It sounds strange to say, but 2020 was a big year for a game first released back in 2016. Stardew Valley’s 1.5 updates added a plethora of new content and gameplay options to an already jam-packed experience. A new farm, split-screen local multiplayer, new events, and new minigames were among some of the great additions to this indie treasure.
But perhaps the most important new piece of them was introducing a new area to explore: Ginger Island. Ginger Island contains puzzles, a new farm, a resort, and even a new dungeon where you can fight enemies and search for rare minerals, gemstones, and artifacts.
A new NPC can also be found on the island. When I first began to explore Ginger Island, it felt like Eric Barrone had created a whole new vast experience to a game that was already nearly perfect.
If you’re looking to learn more about Ginger Island and explore all it has to offer, this guide can be your companion as you travel into the unknown. I’ve included all of the vital information you need to know about the island, its quests, and how to find those pesky Golden Walnuts. The skies are clear, and the water’s warm, so let’s explore Ginger Island together.
Bottom Line Up Front
- Ginger Island is the newest location to explore in the indie video game Stardew Valley.
- It was added to the game in its 1.5 updates, which were released on December 21, 2020.
- The addition of Ginger Island came with new NPCs, locations to explore, and quests to complete on the island.
- Collecting Golden Walnuts is key to unlocking all that Ginger Island has to offer.
Ginger Island Overview
Ginger Island is a location that was added to Stardew Vally as a large part of the game’s 1.5 updates. To reach the island and all of its new lands to explore, you’ll first have to help Willy with a little project: fixing his boat. Getting this quest requires completing all of the Community Center bundles first.
Completely repairing the boat means collecting a few items, all of which aren’t very difficult to come by. You’ll need 5 batteries to fix the ticket machine, 5 iridium bars to repair the anchor, and 200 hardwood to repair the hull of the ship. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to travel to Ginger Island freely.
You’ll dock at a wooden pier on the south side when you first arrive at the island. You can return to Pelican Town by simply boarding the boat again. Large turtles block the paths to the north and west, so your only option for progression is to the east into the jungle.
A couple of things will happen on your first venture into the jungle. You’ll find your first Golden Walnut here, which we’ll cover in more depth in the next section. You’ll also encounter Leo, the new major NPC that was added to Stardew Valley’s already extensive character list in the 1.5 updates.
After meeting Leo, the path to the north of the beach you arrived on will open up. You’ll follow a floating flame to the island’s volcano, which has a 10-floor dungeon inside of it. Reaching the end of the dungeon reveals the volcano’s forge, which can be used to combined rings and their effects. It can also be used to upgrade weapons and tools with the new Cinder Shards you’ll find throughout the volcano.
Ginger Island includes other new locations that will need to be unlocked or repaired by giving Golden Walnuts to the parrots living on the island. The significant areas include a new island farm, a beach resort on the south beach that Pelican Town’s residents can visit, and the dig site where you’ll find Professor Snail, another new NPC, trapped behind a boulder.
The island’s tropical environment means a whole new host of crops to cultivate as well. Crops introduced by the addition of Ginger Island include bananas, mangos, pineapples, ginger, and taro root.
Finally, Stardew Valley players who love to fish will be excited to know that the waters of Ginger Island have new fish to catch. You’ll find three new fish when you cast your pole into the ocean here: blue discus, lionfish, and stingray.
How to Access Ginger Island
Gaining access to Ginger Island can take a long time, mainly because you must complete all of the Community Center bundles first. Once you finish your final bundle, Willy will contact you. He explains that his old boat needs fixing up and asks that you help him out.
Gathering the materials to fix the boat isn’t difficult, but it is a little time-consuming. You’ll need to gather 200 hardwood, 5 iridium bars, and 5 battery packs to fix the boat’s hull, the anchor, and the ticket machine, respectively.
12 hardwood can be farmed daily in the Secret Woods if don’t have any mahogany trees on your farm, while battery packs are produced by lightning rods after storms, and iridium bars are made from iridium ore. Iridium ore can be obtained from geodes, or if you’re like me and came across the Statue of Perfection, you can receive 2 to 8 iridium ore each day.
Once the boat is all patched up, Willy will sail you to Ginger Island’s southern port for 1,000g. Now that you’ve made it to the island, the key to exploring it is finding Golden Walnuts, so let’s cover them next.
