Penguin Tours

2016-04-06 (2)
2016-04-06 (1)

Pohatu is the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Francis and Shireen Helps have worked over the last three decades protecting White-flippered Penguins (Eudyptula minor albosignata), Canterbury's own variant of Australasian Little Penguin, from introduced predators. Because of the sensitive wildlife habitat only guided groups are taken into the breeding colony to view the White-flippered Penguins.

The best time for penguin viewing is the breeding season between end of August to the end of December. Penguins moult through to mid February. There are also small windows of excellent viewing opportunities from early April to September when the birds return periodically from sea.

By spending time with us you are helping the preservation of these beautiful birds for future generations.

This is a wonderful option for people who wish to take part in our monitoring program of nesting sites during the tour as part of our conservation work. This gives you great insight into the life of a penguin and an opportunity to see the birds up-close.

Then, from our hides on the side of a hill using our camouflage gear and binoculars view Penguins undisturbed socializing on the water, and during the breeding and molting seasons a very high likelihood of penguins coming ashore below our hides.

There are two Evening tour options.

Option one: Scenic 4WD to Pohatu

This option includes pick-up at Akaroa with spectacular Scenic 4WD van ride to Pohatu with photo stop opportunities. Pet sheep will come running for treats.

This tour concentrates mostly on the Little penguin but other native and endemic wildlife may also be seen. e.g the Yellow Eyed Penguins who breed at the bay, New Zealand fur seals, oyster catchers, cormorants...

Tour length is approximately three hours returning after dark.
$75 per person
$55 child under 15 years 
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Note: The Evening penguin tour departure changes due to lengthening or shortening days so please check on the day our current departure time.

Option two: Self Drive Tour

Join the tour at the bay.

The road to Pohatu is a steep and narrow shingle road and recommended for 4WD vehicles only.
If you have a suitable vehicle you may join the tour at Pohatu. Allow 30 minutes drive from Akaroa.

Pre-booking is essential.
$40 per person
$25 child under 15 years
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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 Pohatu package 

Experience a night right in the middle of the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand! Our cosy Units or authentic colonial Cottage are available to enable you to spend more time at Pohatu/ Flea Bay and free time to relax and explore Pohatu´s many secret places. The accommodation is located within easy walking distance of our beautiful safe sandy beach.


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Pohatu Penguins - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Things to bring:

Good walking shoes or boots with good grip soles that can cope with a bit of mud in wet conditions. Please note the track can be demanding for some and can be slippery in wet conditions in the heavy penguin traffic areas we visit.  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 and some footwear can be provided for those who have inadequate footwear.

Bring warm clothing (some additional camouflage clothing will be provided).

Please note: 

In summer it is advisable to either eat before you come on an evening tour or bring some food with you as often restaurants will be closed on our return to Akaroa.
Over the winter months, booking available on enquiry only. This is because the penguins are not always there.
Photography welcomed but strictly no use of flash.
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  • Pohatu Package
  • Penguin Tours
  • Sea Kayaking Tours
  • Scenic Nature Tours

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Contact Us 

icon location Wildside Booking Office,
8/2 Rue Balguerie, Akaroa
New Zealand
icon phone 03 304 8542
icon mobile 021 246 9556
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