Oban - Stewart Island New Zealand information. Stewart Island accommodation and hotel booking, travel, tours, activities and things to do. Events, maps and news for Stewart Island NZ.


Oban in Scotland is a port servicing the Hebrides and other western Scots Islands. The name means "Many Coves" in Gaelic. It applies equally well to Oban, Stewart Island.

Arriving by air or sea, Oban 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. Pride of place on the waterfront, however, goes to education, the Halfmoon Bay School.


Permanent population of Oban is less than 400. This number swells considerably over summer, as more than half the dwellings are holiday homes. When all the tourist accommodation is full, visitors almost out-number locals.


The Visitor Information Centre is in the building, on Main St. There are displays and videos about the Island. This is also where trampers (backpackers) check in before heading for the great outdoors.

Rakiura Museum is the place to visit for an insight into earlier days on the Island.

Booking Tours

You can book boat-trips and bus tours at the Stewart Island Flights Depot, the Ferry Terminal, "The Agency", or at "Stewart Island Travel" or "Oban Taxis & Tours" in Main St.


You won't wear yourself out on a Stewart Island shopping spree - there aren't enough shops. However you'll find all the essentials. "Ship to Shore" general store carries a good range of fresh food and grocery lines. There's the "Lettuce Inn" for fresh fruit and veges and "The Shoppe" for limited chemist (drugstore) lines.

Most shops have a range of souvenirs. Ten minutes walk from the "city centre" is "The Fernery", an art and craft gallery with an emphasis on natural history.

Dining Out

"Travel Inn Tearooms" provide light meals and takeaways. "South Sea Hotel" has a counter lunch as well as as their dining room. "Shearwater Inn" also take casual diners for evening meals at their licensed restaurant.

The Pub is the social centre for the Island. There's a range of fine ales and cider on tap, with a pool table and darts for recreation. You can also try a "wee dram" of the house, premium single-malt Scotch. It's Oban Whisky - all the way from our "sister city" on the other side of the world.

Stewart Island Lions Club

Lions International are the only major Service Club represented on Stewart Island. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month (except January) at 6:30pm at the South Sea Hotel. Visiting Lions are always warmly welcomed. Reception at the Hotel will put you in touch with Club Officers.

Postal Service

The NZ Post Agency is at the Stewart Island Flights Depot - a real "Air/Mail" Centre.

Money Matters

It pays to bring some ready cash, as no banks operate on Stewart Island. However, most businesses do accept EFTPOS, Visa, M/C and NZ Traveler's Cheques.

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