Island sights in New Zealand
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A refuge for sea birds and over 400 NZ fur seals 1km offshore, these rugged islets (Nga Motu in Maori) are eroded volcanic remnants. Most seals come here from June to October but some stay all year round. Learn more about the marine park at the tiny interpretation centre on the Lee Breakwater waterfront, or take a tour.
Ulva Island is a tiny paradise covering only 250 hectares. An early naturalist, Charles Traill, was honorary postmaster here. He would hoist a flag to signal that mail had arrived and hopefuls would paddle in from surrounding islands. His postal service was replaced by one at Oban in 1921, and in 1922 Ulva Island was declared a bird sanctuary. The air is alive with the song of tui and bellbirds, and you’ll also see kaka, weka, kakariki and kereru (NZ pigeon). Good walking tracks in the island’s northwest are detailed in Ulva: Self-Guided Tour ($2), available from the DOC visitor centre. Popular routes include Flagstaff Point Lookout (20 minutes return) and Boulder…