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“Way more than expected!”

Farewell Spit Eco Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Farewell Spit Eco Tours began in 1946 as the mail delivery to the lighthouse keepers on Farewell spit. Farewell Spit is a nature reserve and bird sanctuary. Summer home to wading birds from the Arctic and also a growing Gannet colony near the end. Our hand picked local guides love to share their knowledge with people from all over the world, many of whom return on subsequent visits to our country.
Kingsville, Canada
Level Contributor
226 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Way more than expected!”
Reviewed February 6, 2014

6 1/2 hours on a sand spit? Yes and the time flew by! Just an amazing trip to where few people go(because only this and one other operator are allowed on the Spit), the tour was made even better with our experienced guide John, very informative and lots of fun! Saw lots of migratory birds and fur seals up close but the big attraction is the sand! Wow!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Charlie499270
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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194 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
59 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Awe inspiring.”
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Being taken on a renovated Army vehicle to the Spit is magical. Driving along the beach viewing sea lions and the odd dead pilot whale in a stretch of sand 35km long is incredible. The tour provides you with a hot drink and a muffin and biscuit after arrival at the lighthouse which is all very nice but the knowledge shared by the driver is invaluable. You get a side trip to Cape Farewell if you pick up the tour in Collingwood…so worth the extra few dollars and a discount voucher at the Pub on your return.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Leanne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Well worth doing, good value, excellent guide!”
Reviewed January 21, 2014 via mobile

We booked the 4.5 hour afternoon tour from the gate at the Farewell spit reserve. The vehicle was a highly customised 4x4 truck, which was comfortable and very capable of getting us through any terrain as we found out later!

It had been a dream of ours to do this tour for a few years and it exceeded all expectations. Price per adult $120 and $50 per kid (8+10).

We saw 200mio old riverbed, got a rundown in geology, John knew every bird and landscapes out there are fantastic! We got to get out for many photo opportunities, so even our kids never asked for their iPods or food, which means something. At sunset we stopped at a huge dune and we all could slide down its steep face a few times. Great fun.

The muffins at the lighthouse keepers house were delicious. Fresh coffee, tea and water was on offer, too. Soft drinks were available for purchase.

The spit is about 27km long. This trip is like beach combing by bus. We found a dead whale, a willow tree, sandstorm shapes and lots of birds and seals everywhere. The dunes and the shapes and colours formed by the wind that day as well as our guides' very animated commentary were the highlights for me.

Highly recommend!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank germanmamacow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
245 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Dream day on Farewell Spit”
Reviewed January 16, 2014

We had the best weather for our trip to Farewell Spit, not a cloud in the sky & no wind, practically unheard of. The guide John was very interesting & knew a lot about the wildlife & the area. The trip did make for a very long day however, it's based on the low tide so there is only one trip a day & it is quite tiring so I would recommend staying nearby, we were staying in Pohara but we met some ladies on the trip staying in Nelson & we were running late coming back (about an hour late) & they faced a very long journey back to Nelson afterwards. I did get a bit sick of the wheelies on the beach (the driver kept turning in circles to show people things & I get carsick). Worth doing though as if you don't do a tour then you only have foot access onto the spit & only for about 2km walking, not allowed to walk along to the lighthouse (it's a long way!)

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank NaomiBUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Windy Farewell Spit”
Reviewed January 13, 2014

John, our driver, was an excellent guide, very well informed about the geology, the birds, seals and whales , the history of life on the Spit and the ecology of this very special wildlife reserve. The day was very windy, and a storm blew up at the end of the trip, so the birds we so hoped to see were mostly absent, sad to say. However, John was extremely hawk-eyed and made sure we saw everything there was to see. The stop for a toilet, tea and biscuits was very welcome There is no way of properly visiting the spit without taking a guided tour (it's not open to the general public), and this company is excellent.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Joan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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