For a place famous for its rain our trip was surprisingly dry! Our goal was spend a week exploring the Mason Bay area of Stewart Island looking for rare plants and kiwi. With a backpack loaded with tons of Absolute Wilderness freeze dried meals we water taxied to Freshwater Hut and walked 15km to Mason Bay.
The Mason Bay dune system is one of the most important in the southern hemisphere with over 30 endangered plant species, massive sand hills and dunes reaching up to 3km in land. Every day we explored a different area each day including a 24km beach walk to explore the Earnst Islands at the south end of the bay.
By far the highlight was seeing a Stewart Island kiwi during the day. Seeing them wander through the undergrowth entirely unaware of us was simply amazing. Although it wasn’t a highlight as such seeing the 145 pilot whales that stranded at the south end of Mason Bay was very memorable.