Get Involved

Get Involved Tour

Photo opportunities
Fully experienced guides
Your tree to plant
Natural environment

Step back in time and discover what New Zealand used to look like with short walks through a prehistoric native habitat, 400 year old Beech Trees, immense Tree Ferns, all while listening to beautiful native birdsong.

Make your mark in the history of our newly established “Mable Hope Reserve” by planting your own unique tree and thus helping with the regeneration of our native habitat.

Stunning scenic drive over an ancient volcano guided by an experienced guide, you will gain an insight into the importance of New Zealand's native forest and discover some of the vital connections made with our native wildlife.

The conservation efforts by this farming family over the years has helped the penguins thrive but they have also planned their farming practices around balancing economy and ecology in order to protect the biodiversity found in their backyard. Pōhatu Bay is a perfect mix of a working sheep farm, a penguin colony and native forests.

The Helps family have dedicated 40% of their 1000 acre property to bush reserves, which have been turned into covenants of native vegetation protected legally in perpetuity. And it is in this 40% that we get you to help us restore the land to what it would have looked like 700 years ago before us humans changed everything.

We are aiming to create a beautiful place not just for us but also for our native birds, lizards, insects and future generations to enjoy. 

Tour includes
  • 4WD transportation by 4WD minibus to and from Pōhatu Bay on some of Banks Peninsula's back country roads,
  • Be welcomed by a rare sheep breed that can be hand fed,
  • Walk through an ancient forest,
  • Plant your own tree,
  • A conservation walk and talk within the penguin habitat,
  • Monitoring of penguin nesting homes to check on the colony (in season),
  • Afternoon tea with homemade baked goodies.
  • 12.30pm departure
  • Scenic drive, photo stops and commentary
  • 1.15pm short walk into Tutakakahikura Scenic Reserve
    • 20 minutes or so to discover a remnant piece of bush to talk about what New Zealand used to look like and get an understanding of what we are trying to achieve.
    • Partly self-guided longer walk can be organised (30 to 40 minutes)
  • 2pm at Flea Bay with the friendly pet sheep
  • 2.15pm penguin nature talks and short walk to monitor nesting site(s)
  • 2.45pm native tree planting in a specific zone allowing clients and future friends or family members to come and check on the same tree.
    • The importance of the regeneration of a forest,
    • Different sort of trees and their impact/relationship on wildlife
    • Comparison between the remnant forest Tutakakahikura and Mable Hope Reserve.
  • 3.30pm tea and coffee
  • 4.30pm back in Akaroa.
Get Involved tour
This tour is run on the first Saturday of each month so make sure to get your seat today.


Child 5 to 15 years old*


Family price: 2ad and 2ch


What to bring
  • Good walking shoes or boots with good grip soles that can cope with a bit of mud in wet conditions.
  • Bring comfortable clothes that you would not mind maybe getting dirty.
  • Working gloves
  • Water and sun protection
Pōhatu Penguins - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
Only in Akaroa for the day?

If you do not have the time to stay late or overnight in Akaroa, consider our Scenic Nature tours that would allow you to see penguins up close in nesting sites.


Check out also our 24 hour Pōhatu package 
Experience a night right in the middle of the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand! Our cosy units are available to enable you to spend more time at Pōhatu Bay and free time to relax and explore Pōhatu´s many secret places. The accommodation is located within easy walking distance of our beautiful safe sandy beach.