford Sounds or of flying in to whichever Sound is most suitable. (Flight or Road transport at your expense). We would suggest a four day cruise as a minimum.

 Cruise Options

For our "Top of the Line" cruises for up to 3 couples we offer private double cabins and complete service, all meals with fresh local seafood a specialty. We are happy for our guests to sit back and enjoy the service & the scenery but if you wish to assist in sailing "Talisker" we will be delighted to give you the wheel and the deck.

For the more "budget" minded we welcome up to 11 guests aboard on a skippered only basis. You will supply the stores, cook and run "Talisker". This is a totally "Hands On Option". If required we can supply stores to your order.

We are happy to customise your cruise details such as time and place of pickup and duration of cruise to suit your travel requirements. Please feel free to discuss these with us.

Contact Us At :-

Talisker Charters ( http://www.taliskercharter.co.nz )
Peter & Iris Tait,
( tait@taliskercharter.co.nz )
11 View St, P.O. Box 66, Stewart Island , New Zealand,

 phone / fax +64 3 219 1151

Web site created by Peter Tait, ( tait@taliskercharter.co.nz )

site updated August  2002

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