The Southern Islands Area has some of the most beautiful and fragile environments in New Zealand. It is home to the irreplaceable Subantarctic Islands where some of the last unmodified habitats and remnants of endemic wildlife species in New Zealand reside. The Auckland Island / Motu Maha Marine Reserve and marine mammal sanctuary, as well as the Ulva Island / Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve in Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island, also fall within the area's boundaries as does Rakiura National Park on Stewart Island. A management plan is presently being developed for Rakiura National Park which was established in 2002 making it the country's newest national park.
Stewart Island has only one population centre, Oban in Halfmoon Bay with about 380 permanent residents and about 55,000 visitors a year. The town is surrounded by bush, houses perch on the hillside among the trees and native birds swoop through the streets. The ability to enjoy and connect with nature is one of the island's most endearing features. This is largely thanks to a spirited bunch of locals who are bringing back the diverse birdlife by controlling predators in the urban area by extensive trapping on private land. It is this commitment to restoring the island's natural biodiversity which makes Stewart Island and its smaller offshore islands so appealing to visitors.
Ulva Island, a pest free sanctuary, is one of the area's most profiled islands with its native flora and fauna a draw card for many visitors who wish to experience the 250 hectare slice of primeval New Zealand. The Southern Islands area is well known for its island restoration work. Watched by conservationists around the World, the department carried out two major internationally significant conservation events on Campbell Island - the world's largest rat eradication project and the reintroduction of teal. However, on Stewart Island it is the eradication of marram grass at Masons Bay which has got the world talking. The scale of the project is unprecedented with no other country having attempted to remove this weed from such a large area.
Southern Islands Area Office
Phone: +64 3 211 2400
Fax: +64 3 214 4486
CUE on Don
33 Don Street
PO Box 743