Golden Walnuts are essentially the currency of Ginger Island. They are used to open new paths on the island and rebuild structures like the island farmhouse and the resort on its south beach. There are 130 Golden Walnuts in total that you can collect on Ginger Island.
Finding Golden Walnuts is a bit tricky, given that there are multiple ways to come across them. They can be around the island by exploring, completing quests, fishing, digging, mining, and breaking crates in the Volcano Dungeon.
You’ll need to find at least 116 walnuts to be able to unlock everything that Ginger Island has to offer in the way of new content. If you’re having trouble locating more, the parrot inside Leo’s hut – located in the jungle – will give you hints about where to find more.
Unlocking Areas on Ginger Island
As mentioned before, collecting Golden Walnuts is the only way to unlock new and exciting areas on Ginger Island. It costs anywhere from 1 Golden Walnut to 20 Golden Walnuts to unlock all of the rewards available on the island.
The following list gives the rewards and how much they each cost, in the order that I believe is the best to unlock them (although some you won’t have a choice)
Reward Cost (Golden Walnuts)
- Ginger Island North 1
- Ginger Island West/Island Farm 10
- Island Farmhouse 20
- Island Dig Site 10
- Island Trader 10
- Island Resort 20
- Parrot Express 10
- Farm Obelisk 20
- Island Farm Mailbox 5
- Volcano Bridge 5
- Volcano 5th Floor Exit 5
After unlocking all of the rewards above, you will have some Golden Walnuts left over if you’ve collected them all. These can be given to Mr. Qi in Qi’s Walnut Room, located on the western side of the island and is opened once you collect 100 golden Walnuts. In exchange, he’ll give you Qi Gems. These can be used in the vending machine inside of Qi’s Walnut Room to buy items.
Important Ginger Island Locations
The volcano and its dungeon are the first significant areas of importance to explore once you reach Ginger Island. Some floors of the volcano dungeon are randomly generated, just like Skull Cavern in Calico Desert. When you first enter, you’ll need to use your watering can to cool some of the flowing lava to reach the stairs to the next floor.
On the 5th floor of the volcano dungeon, you’ll find a shop from which you can buy items. Continuing, you’ll eventually reach the 10th and final floor of the dungeon. This floor contains the forge, a contraption that can be used to upgrade your tools and weapons using the Cinder Shards you’ll find by mining throughout the dungeon.
You can also combine rings and change the appearance of your weapons, adding a new level of player customization to a game already well-known for it.
The volcano dungeon also introduces some new solid enemies to Stardew Valley. They all have high amounts of HP and can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time, so it’s best to enter the dungeon not only with your best weapons but food to stay alive and bombs to help quickly clear enemies if you happen to get surrounded.
The new farm located on Ginger Island is a fun addition to Stardew Valley that expands the crops you can grow and artisan goods you can make.
The farm is located on the western side of the island and is unlocked by spending 10 Golden Walnuts to move the turtle that initially blocks the path to the area. 20 Golden Walnuts repairs the farmhouse, so you don’t have to worry about traveling back to your original farm just to sleep and save your game.
The location itself has quite a lot of farmable land to grow the new crops found on Ginger Island, in addition to crops native to Stardew Valley. The list of new crops is as follows:
- Taro Root
Much like the greenhouse on your farm back in Pelican Town, any crop can be grown in Ginger Island’s warm environment. The most significant advantage that the island farm has over the original farm is that crows don’t appear on the island, so there’s no need to strategically place scarecrows to keep your crops from being eaten prematurely.
In addition to Ginger Island’s sizeable farm, the beach resort found on the southern beach is the other new area that initially excited me the most when first sailing to the island. When you first arrive, the resort is run down and in dire need of repair. This can be done for 20 Golden Walnuts.
NPCs from Pelican Town will travel to Ginger Island to enjoy the beach resort once it is restored to its former glory. Which characters will travel there on a given day is entirely random—speaking to NPCs when they come results in dialogue that is context-specific to the island and beach resort.
On days that Gus visits, he’ll run a bar at the beach resort where you can purchase tropical drinks to quench your thirst and restore some health and energy if you’ve recently visited the volcano dungeon. Two items – Piña Colada and the recipe for Tropical Curry – are exclusive to the beach resort bar and can only be purchased there.
This new area is similar to the quarry found in Stardew Valley. It is unlocked by repairing the broken bridge to the west of the Island Field Office for 10 Golden Walnuts.
