Over the past twenty year both access to and the island has changed. Closed on Sunday is a thing of the past, and now a day trip (any day) is a consideration, at a minimum, is now a must. From wickipedia a brief historic insight:-
“Captain Cook was the first European to sight the island in 1770, but he thought it was part of the South Island so named it South Cape. The island received its European name in honour of William W. Stewart, who was first officer on the ship Pegasus, which visited from Port Jackson, Australia in 1809 on a sealing expedition. Stewart charted the large southeastern harbour which now bears the ship's name (Port Pegasus), and determined the northern points of the island, proving that it was an island. He made three further visits to the island from the 1820s to the 1840s.”
Stewart Island is now increasingly gearing itself to tourism. The Island is still a fishing and mutton bird industry, but the island has a lot to offer for the day tourist. Not perfect yet but getting there.
There are numerous tourist activities, and the one hour ferry excursion from Bluff adds to the anticipation the day brings.
Be sure to visit Stewart Island