Pohatu Penguins offers adventure & wildlife tours and packages to explore Akaroa’s diverse landscape. The tour options all visit Pohatu Marine Reserve in a small coastal bay nestled between dramatic volcanic headlands on Banks Peninsula, home to the largest Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand.
Francis and Shireen Helps have protected the Penguins on their property for more than three decades and have won recognition in a number of awards for penguin and habitat conservation. Because of the sensitive wildlife habitat only guided groups are taken into the breeding colony to view the White-flippered Penguins.
After a 4WD van trip and stunning photo stops en route you will discover Pohatu Marine reserve & the Helps Sheep and cattle property which is also the largest Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand nesting site.
Our penguin viewing is of a natural undisturbed colony, you will see penguins up close as artificial nest boxes are monitored, you will see them socializing on the water and see the first groups coming ashore under our hides just before darkness forces our retreat.
As Yellow Eyed Penguins breed at the bay they are often seen on the tour. The operator has a penguin permit to care for sick or injured penguins.
We offer three sea-kayaking options which can be mind blowing in the right sea conditions. The outer coast of Pohatu Marine Reserve is spectacular with towering sea cliffs sculpted through the ages by the sea into rock stacks, reefs, and deep sea caves. Flea Bay Island and the impressive island arch make an added exciting attraction in settled sea conditions.
Pohatu Marine Reserve also has diveres wildlife with many marine species such as Penguins, several seal colonies and is often visited by Hectors Dolphins and a great range of sea bird species.
These tours offer a scenic 4 WD adventure over one of the highest passes on Banks Peninsula including photo stops. It enables you to experience the spectacular and dramatic scenery from crater rim of ancient Akaroa Volcano to volcanic coastal cliffs and Akaroa heads reserve & Lighthouse. Enjoy the beautiful view over Akaroa Harbour and the endless Pacific Ocean! Conservation projects for protection of penguins, lizards and insects can be seen as well as the beautiful red beech forest of Tutakakahikura Scenic Reserve with five species of tree ferns. Great for the keen birdwatcher or photographer.