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New Zealand is always thought of as a country of two islands, one north
and one south, but there is a third: Stewart Island.
Sitting quietly beneath the South Island across Foveaux Strait is Stewart Island also known as Rakiura in Maori. This translates as "Glowing Skies", a reference to the island's beautiful fiery sunsets and the aurora australis (Southern Lights) that are sometimes seen at this latitude.
Stewart Island is a place of surprising contrasts. It is New Zealand's third largest island with a land area of 2000 square km and of this Rakiura National Park occupies an incredible 85%.
Despite its size it has a population of fewer than 400 friendly locals and only 25 km of roads and although it is firmly planted in the far south of NZ, the surrounding ocean maintains a very mild climate.
So much space, so few people and temperate weather has preserved Stewart Island as an almost untouched wilderness teeming with native flora and fauna.