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Aurora Charters is owned by Colin Hopkins, a 5th generation Stewart Island resident and his wife Margaret. Daughter Emma is a nature guide and her partner Ty Jenkinson is skipper of the catamaran 'Aurora'. Their combined knowledge of natural and local history, plus a commitment to providing top quality service to clients, makes a day out on the 'Aurora' a memorable one.

'Aurora' on a scenic cruise  through Paterson Inlet Marine Reserve'Aurora'

The charter vessel 'Aurora' was launched in 2003. This is a purpose built charter boat and will comfortably seat 20 in the cabin. There are two toilets on board and tea and coffee making facilities to make your journey more comfortable.

'Aurora' is an aluminium 18 metre catamaran, powered by twin engine Scania 350 HP diesel engines for safety and cruises at 15 knots.

‘Aurora Australis’

The vessel ‘Aurora Australis’ was built to operate in Stewart Island waters in 2000. Mainly used as a cray fishing (lobster) vessel, the boat was also designed to operate as a charter boat in the summer. At 22 metres, she is the largest and most modern fishing vessel operating from Stewart Island.

The 'Aurora Australis' and the 'Aurora' moored at Stewart Island‘Aurora Australis’ has a large deck space with a small boat landing on the stern. It has a spacious galley and wheelhouse, seating approximately 12 people. There are 2 toilets and a shower room.

The vessel is powered by twin Scania engines of 426 HP (300kw) and carries 8000 litres of diesel fuel and 1200 litres of fresh water. Cruising at 15 knots, the vessel has a range of 1000 nautical miles.


‘Aurora Australis’ and 'Aurora' carry lifesaving gear for 50 passengers in sheltered waters and 25 in offshore limits including 25 person life rafts. Our vessels are covered by a Safety Management Policy approved by Maritime Management Services Ltd.

Our memberships


  • Member of the Marine Transport Association
  • Department of Conservation concession holder
  • Member of Birding Network
  • Member of Stewart Island Promotions
  • Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society