Stewart Island is as far south as we can travel in New Zealand, and I’ll admit that I have not yet managed to visit there. When people talk about the geographic extremities of New Zealand, the saying is “from Cape Reinga to the Bluff” which ignores Stewart Island. This is despite the fact that Kiwis acknowledge that New Zealand is made up of three main islands: North; South; and Stewart.
In Maori legend, the South Island was Maui’s canoe from which he fished up the North Island. Stewart Island was his anchor stone without which his quest might not have been successful.
The only main centre on Stewart Island is a town of about 400 inhabitants. The town is variously known as Oban or Halfmoon Bay (depending on whom you’re talking to).
The island is home to the brown kiwi and provides a great viewing platform for the lights of Aurora Australis.
And I think I’ve just talked myself into making sure that Stewart Island is on my must-see list in the next wee while!
For more information, see…
And now the haiku:
Nowhere left to go?
Set sail for Antarctica
from Stewart Island.