Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third largest island – a place of unspoiled beauty that sits 30 kilometres off the bottom of the South Island’s coast, across the wild waters of Foveaux Strait. Surprisingly, it is similar in size to Singapore and only 1% of the island is inhabited. The first time I visited the island – around ten years ago – I was amazed by its balmy climate. It can get cold of course, but it much less so than most people imagine. I was back there again in February and I had three days of perfect weather. It was great to have the time to roam about with my camera, exploring accessible parts of the island I hadn’t visited previously. And it’s always fun to hang out around the wharf – you’re never short of good photo opportunities on any wharf but at Stewart Island’s wharf, the action never stops.
It’s the only berthing place for the ferry that shuttles people to and from the South Island; its where the tourist vessels tie up; and it’s home to the numerous fishing vessels that frequent these waters. I got these shots of one of the crayfishing boats coming in to tie up. I was attracted to the rusty cray pots set against the brilliant blue-green water – lovely! The waters all around the island are incredibly clear and clean and most of the island’s population (around 360) are involved in either commercial fishing of some sort, or tourism. Given that so much of the island is now dedicated to Rakiura National Park (our newest national park), it’s also a magnet for hikers, bird watchers, and general adventurers. www.stewartisland.co.nz