The cold season is upon us and sometimes it seems that our options are limited to inside activities, and epic movies binges. This is not the case of course. Winter is a time of rejuvenation for Akaroa and its people. The normally busy little town is tranquil, and that peace and solitude is welcome, both for the locals and the visitors, making it feel even more like a retreat than ever before. The cool weather and frequent rain feeds the native forest, and pasture, returning it’s lush vibrancy, and the wildlife prepares for the next breeding season, finding mates, socialising, breeding, and putting on winter weight.

Here are 3 activities you can do with Pohatu Penguins in Akaroa this winter:

  • 2 hour nature safari
  • Sea kayaking
  • An overnight farm stay

The 2 hour Nature Safari.

During this excursion you get to learn about the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna and Pohatu’s unique penguin conservation program. An experienced guide drives you up over the edge of the majestic crater rim, there is a stop at the top where you get to admire the view of the vast blue/green harbour below and the tall peaks that surround it. The air is brisk and fresh across those tussock highlands so take it in and enjoy. Then you descend into Pohatu Flea bay you get amazing views of farmland and forest from the warmth of the vehicle. When you arrive you will be shown what we are working on and you will get a chance to help monitor the nesting sites pre-breeding season. The White-Flippered Penguins are busy this time of year, coming and going, finding nesting homes and checking on sites they have already chosen, meeting a mate, socialising, occasionally squabbling over their chosen properties. It is a time of preparation for our little penguin friends. This is a short tour which allows you plenty of time to make the most of the beautiful, and peaceful winter-time Akaroa.

Akaroa crater rim

Sea Kayaking

Winter doesn’t always mean wild southerlies and foul weather on the peninsula. There are still plenty of opportunities to get out on the water and explore the shoreline. The seals, sea birds and occasionally larger sea mammals are still going about their business as usual. We try to take a page from their book and do the same. So wrap up warm and get on the water for an adventure, paddling the coastline of the Pohatu marine reserve with it’s ragged black volcanic rock, and rich bio-diversity.


Overnight Farm Stay

At Pohatu We offer overnight accommodation year round. You get your choice of accommodation depending on your groups numbers. It is comfortable, has unique character and charm, and linen is supplied. Winter, although a chilly time of year, is an amazing time to stay over at Pohatu. The streams are full (and in particular the waterfall up the valley is a glorious thundering spectacle). The penguins are loud and boisterous at night. The sheep are grazing the newly greened hillside, eating as much as they can in preparation for lambing. Over on your stay you will see a variety of sheep: perendale, coloured romney, and arapawa. You will get the opportunity to go on an evening tour with a guide, to see penguins socialising on the water at dusk. You will also join us to monitor some pre-season nesting boxes and help us gather the data we will need going into the forthcoming breeding season. If the weather permits then there is a chance of sea kayaking with a guide the next morning, so you’ll get to explore more of the area from the water and view the wildlife from a whole different perspective. It is a retreat into the wildside, where you can either relax, or have an adventure. The choice is yours.

Flea bay from the middle ridge-353
As you can see, winter is a vibrant time over in Pohatu, Flea Bay. It is both wild, and secluded. The air is fresh and cool on the face, invigorating. The pure lush green forest, freshly saturated by recent rains soothes the soul. What we love most is seeing the promise of new life just around the corner, from the raucous social calls of the penguins at night, to the happily grazing sheep, whose bellies are widening with the sign of lambs. Come and witness it for yourself. Pohatu is the place.