Busy New Year

Japan meets Stewart Island local

Japan meets Stewart Island local

Our Christmas / New Year has been very busy, with full house signs out for both Sails Ashore & Kowhai Lane. But great fun, as we hosted Japanese friends for the 4th time, and this time repeating their 1st visit as their two ( now adult) children accompanied them. At the same time our daughter Anne & two friends from Auckland took over my late mothers house. So in total we had 5 Doctors in the house, plus a German dermatologist at Kowhai Lane.

One of Anne’s friends is Vietnamese, the other Malaysian, and they cooked an evening meal for us all. Wonderful food, and we discovered Vietnamese pickled vegetables which are now a regular part of our summer salads. All of the younger generation spent a very successful morning fishing with a local charter fisherman…. who had great fun teaching a surgeon how to fillet blue cod…. don’t give up the day job ….. And so we had blue cod every conceivable way for the next couple of meals.

Oysters !!!!

Immediately after they all left we hosted two Auckland women, one a first time visitor to Stewart Island, and also a first time eater of Stewart Island Oysters . And now a fan as well.

Stewart Island is the original home of world renowned Foveaux Strait Oysters. We can now enjoy these year round from Jim & Hilli’s Oyster Farm. And they are superb quality & size and in taste inseparable from the wild variety. 

Dining Out

For such a small destination Stewart Island is fortunate to have excellent Dining Out choices.

South Seas Hotel …..offers the very best of New Zealand “Pub Dining” and perhaps the best Seafood Chowder I have ever tasted

Church Hill Restaurant and Oyster Bar …..  Situated in an old villa overlooking Halfmoon Bay and the Islands beyond with a superb menu. I like
Blue” steak, and Deanne’s is to die for

Kiwi French Cafe ……. Great meals with a French flavour. I am particularly fond of Britt’s Smoked Salmon Crepe. But recently she added Blue Cod Baguette to the menu, which annoys me as now I have to make decisions !!!!

Guests & Iris enjoying oysters "au naturall " and sauteed in butter

Guests & Iris enjoying oysters “au natural ” and sauteed in butter


Last week we opened the glasshouse door where our orphan thrush had been in “pre-release” Although initially hesitant it did venture out after an hour or so when I placed it’s morning worms over the door sill as encouragement. It flitted about the immediate vicinity for some time, and gradually got bolder and bolder. Evenings were spent back in the glasshouse, but eventually it moved out permanently. We have seen it since once or twice, and hopefully it is now coping well.

Flax in Flower

This year the flax is heavily in flower, as were the Cabbage Trees before Christmas. Much to the delight of the local Tui and Kaka, who are both gorging on the nectar.

Both species are specialist nectar feeders although quite omnivorous in that they take insects and fruit as well as nectar. The kaka (one of our three native parrots) is apparently unique among parrots in having a “feathered” tongue.

Sails Ashore

…. Peter & Iris, Sails Ashore
11 View St,
Stewart Island,

64 3 219 1151
0800 783 9278


Tui "dippin" flax. The orange tint at the base of the beak is pollen

Tui “dippin” flax. The orange tint at the base of the beak is pollen


Kaka "dipping" flax blooms

Kaka “dipping” flax blooms