Oban, Halfmoon Bay, Stewart Island
Oban is the principal settlement on Stewart Island, the southernmost inhabited island of the New Zealand archipelago and shows as a dot on the map (if it appears at all). Don't be fooled. Stewart Island is large, 64 km long, and 40 km across (at its widest point). It has a 700 km coastline, but there are only 20 km of roads!
Oban is located on Half Moon Bay and presents a vista of picturesque bays and coves. Houses nestle amid lush vegetation. The few buildings of the "Commercial Sector" are all within a five minute walk of the wharf, and each other.
You won't walk round the Island in a day. Even ten days tramping only skirts the northern third. Few people can claim to have seen anywhere near the whole of Stewart Island.
Terrain is rugged. Stewart Island is made of granite, some of the oldest rock in New Zealand. A wide range of minerals are present, though not in commercial quantities. Tin was mined at Port Pegasus for a few years in the 1890's. There's black iron sand on some beaches, others are white with quartz or red with garnet. Most beaches are gold, sparkling in the sun. Don't bother bring a gold-pan though - it's mainly "fool's gold"!
Paterson Inlet almost cuts the Island in half. This large expanse of water is popular for boat-trips and recreational fishing and diving.
Things to See and Do
* Ulva Island
* Scenic Flight of the Island
Cruise Season – Nov - Apr
Currency – NZ Dollar (NZ$)
Language – English & Maori
Land Area – 1,746 km² (Stewart Island)
Population – 405 approx
Electricity – 2 angled pins and 1 flat pin centred below Australian style
Time – GMT plus twelve hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 64
Port Location – The port is located approximately 5 minutes walk from the Oban township.
Transport Links – A regular passenger ferry service runs between Bluff and Oban.
There is an air link by Stewart Island Flights from Ryan's Creek Aerodrome to Invercargill Airport. Planes also land on the sand at Mason Bay, Doughboy Bay and West Ruggedy Beach.