Sails Ulva Island Tours

Ulva Island Spring Romance


A Ulva Island Tour with Sails Ashore, Stewart Island

Sails Tours, Stewart Island

South Island Saddleback gathering nest material

As a farmers son, spring for me was lambing, a resurgence of plant growth and a new cycle of life. Well, I haven’t delivered a lamb for 50 odd years, but a couple of days ago across on Ulva with a couple from Auckland almost the first birds we saw was a Saddleback couple busy home building. And they were very vocal, with the pair calling every minute or so. Not just this pair either, as over the 4 hours we were there I heard around a dozen different pairs calling.


Robins Pairing up as well.

We saw several pairs of Robins, with the males showing great interest in the forest litter we disturbed, and generally there was a female close by.

First Orchids

Photographing Spider Orchids

The first of our orchids to bloom are Dancing Spider Orchids (Corybas acuminatus) .  The first of the embryonic blooms appeared two or three weeks ago, but we found some fully out.  As you can see by the photo these are not large, and their colouring makes it easy to miss seeing them in the wet mossy areas they prefer.

Dancing Spider Orchids

Dancing Spider Orchid (Corybas acuminatus) . “Embryonic” Bloom Normally I expect blooms to fully develop from the bud within a few days. These orchids seem to take as much as two or 3 weeks, with the developing blooms reminding me of a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis

















A 4 hour guided tour on Ulva Island Open Sanctuary is part of the package when staying with Iris & Peter at Sails Ashore on Stewart Island. Visiting Ulva Island (Part of Rakiura National Park) really is an Island must do