|the third largest island of New Zealand, in the SW Pacific off the S tip of South Island. Pop: 387 (2001). Area: 1735 sq km (670 sq miles)|
third largest island of New Zealand, in the southwest Pacific Ocean off the southern tip of South Island. Roughly triangular and measuring 45 by 25 miles (70 by 40 km), the island has a total land area of 674 square miles (1,746 square km). It is generally hilly (rising to 3,215 feet [980 m] at Mount Anglem), wooded, and windswept, and its 102-mile (164-kilometre) coastline is deeply creased by Paterson Inlet (east), Port Pegasus (south), and Doughboy and Mason bays (west). The numerous, small Mutton Bird Islands lie close offshore. Stewart Island was seen (1770) by Captain James Cook, who thought it was a peninsula of South Island. This initial description was disproved in 1809 by a survey conducted by Captain William Stewart, one of the many whalers and sealers who visited the island at that time.
Learn more about Stewart Island with a free trial on Britannica.com.