Hear it from the people that came on the tour.
Evening penguin tour:
Much more than viewing penguins - a look at how one family can make a difference in the natural world
Personal tour of a special locations where little penguins are being protected in their natural environment. The family who started and maintain the habitat have a fascinating story of how a few people can make an impact to protect a vulnerable species. Be prepared for spectacular views while being driven along one-lane mountain roads. Rain/weather gear provided for the evening stroll to visit the penguin breeding boxes and penguins coming to shore at the end of the day. Not sure what the viewing would be in other seasons.
An Akaroa must do!
Went there with a friend and all of her family that were visiting from the US and everyone absolutely loved the experience. The place is stunning and what they have done for the penguins is very impressive. Saw lots of little blue penguins, a yellow eyed penguin and lots of farm animals. It was great to see all the conservation work they do such as trapping of invasive species, setting up nest boxes and rehabilitation of injured/sick penguins. The guide (Kevin) provided great science-based information all in a charming and educational way! Totally recommend it!
This is the second time I have been and both time's I have loved it - 100% recommend
It is incredible the work you do to help protect the penguins and increase their numbers, allowing us the privilege to view them in the wild. It is the second time I have been and look forward to visiting again when I next get back to Akaroa. I would highly recommend this experience.
Thank you for the amazing experience we encountered on our tour. This is definitely one of the picks for a real NZ experience. Thank you Kevin and the team for letting us partake at such a late time of year. Well worth it and comes highly recommended.
Had a really amazing time with the Pohatu team! We did the sea-kayaking and could enjoy the bay, the cliffs, the penguins resting on the rocks and the seal swimming close to us!
Then we did the Evening penguin tour with a close encounter with the White flippered penguin, especially with Marco (penguin in care at the time). it was amazing to see these cute penguins so close!
I had so many questions (maybe too many) but my guide, answered everything!
Great views on Akaroa during the way, and really interesting to see the penguins coming back to the bay during the sunset!
Highlight of our cruise
Our Kayaking Safari at the Pohatu Penguin Habitat, Flea Bay was such a fantastic experience, I would recommend it to anyone visiting Akaroa. Our cruise ship arrived in port and tendered, the weather was appalling and the tenders were late arriving to shore, but Kevin was patiently waiting with a large sign at the end of the wharf. (...) Benoit took us on a wonderful scenic drive to the Habitat, stopping at viewpoints and informing us about the area. He is a really wonderful enthusiastic tour guide. We arrived at the Habitat and were given full instructions and necessary clothing and equipment for the Kayaking tour. (...) As soon as we set out in the kayaks a seal swam over for a nosy, and our tour continued for around 1.5 hours in the bay and we saw lots of seals, birds and penguins. Benoit continued to give lots of information about the habitats and was always mindful of our safety. The sea was rough out of the bay and there was some swell, and even though we were inexperienced kayakers we always felt extremely safe. We were the only people Kayaking in the bay, and it was a wonderful experience. Once back on shore we even had the privilege of seeing an adult penguin and two babies in a nesting box that Benoit showed to us. It really was a wonderful half day, and a highlight of our cruise.
A fantastic adventure and a perfect start if you want to explore NZ. Unbelievable beautiful views from cliffs, a great bush walk, tree ferns, waterfalls, birds, the sheep farm and on top the fantastic penguin tour, I would give a 6th stars.
The overnight stay is an incredible experience!
This is eco-tourism at its best! The overnight stay with Pohatu Penguins is totally worth experiencing and the family and staff who run this operation should be commended (and they have been, by the NZ government) for all their efforts to provide sanctuary and education about the little blue penguins that make their home on their farm. The money they raise from their tours and overnight stays are what pay for all the conservation efforts (no help from the government) and they do tremendous work.
