The birdlife in Oban is pretty special, but it pales next to that on the 2km-long, low Ulva Island – an open wildlife sanctuary that’s been cleared of introduced predators through sustained local effort. On a series of easy walks to secluded beaches you’ll see more native birdlife than almost anywhere else in New Zealand. The place is full of birdsong, its dense temperate rainforest alive with endangered saddleback, bellbirds, kaka, yellow- and red-crowned parakeets, tui, fantails, pigeons and robins, who approach visitors with fearless curiosity.

Everyone lands at Post Office Bay, whose former post office, over 100 years old, is a remnant from the days when Ulva Island was the hub of the Paterson Inlet logging community. Armed with DOC’s Ulva Island: Te Wharawhara booklet ($2), you can find your own way along trails, though naturalist guidance on one of the tours  means you’ll spot a lot more. There’s a pleasant picnic shelter beside the sand beach at Sydney Cove.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

New Zealand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Everything you need to know about backpacking New Zealand

Everything you need to know about backpacking New Zealand

New Zealand’s craggy coastline and beautiful national parks beg to be explored. The scenery gets more spectacular around every corner, with beaches, vineyards…

21 Nov 2017 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook