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our projects

In September 1999 the Ulva Island Charitable Trust was formed by a group of dedicated Stewart Islanders to champion a one-off project to replace old muddy paths at Ulva Island with the gravel walking tracks you see today

This group of dedicated volunteers provided (in conjunction with the Department of Conservation) approximately 4.5 kilometres of well-maintained gravel walking track, seating areas and toilet facilities to enhance the experience for visitors so that a truly primeval paradise could be enjoyed at Ulva Island.

Inspired by this achievement, more than two decades later the Trust continues to play an important role in fund-raising not just for the upkeep of Ulva Island but its continued biosecurity protection.  The Trust's projects include species translocations, conservation research projects as well as funding materials for DOC and volunteers in order that this unique island retains its predator-free status and remains open to the public.

The Ulva Island self-guide booklet contains a wealth of information and makes the perfect companion if you are visiting Ulva Island independently.  From past to present, it will guide you gently around Ulva Island, showing the birds and plants you may see, the walking tracks, all in an affordable and easy to carry booklet. 

Launched in 2004 to educate and enhance visitors' enjoyment of Ulva Island, the booklet was updated and re-published in March 2014 with a new section about orchids and some fabulous new photographs.  In November 2019 it was again updated and re-published with the Ulva Island Charitable Trust's new, more modern Kakariki logo.

The self-guide booklet makes a lovely souvenir and is available from:

  • Post Office Bay Wharf at Ulva Island (please put money in honesty box)

  • Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre, Main Road, Stewart Island

  • Rakiura Charters & Water Taxi booking office, Main Road, Stewart Island

  • Oban Visitor Centre (The Red Shed), Elgin Terrace, Stewart Island

Ulva Island self-guide booklet

The Ulva Island Charitable Trust has supported Gadget the rodent detector dog since May 2014.  Gadget lives at Stewart Island with her handler and is a member of the New Zealand Conservation Dogs Programme.  Some of her training to be a predator detection dog took place at Ulva Island.  Gadget is trained to indicate the presence of rodents (her target species) without catching or harming them.  The Ulva Island Charitable Trust is delighted to fund some of Gadget's costs to help keep Ulva Island predator-free.  Read about Paws4Conservation and "Gadget Tails" blog.

Gadget the rodent detector dog, photo by Matt Jones

The Ulva Island Charitable Trust financed the upgrade of toilet facilities on Ulva Island in 2009.

In 2008 the Ulva Island Charitable Trust funded the printing of the Ulva Island Avian Research Programme booklet.  The University of Otago in collaboration with the Department of Conservation's Stewart Island office and the Ulva Island Charitable Trust, is investigating the role of inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity in island re-introduction programmes, as part of a long-term study of Stewart Island Robins and South Island Saddlebacks on Ulva Island.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Ulva Island's rat-free status, the DVD "Primeval Paradise" was released in 2007.  In conjunction with the Natural History Unit of New Zealand, the Ulva Island Charitable Trust produced this spectacular high definition DVD about Ulva Island bird life.  Filmed by Scott Mouat and distributed by Elwin Productions, this riveting film gets up close to birds and plants in their natural environment. 


The DVD has been discontinued and is no longer available for purchase.

Ulva Island avian research programme
Primeval Paradise DVD cover

In 2006 gave Stewart Islanders the chance to see a kakapo on Ulva Island.  Many organisations and individuals were involved in creating and hosting the "Kakapo Encounter" and the Ulva Island Charitable Trust was, and continues to be, very grateful for the support it received.  Successive years saw the popularity of the "Kakapo Encounter" grow, with the final "Kakapo Encounter" in 2009 being the most successful.  Sirocco proved a popular ambassador for the Kakapo Recovery Programme, boasting visitors not just from Southland and New Zealand, but all over the world coming to see this most endearing, flightless, nocturnal parrot.

Sirocco the Kakapo at Ulva Island in 2006
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