Day 160 on the Road
Flight on Stewart Island and Staying in Rakiura National Park
In Part 2 of today’s episode, we are taking a flight over Stewart Island, landing on the beach and camping in the Rakiura National Park! If you like this video and want more NZ bucket list inspiration, head on over to YouTube!
We are going to be taking a flight from the air strip near Oban over to Mason Bay.
Previously on Day 160 Part 1 we carved each other some awesome jade necklaces at Rakiura Jade and played with the hilarious dog. So we are in front of the only pub and hotel in Stewart Island we have our huge bags packed. And we’re now waiting for Anna which is gonna come and pick us up so we can take the plane for a lovely sunset flight across [Stewart Island] all the way to Mason Bay where we’re gonna hunt for kiwi birds.
Obviously by hunting for kiwi birds he means taking photos of kiwi birds we are picked up from the one and only pub in Stewart Island and taken to the air strip on the island where we are dropped off on the runway.
We quickly meet our pilot, we load our bags onto the plane and then it’s time for quick safety briefing. If you’d like to take the time to read our on-flight safety card it shows exits and stuff like that so.
Believe it or not this tiny plane can actually fit up to 10 people with Laura and I on board with all our bags it really looks like there is only room for us.
As soon as we take off the views start to appear and they are absolutely amazing. We are in awe in what we’re seeing right now. There is stunning native New Zealand bush because almost 80% of the Stewart island is a national park. It is unoccupied by humans. It’s awesome. But the flight is super short, it’s only 6 minutes and we are landing already before we realise we took off.
It’s pretty awesome landing on the beach this is the first time we’ve ever done this in a plane and then once we’ve landed Raymond is telling us where we need to go to start our walk for this evening to make our way to the Mason Bay Hut.
So the creek that’s up here is called Duck Creek and you’ll pick up the track in about 15 minutes.
Because it’s so unique to us we’re actually taking the time to watch the plane leave and take off right from the beach. it’s so awesome. But we are already on our way making our way toward Mason Bay Hut which is a Department of Conservation hut where we are going to be staying tonight. This is part of the extensive multi-day hike network that is on Stewart Island and we really wanted to take the time to show that to you guys and tomorrow we’re gonna be doing a massive section of walk which is from the Mason Hut to Freshwater where then we’re gonna be picking up a water taxi to make our way back toward the little township of Oban.
But our day today is nowhere near over just yet. We still have heaps to do we are making our way towards masons Hut where we’re gonna be spending the night and once we settle in Mason Hut we’re actually going to be taking the time to leave the hut at night and trying to find some kiwi bird in the wild because Stewart Island is a paradise for just that.
Alright Laura you almost made it to the hut. you are a minute away how do you feel? I feel relieved that it’s not too far away from the beach because I want to check out the sunset so. It’s super easy to follow the trails on Stewart Island there are orange markers everywhere and there are absolutely no chance to get lost.
There is the dark side and the light side of the force right here in this national park. Right here we are in the beautiful light side with golden colours and lush landscape but just behind me right here is the entrance to the dark side with a grim dark forest and dead landscape. I feel like I’m gonna be murdered by a troll or eaten alive by a wolf if I just venture in this forest. Don’t do it, Laura. We’ve lost her forever to the dark side. Let’s go back to the light. It’s just safer that way.
Once we arrive at the Mason Bay Hut, we are settling in dropping off our bags and meeting the other backpackers that are staying in the hut tonight. We get a quick bite to eat before heading back out because tonight we’re hoping to catch the sunset on the beach but we also want to find a kiwi bird and take some photos.
The walk back to Masons Beach is super short and we find a good place to watch the sunset from the top of the sand dunes. Right now we feel so alone in the wilderness it’s absolutely amazing there’s nothing more perfect than watching the sun go down and then start to see the stars come out this is really what a gap year in New Zealand is all about.
Of course as we make our way back to Mason Hut we are keeping eyes peeled and our ears open for any signs of kiwi birds. Around the Mason Bay Hut is notorious for sightings of kiwi birds so we are super excited and hopefully we get a good chance to spot something tonight.
It doesn’t take really long until we start hearing the first bird call sand in no time at all we starting hearing heaps of them it’s quite incredible the amount of birds that are active at night on Stewart Island but the hard part is to actually find the bird which is emitting those calls. And we have to make our way through the dark side of Stewart Island those really creepy forest now we have to relive them at night to try to find those bird we’re trying to make no noise at all trying to keep our lights really dim but we cannot find a single kiwi bird. Every single time we hear a little bit of ruffle as soon as we get there there is already no one home and the longer the night gets the creepy the forest gets.
Holy shit. How creepy is that. Sadly, it looks like tonight is not going to be our night we did not find a single kiwi bird so we quickly making our way toward the hut a stop at the bathroom and we are tucking in for the night. We will have more chance to find kiwi birds tomorrow because we are having an 8 hours hike toward our next destination so join us then.
It was an amazing day an amazing journey and tomorrow we’re making our way all across Stewart Island to something called Freshwater Hut we’re gonna try to spot some kiwi birds and then Freshwater Hut we’re taking the water taxi all the way back to Oban where we’re gonna be spending tomorrow night. It’s gonna be an epic journey that you won’t want to miss.