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Akaroa Two Hour Nature Tour

Tour the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand
Akaroa, New Zealand
Duration
Duration
2 hrs 30 mins
Start & End Time
Start & End Time
Varies
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Not included
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
2
Meals
Meals
Not included
Start & End Location
Start & End Location
Akaroa

What's Included

  • Get up to $10 cash back per person when you book with us
  • 2-hour guided evening nature safari to get the unique opportunity to see Australasian Little Penguins in the wild
  • Enjoy a conservation walk & talk within the penguin habitat
  • Stop for photos of the stunning scenery along the scenic drive to Pohatu bay
  • Fully qualified guides providing commentary on the area & its wildlife inhabitants
  • Departs from the meeting point at 2/8 Rue Balguerie, Akaroa

What to Expect

Join an unforgettable evening adventure through Akaroa's spectacular natural scenery to meet its littlest residents! Along the way, learn about the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna and Pohatu’s unique penguin conservation program


This 2-hour 4WD nature safari takes you into the heart of the Pohatu Marine Reserve, home to the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. The family-run business has worked over the last three decades protecting White-flippered Penguins, Canterbury's own variant of Australasian Little Penguin, from introduced predators. Gain great insight into the life of a penguin and enjoy the chance to see these amazing birds up-close and in their natural habitat.

 

Take a breathtaking scenic drive over the Akaroa extinct volcano, enjoying stunning photo opportunities over Akaroa Harbour, the outer coast, and surrounding farmlands and forested hillsides. Discover tranquil Pohatu Bay and be greeted by the farm's friendly pet sheep before you set off for a walk around the penguin colony to monitor nesting sites and make sure that our Little Penguins are doing well.

 

Enjoy the unique opportunity to spot some of the penguins undisturbed from our hides, preening, resting and socialising on the water with provided binoculars and telescope. If you’re lucky, you may even get the chance to see some of our rehabilitation efforts such as supplemental feedings and swim therapy (late November to February). With night falling we have a high likelihood to see some penguins returning to shore and relaxing on the rocks before heading to their nests. Since they have to walk so far to feed their chicks, we leave before dark and leave them in peace.

 

As we rely on natural viewing for this colony, (we don’t use lighting), we usually have a window of opportunity just before night falls to view penguins coming ashore below our hides, but depending on Mother Nature and how the penguins feel, we can’t always guarantee they will come ashore before the tour ends. The best time for penguin viewing is the breeding season between the end of August to December. You can see moulting penguins in January and February, but starting the end of February through early April there won't be any penguins. There are also some windows of excellent viewing opportunities from mid-April to September when the birds return periodically from the sea. 

 

Where We Visit

  • Pohatu Bay

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Good walking shoes or boots with good grip soles that can cope with a bit of mud in wet conditions. The track can be demanding for some and can be slippery in wet conditions. We do our best to have a well-formed track in good condition as far as the viewing hides that most people can cope with
  • Bring warm clothing (some additional camouflage clothing will be provided)
  • Binoculars. Although we provide some, you might want to bring your own as we might not have one per person
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When living in an island nation like New Zealand, the weather is hard to predict and can quickly change; sunny one minute then pouring with rain the next and this even in the middle of summer. Offering outdoor activities, we may sometimes get rained on. We do not cancel our tours due to rainy days; it is just part of experiencing this wild country.

In saying that, all of our best wildlife viewing is usually when it's raining, especially on our Evening penguin tours.

Just remember to always bring a raincoat to New Zealand, just in case. We all hope for a beautiful sunny day but rain or shine our guides will give you an authentic New Zealand experience. In consideration of the above, no refund can be expected in the event of rain. A 10% service charge applies to all other cancellation refunds.

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  • Typically we depart 2.5 hours before sunset. This will vary depending on the time of year. See below for departure time ranges.

These times are rough estimates. Please call ahead to confirm the departure time.

January 7.30 - 7.00pm   July 3.00pm
February 7.00 - 6.15pm   August 3.30 - 4.00pm
March No tours   September 4.00 - 4.30pm
April 4.00pm   October 4.30 - 6.00pm
May 3.30pm   November 6.00 - 7.00pm
June 3.00pm   December 7.00 - 7.30pm
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Policies

Terms & Conditions:

  • Minimum age is 2 years
  • Photography welcomed but strictly no use of flash
  • The evening penguin tour departure changes due to lengthening or shortening days so please check on the day our current departure time

Cancellation Policy:

  • Cancellations within 24 hours of departure - 100% fees apply. Exceptions are made if the operator cancels the activity due to waterway, road or weather conditions

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