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Mason Bay is a stunning 14 kilometre crescent of sandy beach on the west coast of Stewart Island.
Only accessible on foot, or by plane with a very exciting landing on the beach, spending at least a couple of days out in this wilderness gives you a feeling of real peace and isolation and a true sense of perspective.
After a water taxi trip up Freshwater River to Freshwater Landing, a walk of around 6 hours will take you through manuka groves and across marshland (on boardwalks) towards Mason Bay. On the way, you are likely to find evidence of kiwi in the form of footprints and there may even be a surprise daytime sighting.
After "checking in" at the Department of Conservation hut, which is home for the night, you will head off in search of kiwi, exploring the vast inland dune system on the way down to the beach.
The trip can be done as an overnight but 3 days and 2 nights is best as this gives you a full day to walk through the dunes, climb the 150 metre high Big Sandhill and enjoy hours of beachcombing without a soul in sight.
And whilst walking in is the best way to arrive, you have to walk out exactly the same way and this can be tough going so a beach pick up by Stewart Island flights is definitely the best way to complete the adventure.