• West Ruggedy Beach. Photo: Rob Brown.
    West Ruggedy Beach. Photo: Rob Brown.
  • Mason Bay. Photo: Rob Brown.
    Mason Bay. Photo: Rob Brown.
  • Rugged Island. Photo: Rob Brown.
    Rugged Island. Photo: Rob Brown.
  • The Gutter-Mason Bay. Photo: Brent McKean.
    The Gutter-Mason Bay. Photo: Brent McKean.
  • Typical Stewart Island mud. Photo: Rob Brown.
    Typical Stewart Island mud. Photo: Rob Brown.
  • West Ruggedy Beach. Photo: Rob Brown.
    West Ruggedy Beach. Photo: Rob Brown.
  • West Ruggedy Beach. Photo: Rob Brown.
    West Ruggedy Beach. Photo: Rob Brown.
  • West Ruggedy Beach. Photo: Rob Brown.
    West Ruggedy Beach. Photo: Rob Brown.
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Stewart Island is the third-largest island of NZ. It lies 30km south of the South Island, across Foveaux Strait. Its permanent population is slightly over 400 people, most of whom live in the settlement of Oban.

Stewart Island has over 250km of walking tracks and its most famous and most beautiful walking track is the North West Circuit. This 10-12 day, 125km challenging hike can be quite demanding due to the often wet and muddy surfaces. Side trips to Mount Anglem and Rocky Mountain provide views across the Island.

If you don't have the time to walk the North West Circuit, the island's other famous walk is the Rakiura Track (39km/3 days/moderate). This will give you a good taste of what the island has to offer bushwalkers. For more info visit the website for NZ's Department of Conservation (DOC).

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