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.
Explore the outer coast of Pohatu Marine Reserve and marvel at its spectacular towering cliffs, rock stacks, reefs, and deep sea caves.
Flea Bay Island and the impressive island arch make an added exciting attraction in settled sea conditions.
Observe the diverse wildlife and marine species such as penguins, seals, various sea birds and possibly the world’s smallest dolphin!
Best of all, no experience necessary! Trips are only run in settled, safe conditions by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Your safety is our top priority.
Come with us on a 4WD safari to the spectacular, award-winning Wild Side Conservation area! Learn about the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna and Pohatu’s unique penguin conservation program.
Our Nature Safaris offer stunning views of Akaroa Harbour, the outer coast, farm land and forested hillsides. Be greeted by the farm’s, friendly pet sheep and see White-Flippered penguins as we monitor nesting sites.
If you’re lucky, you may even get the chance to see some of our rehabilitation efforts such as supplemental feedings and swim therapy.*
The 2 Hour Tour
Ideal for people on a day trip in Akaroa! Gives you the chance to learn more about Pohatu Penguins while still having time to explore our historic town. Everything mentioned above is included in the 2-Hour tour.
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.
Looking for an active day? Join us for a full day of adventure combining a morning hike through endemic ancient forest down our private walking track to Pohatu bay and join our sea-kayaking safari in the afternoon to encounter Pohatu marine reserve wildlife.
This is a perfect option for people who have a good level of fitness and wish to spend more time in Pohatu bay natural environment.
After being picked up in Akaroa by our booking office you will be transported by 4WD mini-van to the beginning of a 3 hours hiking trail (regular to relaxed pace). With a map and instructions from your guide you will, at your leisure, walk down part of the famous Banks Track through ancient red beech tree forest and tree ferns to Pohatu bay.
Along the way discover many waterfalls and listen to native bird songs and visit the prehistoric forest of Tutakakahikura scenic reserve with trees over 400 years old.
Once arrived at Pohatu bay you will have access to a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom facilities to relax, eat and get ready for the afternoon sea-kayaking safaris starting at 12.45pm.
What to bring:
A backpack for your belongings, clothes and lunch. Pack light as you will have to carry your own backpack down the Hiking trail.
Have it all including in of our overnight stay in our historic and cosy private rooms in the middle of the penguin colony! Enjoy the safe swimming beach just outside your door or explore the surrounding and secluded landscape.
Visit our Website: www.pohatu.co.nz/