The overnight stay includes a bit of a scenic driving tour from Akaroa to Flea’s Bay where the farm is located. We stopped a few times to take in the views of Akaroa and Banks Peninsula, the Akaroa Head scenic reserve (this involved a short walk), and to view some weta. My guide for the drive was Luke, who was very informative about the area and the conservation work that he does with Pohatu. Then he dropped me off to complete a short hike to the cabin where I would be staying. The trail is on the family’s property and includes two waterfalls. The track itself reminded me a bit of the Milford Track in terms of some of the vegetation I saw. It’s also a bit of a slippery track in some places so good hiking shoes and even trekking poles are essential. Towards the end, the track opens up into farmland and sheep graze right beside you (sort of, they’re skittish) as you make your way to your cabin. The farm also has its own little beach where I encountered a seal resting and oyster catchers creating a ruckus. I had breakfast at that little beach in the morning before kayaking (additional option to the overnight stay, dependent on weather).
In the evening, I joined the last penguin tour group that was driven in and we were given a very educational talk about the little blue penguins and the conversation efforts to help them. We viewed penguins up close from the nests that were built to protect them and we viewed them along the shoreline as they were coming in from the water. The whole thing lasted until it got too dark to see without lights.
The cabin I stayed in had electricity (I think one of them runs on solar power) and I had it all to myself. It was equipped with a stove, microwave, small fridge, and dishes. You have to bring your own meals. The shower and toilets were located a short distance away. Sheep and penguins sleep all around you outside. The surrounds were very quiet until 2am in the morning when I was awoken by loud squawking. Turns out it was the penguins nesting next to and underneath my cabin who were calling out to their mates! Once I found that out the next day, I didn’t even mind being woken up by them. How often can you say you stayed in a cabin above rare little blue penguins?
I ate breakfast on the beach (my own private beach that morning) and then we went kayaking. Ben was our guide, very cool, obviously loves his job and the area. We spotted more penguins on the rocks surrounding the bay and also some seals. No Hector’s dolphins, unfortunately. If you’ve never kayaked before, trying it here at Flea Bay is not a bad way to go, it was actually very easy and the waters do most of the work for you. My only regret is that I didn’t bring my waterproof camera so I could take some pictures while out on the water. If you don’t kayak or the weather doesn’t cooperate, then you can just relax until it’s time to head back to the main office in Akaroa.
Overall, enough good things can’t be said about the experience and if I ever make my way back to New Zealand, I would definitely book an overnight trip here again.
2 hour Nature tour:
Environmental Penguin Expedition
Akaroa is a wonderful place; you can have fun just walking on the wharf. If you want more than fun and really want to learn about New Zealand, and want to see penguins up close, feeding, swimming, living, go on this wonderful tour. We also saw dolphins, fed sheep, had an excellent guide passionate about her family's commitment to New Zealand land and sea. Just the drive over the top of the hills overlooking the sea, coves, and bays is worth the price of this excursion.
A very special conservancy experience!
We found this opportunity on Trip Advisor as an alternative to a big cruise-ship run shore excursion, and could not have been more pleased! We were picked up in a 4WD van by the conservancy owners' daughter and, along with about six others, drove up and over the peninsula top to Flea Bay. She was very knowledgeable and friendly. When we got to her parent's home, she called out for the sheep to come - and come they did! We fed the sheep, and then got to watch as she hand fed whole herring to the rescued baby blue and white-tipped penguins. They have about 1600 breeding pair of penguins in the area and have built hundreds of penguin nesting boxes to aid in their reestablishment. There were some molting adults in boxes to view also. She also explained the need to eradicate invasive predatory mammals such as weasels and possums and showed us traps. Also on site is part of a larger walking trail and cabins for hikers who schedule overnight accommodations.
Full Scenic Nature Safari:
We took a half day tour with Kevin as our guide. He was really fun to be around with. Always excited and bubbly! The conservation work they do is truly impressive and is a must if you are traveling there. We got really up close with the penguins which was a pleasant surprise. There was so much we learnt from him with regards to the wildlife in Akaroa as well as the rich history behind this little town. Would truly recommended this tour! thank you guys!
A wonderful Eco cultural experience in Akaroa
From the careful nurturing of baby penguins, to the sweeping gorgeous scenery and the amazing fresh baked treats with tea, this was an unforgettable experience which was surmounted by the selfless and dedicated work of this environmental group. Would highly recommend this tour!
And many more on Tripadvisor: