Plan a Romantic Getaway, Anniversary or Honeymoon to Stewart Island
Forget a honeymoon to some tropical island. Stewart Island offers something unique, a Subantarctic Island with pockets of golden sand beaches, turquoise waters, verdant forest and rolling sand dunes. When the night’s sky isn’t decorated with vividly clear Milky Way, it’s lit up by the green and pink hues of the Southern Lights which give Stewart Island its Maori name, Rakiura, meaning “glowing skies”. It’s a place that’s peaceful most of the year but especially if you take the trip by flight or ferry to the island in winter. For couples, it’s an idyllic place to experience island life, what often feels like, all to yourselves.
Sounds like the dream? Plan yours with this complete honeymoon guide to Stewart Island.
Honeymoon Activities on Stewart Island
- Join the love birds on Ulva Island
- Take on the challenge of a multi-day hike together
- Enjoy an intimate scenic flight…
- … Or a small-group cruise
- Stargaze in an International Dark Sky Sanctuary
- Carve a greenstone pendant for each other
- Explore the coast by double-kayak
- Go for a romantic stroll on the beach
- Relax at Stewart Island’s boutique cinema
- Indulge in a Stewart Island feast.
For more details on each experience, take a look at the 10 Romantic Activities on Stewart Island for Couples.
Romantic Adventure Activities
As 80% of the island clad in a national park, Stewart Island’s activities are all about embracing nature. With that in mind, arguably just about any activity on Stewart Island can be classed as romantic, from strolls along gorgeous beaches to an island excursion amidst a wildlife sanctuary. Let’s talk more about the latter… Ulva Island is a pest-free sanctuary just a 10-minute boat ride from Golden Bay. You can either take one of the many ferry options and independently explore the island, which thrives in all kinds of birdlife or join a guided tour to get more out of the experience. Real Journeys (Stewart Island Experience) offers guided tours on the island including a cruise showcasing hidden coves and unspoiled beaches.
More about Stewart Island’s national park, the Rakiura National Park is best explored on the myriad of multi-day hiking trails around the island. It’s the ultimate adventure together, trekking from secluded beaches to windswept forests where spotting a kiwi bird roaming in the daytime is not uncommon. One of the multi-day hikes is the Rakiura Track, a three-day loop that is classed as a New Zealand Great Walk incorporating beach, bush and historical sites. Learn more about the multi-day hikes in the Rakiura National Park – Guide for Backpackers.
An, admittedly, more relaxing way to take in the sights and sounds of Stewart Island is via a scenic cruise or flight. All of Stewart Island’s tours in these categories are intimate excursions where you’ll either be a couple of only a few guests on the tour or likely the only ones! Cruise across the ever-changing scenery of the Freshwater River with Rakiura Charters & Water Taxi or Rakiura Adventure. Or how about soaring the skies with remote beach landings with Stewart Island Helicopters or Stewart Island Flights?
Find out more in the 10 Romantic Activities on Stewart Island for Couples.
Romantic All-weather Activities
Even when the weather isn’t cooperating, there are still romantic experiences to share together on Stewart Island. Make it memorable with a greenstone carving workshop. Join Rakiura Jade for a day of cutting, carving and polishing a genuine greenstone pendant for each other, following the Maori tradition of only making a pounamu pendant to gift to someone, rather than for yourself. With the guidance of master carver, Dave Goodin, you’ll enjoy a relaxing day creating a memorable piece of jewellery from a waterfront workshop with gorgeous views of Halfmoon Bay.
A way to at least kill 45 minutes on a rainy day in Oban is by going to the cinema. That’s right, even the tiny settlement of Oban has its own cinema, but it’s one with a difference… The Bunkhouse Theatre is a boutique cinema that may show independent films, but it is most famous for its own production, “A Local’s Tail”. Watch the story of Stewart Island’s history and local culture from the perspective of one of the island’s most adorable residents, Lola the Dog. Cosy up in the cinema room with fresh warm popcorn while snuggling under a blanket.
For rainy day alternatives, check out the 10 Things to Do on Stewart Island on a Rainy Day.
Romantic Restaurants on Stewart Island
While most wouldn’t think to come to Stewart Island for the cuisine, many are surprised to find there is a small dining scene with a couple of romantic offerings that rival restaurants in some of New Zealand’s largest towns! For instance, Church Hill Boutique Lodge & Restaurant offers a boutique dining experience with exclusively eight guests per evening. Indulge in the freshest and most local fare in a delectable three-course meal.
With Stewart Island Moveable Feast provided by Observation Rock Lodge, a romantic dining experience can be brought to you! Catering to special occasions or even just a romantic night in, the team offers gorgeously-presented spreads that never fail to impress.
Finally, for a more down-to-earth experience, we have to mention the South Sea Hotel, which is essentially the local pub. It’s a fun place to people-watch while indulging in some local dishes, such as Stewart Island blue cod, a trio of Stewart Island-farmed salmon, Stewart Island crayfish and Southland venison.