Queenstown to Stewart Island

Explore the beauty of New Zealand from Queenstown to Stewart Island. Discover the stunning landscapes, outdoor adventures, and rich Maori culture on this unforgettable journey. Start planning your trip today!

Queenstown to Stewart Island: A Tranquil Escape to New Zealand's Southern Sanctuary

Queenstown to Stewart Island: A Tranquil Escape to New Zealand’s Southern Sanctuary


Greetings, readers! Are you yearning for an adventure that will reconnect you with nature and immerse you in the tranquility of an unspoiled paradise? If so, a journey from bustling Queenstown to the serene haven of Stewart Island beckons you.

Prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and warm hospitality that await you on this enchanting escape to the southernmost point of New Zealand. Let this article be your guide as we delve into the highlights of this extraordinary journey, providing you with all the essential information to plan your own unforgettable adventure.

Sailing to Stewart Island

Scenic Ferry Adventure

Embark on a leisurely 2-hour ferry ride from Queenstown to Stewart Island, offering panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the majestic Southern Alps. Marvel at the crystal-clear waters and rugged shorelines as the ferry glides effortlessly towards its destination.

Charter a Private Yacht

For a more exclusive experience, consider chartering a private yacht for your journey. This allows you to customize your itinerary, explore hidden bays and coves, and indulge in the ultimate relaxation while soaking up the stunning scenery.

Exploring Stewart Island

Hiking Trails for All Levels

Stewart Island boasts an extensive network of hiking trails catering to all levels of fitness. Embark on a leisurely stroll through lush rainforests or challenge yourself with a strenuous ascent to the highest point on the island, Mount Anglem. Each trail offers its own unique rewards, from sweeping coastal vistas to secluded waterfalls.

Birdwatching Paradise

Stewart Island is a haven for bird enthusiasts, with over 200 species calling the island home. Spot the playful antics of yellow-eyed penguins, witness the swooping flight of majestic albatross, and listen to the chorus of native birds that create a symphony of sound.

Sea Kayaking Adventure

Glide through the pristine waters of Paterson Inlet in a sea kayak, exploring secluded bays and getting up close to the island’s abundant marine life. Paddle alongside playful dolphins, observe seals basking in the sun, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.

Essential Information

Accommodation Options

Stewart Island offers a range of accommodation options, from cozy backpacker hostels to luxurious lodges. Whether you prefer budget-friendly comfort or an indulgent escape, you’re sure to find the perfect place to rest your head.

Dining Delights

Savory seafood and delectable local cuisine await you on Stewart Island. From freshly caught fish to succulent lamb dishes, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the famous Bluff oysters, a culinary delicacy enjoyed throughout New Zealand.


Once on Stewart Island, you can explore the island by foot, bicycle, or by hiring a taxi. There is also a ferry service connecting the main wharf to the remote village of Oban.

Table: Ferry Options from Queenstown to Stewart Island

Ferry Operator Departure Time Arrival Time Price
Real Journeys 9:45 AM 11:45 AM $120 NZD
Stewart Island Experience Co. 12:15 PM 2:15 PM $150 NZD
Private Charters Customizable Customizable Starting at $350 NZD


Your journey from Queenstown to Stewart Island promises an escape from the ordinary and a deep immersion into the wonders of New Zealand’s southern sanctuary. From the scenic ferry ride to the abundant wildlife and stunning landscapes, this adventure will leave you with lasting memories.

To extend your exploration of the South Island, be sure to check out our articles on “Hiking the Milford Track” and “Exploring the Franz Josef Glacier.” Each destination offers its own unique experiences and will further enrich your travels through this beautiful country.

FAQ About Queenstown to Stewart Island

How long does it take to get from Queenstown to Stewart Island?

The ferry trip from Queenstown to Stewart Island takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

How often does the ferry run from Queenstown to Stewart Island?

The ferry operates once a day during the summer season (October – April) and three times per week during the winter season (May – September).

How much does the ferry cost from Queenstown to Stewart Island?

Adult fares start from NZ$120 for a one-way ticket and NZ$180 for a return ticket. Child fares start from NZ$60 for a one-way ticket and NZ$90 for a return ticket.

What is included in the ferry ticket?

The ferry ticket includes transportation from Queenstown to Stewart Island and back, as well as parking at the ferry terminal in Queenstown.

What can I bring on the ferry?

You are allowed to bring luggage, food, and drinks on the ferry. However, there are weight restrictions and size limits for luggage, so be sure to check with the ferry operator before you pack.

Queenstown to Stewart Island