You’ll find a boulder when you first arrive at the Dig Site. Professor Snail, a new NPC, is trapped behind it. You can destroy the boulder with a bomb to free him and unlock the Mushroom Cave. This cave can be checked daily for random mushrooms that you can sell or use for cooking.
After being freed, Snail will return to the Island Field Office. This means that you can turn in any fossils you find while mining bone nodes located in the dig site. You can also take the Island Survey by speaking to him, which offers different rewards of varying worth.
The pirate cove is located to the southeast of the beach resort. This area becomes accessible once you rebuild the resort. Pirates will visit the cove on days with an even number and on days when it isn’t raining. You can play darts with them and earn a Golden Walnut for winning up to three times.
The pools in the pirate cove are essential because they are the only area where a stingray can be caught. This is also the only place where you can fish up a Gourmand Statue, a piece of furniture that can be placed in your home. Sometimes, jellyfish will appear, but they are uncatchable.
The last cool thing about the private cove involves a pirate’s favorite thing next to treasure: booze. If you wear a pirate hat, eye patch, or deluxe pirate hat and visit the bar in the private cove, you’ll receive one free mead. This can only be done once a day.
Qi’s Walnut Room
Mr. Qi makes an appearance on Ginger Island in his Walnut Room. This room is unique, as you can check your “Perfection” rating here (the rating of how much of Stardew Valley you’ve completed), fulfill special requests from Mr. Qi, and a vending machine that allows you to exchange Qi Gems for other items. Collecting 100 Golden Walnuts unlocks this room on the next day.
Ginger Island NPCs
Leo is the first significant NPC addition to Stardew Valley since its release. He has a tragic backstory: he lost his parents at sea and now resides on Ginger Island by himself. Leo now thinks that the parrots who live on the island are his new family, in place of the family he lost.
Leo won’t speak to you when you first arrive on Ginger Island. Instead, he’ll run from the player until you eventually meet up with him in his hut in the jungle. Once you give 10 Golden Walnuts to any parrots on the island, Leo will finally consider you friendly enough to speak to you.
Befriending this wild child quickly requires a steady flow of duck feathers, mangoes, ostrich eggs, and poi. Once you reach 6 Hearts with Leo, he’ll move to Stardew Valley, where he’ll live in a treehouse to the west of Linus’ tent. He becomes friends with Linus and also the other two children in Pelican Town, Jas and Vincent.
Professor Snail is a minor NPC with a role similar to that of Gunther, the museum curator. When you first meet Snail, he’s trapped behind a boulder at the dig site. You’ll have to use a bomb or explosive slingshot ammo to blow up the rock and free him.
At that point, he returns to the Island Field Office. There you can turn in any fossils that you find in the dig site and complete a survey that results in various rewards. Professor Snail exchanges Golden Walnuts for the fossils you donate.
Birdie is an older lady who lives in a hut in the most western part of Ginger Island. If you speak to her, you’ll start a quest called The Pirate’s Wife. Birdie’s husband was a pirate captain before he went missing at sea, and this quest is essentially a long chain of gift-giving that ends with you receiving a locket that belonged to him. Returning the locket to Birdie will complete the quest, and you’ll be rewarded with a recipe for Fairy Dust and 5 Golden Walnuts.
The Island Trader appears once you buy the island farmhouse and then pay 10 Golden Walnuts to rebuild the trader’s stall. The trader isn’t a human but rather a bluebird with large eyes. You can exchange items for other items here instead of buying them with gold, just like the Desert Trader in Calico Desert. The Island Trader has both a permanent stock and a rotating stock.
Ginger Island doesn’t mark your first encounter with Mr. Qi, but the mysterious man plays an important role nonetheless. You can find him in Qi’s Walnut Room, which is unlocked after gathering 100 Golden Walnuts. Mr. Qi will give you challenges to complete that involve complex tasks, such as finding hidden Qi Beans to grow fruit that you have to ship 500 of or giving 50 “loved” gifts to the residents of Pelican Town.
In a cave in the northwest corner of the island farm, a large frog is waiting for someone to grow certain crops that used to grow on the island. When speaking, the frog’s dialect and ambiguity can make it challenging to figure out which crop he’s talking about, but the crops themselves are quite common.
