Capturing the very best of the stunning Marlborough Sounds the half day ‘Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary Cruise’ nature experience. E-Ko Tours will transport you on a comfortable vessel into the midst of this fantastic scenery viewing numerous seabirds, dolphins and fur seals will accompany you on your journey while you are treated to a fascinating commentary from your skipper.
Your will join your cruise at Picton and head out into the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound on a scenic journey to Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary. The fantastic viewing area on our vessel allow you to enjoy the playful antics of the dolphins that visit this area, the Hector’s, which are the smallest dolphin and only found in New Zealand, the friendly Bottlenose and the playful Dusky’s. You will also encounter lots of pelagic seabirds and fur seals along the way and your skipper will give an outstanding commentary on the marine life, the environment and the history of the area.
Once you land on Motorua Island you have an hour to explore the island on your own or with our knowledgeable guide. This nature lovers paradise, a bush clad sanctuary and a predator free island is home to the rare saddleback, resident blue penguin, native pigeon, parakeet, cheeky robin and the melodic bellbird most of which are fearless, plentiful and very vocal. Climb up to the Cook Strait Lookout as the views are outstanding and once you are back on the boat, sit back and relax with a hot drink and some cookies as we head back to Picton visiting a working salmon farm on the way.
Cruise to Ship Cove and see where Captain Cook spent 171 days, he wrote this was the most beautiful place in the Pacific. This special place has information plaques in place which cover all the local information about Cooks time here.
For all the local stories listen to your experienced local Captain Guide who knows the stories of the Europeans and the local Maori. Here about what was to most imported traded items between Maori and European between 1770 -1779, listen to Kupe’s story ,Kupe arrived 72 generations ago at the same location, see where Captain Cook pulled his boat ashore for repairs, hear about Sir Joesph Banks amazing natural sciences work at Ship Cove and lots more.
We have been Guiding people here for 20 years with qualified guides and are the only company to offer daily guided tours to Ship Cove and other locations in this stunning scenic location.
While your their try the local creek which filters down t through the rain forest. Cook used this water to grow the first vegetables in New Zeland and also brew the first beer. It still tastes fantastic.
On the way stop with Seals, Dolphins, Seabirds and enjoy our qualified Guide and Captains commentary. We specialize in wildlife encounters and give you species Identification cards and your own binoculars so you can get involved. Amazing photos are possible on our specialised boats and our expert team will get you close to dolphins, seals, sea birds along the way.
We offer small group tours and are the only company with qualified Guides onboard our Cruises. Let our award-winning team give you the BEST experience possible for the 250 celebrations of Cooks arrival and the start of New Zealand culture.
On the return enjoy a glass of Yealands award-winning Pinot Gris and Sealords mussels or if you like Hot Chocolate, tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits.
Cruise with your Skipper-Guide to Kaipupu Sanctuary to enjoy a short walk and see beautiful regenerating native bush, native bird species and the best view in the lower sounds.
Then cruise over to a marine reserve and on the way get up close to seabirds species, seals. penguins while enjoying a glass of famous Pinot Gris from Yealands award-winning vineyard and some mussels from Sealords both sustainably produced local products.
Join us as we take you on an unforgettable (and fun!) whale and wildlife cruise. This small, fully guided group tour also encompasses a unique and little known part of NZ’s whaling history – and hopefully a few migrating whales in the Cook Strait.?
This all-encompassing tour is about more than whales – there is so much other precious wildlife to see. We can also see Albatross, Dolphins other pelagic seabirds in the famous Cook Strait. Our search area is in the sheltered inshore waters and were 90% of the whales have been seen from 1829. This location is the closest place in New Zealand migrating whales come to, due to the ocean currents, that’s why we just search.
On the way out or back in our calm waters we look for 5 species of dolphin, New Zealand Fur Seals, Albatross, Little Blue penguins, Gannets, Fluttering Shearwaters, Endangered King Shags and lots of other wildlife. As it’s a little cooler, on the way back we’ll also fill you up with hot chocolate, tea, coffee and chocolate chip biscuits or if you prefer, a sample of quality Pinot Gris and some Marlborough Green Shell Mussels.
Phone: + 64 3 573 8040