1 Rankers Review
7 Halfmoon Bay
For those wanting to venture further afield into Rakiura National Park, Maori Beach is an excellent choice for a day walk, offering stunning scenery and plenty of local history.
Between 1913 and 1935 the Maori Beach area was a busy settlement with a school, along with several houses for workers from the Maori Beach Sawmilling Company. After the mill closed in 1931 (the last operating mill on Stewart Island/Rakiura ), people gradually drifted away. Today the area is peaceful and picturesque, with regenerating forest quickly hiding evidence of those earlier days. However, remains of a boiler and steam engine used by the mill can still be found, along with clumps of montbretia and bluebells – legacies from the sawmillers’ cottages.
A campsite for trampers is located at the beach, providing a small shelter, drinking water and a toilet, but not toilet paper. People intending to stay overnight must first purchase a pass from the RNPVC.
Directions: From Halfmoon Bay follow the Horseshoe Bay Road north for about an hour, until reaching Lee Bay Road. Turn left here, following Lee Bay Road until the end, which marks the start of Rakiura National Park and the track to Maori Beach and Port William hut. There are high tide tracks at Little River and Maori Beach (the Maori Beach high tide section can be muddy but the rest of the track beyond is gravelled and in good condition).
South Island ▷ Stewart Island ▷ Halfmoon Bay
6 hour return walk, lovely views, past beautiful beaches.