You can fulfill the Gourmand Frog’s request by growing at least one ripe plant of the following crops in this order: melon, wheat, and garlic.
Best Ginger Island Items and Resources
Bananas in Stardew Valley are super profitable to grow, and their addition in the 1.5 update takes the game’s crop list in a more tropical direction. They are grown from banana trees, which take 28 days to grow from banana saplings to trees.
You can purchase banana saplings from the Island Trader for 5 dragon teeth, or you can find them from opening Golden Coconuts. You’ll also receive one as a reward for completing the Large Animal collection of fossils at the Island Field Office.
This refreshing-looking drink is a new addition to Stardew Valley. However, you can only buy one from the bar located in the beach resort on Ginger Island.
The beach resort can be repaired for 20 Golden Walnuts. Once open, the bar will be available when Gus visits the island to run it. A piña colada can be used as a healing item in dungeons as it restores 75 energy and 33 health, but there are more effective options available – save these for relaxing on the beach.
The addition of Ginger Island to the world of Stardew Valley brought with it three new fish, my favorite of which is the stingray. This elusive creature can only be caught in the waters of the Pirate Cove area of Ginger Island. An iridium-quality stingray caught with the Angler perk taken can be sold for 540g.
The warm, tropical setting of Ginger Island can be brought to your farmhouse in Stardew Valley with the line of island-themed furniture offered by the Island Trader. My favorite set is the tropical TV, a golden-tinted television seated on a stand made from sticks and palm leaves with grass growing on top of it. This furniture set includes multiple pieces, so you can turn your Stardew Valley home into a second island paradise if you get tired of farming on Ginger Island.
Collecting cinder shards is key to operating the forge found on the final level of the volcano dungeon. They are used to combine rings, customize weapons with certain gemstones, and grant special enchantments to your tools and weapons. Galaxy and Infinity versions of weapons are also made using these reddish-pink crystals. Mining cinder shard nodes can find them in the volcano dungeon.
Question: Where is Ginger Island?
Answer: Ginger Island is part of a chain of islands called the Fern Islands. The cutscene that plays when you travel to Ginger Island shows the location to be somewhere to the south of Stardew Valley.
Question: When does the mermaid appear?
Answer: The mermaid appears on a rock in the ocean near the southeast beach of Ginger Island. The maid and the stones that are key to solving her puzzle only appear on rainy days.
Question: How do I get Golden Walnuts from the mermaid?
Answer: Journal Scrap #9 mentions a mermaid sighting by a beach in the rain. The beach the note refers to is the beach near the pirate cove. You’ll need to rebuild the beach resort to access the southeast portion of Ginger Island, which is where the mermaid can be found.
On this part of the beach, you’ll find five areas with rocks where you need to place flute blocks. A flute block can be made after getting the recipe from Robin through her 6 Heart event. Once you have five, place one directly under each of the rock clusters on the beach.
Next, you’ll have to tune the flute blocks according to the rocks in the rock cluster above each one. You can tune a flute block by clicking on it. A small rock equals 1 click, while a big rock equals 5. Tune the block, then run across them, starting from the left. This plays the Mermaid’s Song, which results in a reward of 5 Golden Walnuts.
Question: Will the Ginger Island update be released on mobile platforms?
Answer: At the time of the writing of this guide, update 1.5 has yet to be released on mobile platforms. However, the update is coming sometime in the future. In a post made to the Stardew Valley development blog by the developer on July 6th, 2021, it is explained that the mobile port is taking longer because he had to find a new person to port the update.
Question: How do I get ginger from Ginger Island?
Answer: Ginger grows in the wild all over Ginger Island. To harvest it, you must dig it up with a hoe. Occasionally, the tiger slimes found in the volcano dungeon will drop ginger after being defeated.
Eric Barrone, the developer of Stardew Valley, didn’t have to go and add a whole new location to an infinitely replayable video game, but I’m certainly glad he did. Ginger Island has an entirely different vibe from the rest of Stardew Valley, from its tropical setting to the killer music of the volcano dungeon.
If you haven’t had the chance to explore the island yet, I hope this guide gives you a good insight into the different locations you’ll find yourself in and the characters you’ll meet along the way.
It takes a while to reach Ginger Island if you’re just starting a new game, but all of your efforts become worth it once Willy pulls the boarding plank and you set sail. To all the farmers just pulling into Ginger Island’s port, happy adventuring and have fun!