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“gliding down the Opawa River was a magical experience”

Driftwood Retreat & Eco-Tours
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$161.45*
and up
Half-Day Wairau Lagoon Tour from Blenheim
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Driftwood Retreat & Eco-tours brings you close to nature in the peaceful Wairau Lagoon, South of Picton. Stay at the cosy eco-lodge by an eight hectare wetland. Book a guided tour by kayak or van into the heart of the nearby lagoon where 92 species of bird has been identified. Hear about the human and natural history of the area by your friendly guide. All tours are complimented with homemade cooking.
Reviewed March 13, 2012

I shared a double kayak with my husband to paddle down the Opawa River. We had viewed the river from on land at the lagoons but being actually on the water was wonderful.The eveining was calm and the birds on the sandbanks were great up close.
Will set the scene before we started and was a good "host " and guide.
I would recommend anyone to go on one of Will's tours and I am sure that they will not be disappointed.

Thank Jay B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"kayak tour"
in 16 reviews
"bird life"
in 33 reviews
"double kayak"
in 7 reviews
"local history"
in 13 reviews
"kayaking experience"
in 6 reviews
"home baking"
in 7 reviews
"nature lovers"
in 3 reviews
"apple spice cake"
in 3 reviews
"memorable trip"
in 3 reviews
"new zealand"
in 19 reviews
"sand bar"
in 2 reviews
"novice kayakers"
in 2 reviews
"special lunch"
in 2 reviews
"outdoor adventure"
in 2 reviews
"morning tea"
in 7 reviews
"enjoyable morning"
in 2 reviews
"sheep farm"
in 2 reviews
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155 - 159 of 185 reviews

Reviewed March 12, 2012

Will worked very hard to give 4 of us many different views of interesting birds and beautiful scenery. It was hard work as the weather was cool and wet . The top notch photographer in our group got fantastic shots of hawks and shore birds. And Will was constantly looking out for our comfort ,given the weather. Brought soup , tea, sandwiches, and many other treats.

Thank Bruce S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oscar2NewZealand, Owner at Driftwood Retreat & Eco-Tours, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2012

This was a challenging tour for me as the weather did not allow what was planned. I improvised and built this tour round my client's interests and luckily we were well rewarded. Great people and lots of fun.

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Reviewed March 11, 2012

What a wonderful experience. The history, birds, company and date and ginger muffins were excellent. Will Parson is a easy going, realistic, fun and knowledgeable guy. He seemed to know the birds individually. I enjoyed the peace and tranquilly of the twilight kayak. Highly recommended.

Thank Karina L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2012

I miss a Better than Excelent rate to evaluate this tour! Will (the guide) is a nature lover and knows all the birds names who live in the river. The place makes you feel you are the only creature in the planet, because during all the tour the only thing you can see is the river, a lot of birds, nest and a sunset which is definitely the best I have already seen!

The Kayak has a direction control which you can manage with your feet, which is very interesting compared with traditional kayak you must force one arm to go to the opposite direction.

It was a very relaxing experience, and food was a big MUST! All very natural and prepared bu Will: Muffins, salmon sandwiches, blackberrys, a fantastic brownie, yougurt, etc... All this food appreciated with the sun going down and water on our knees.

I also must to mention that Will has a deep historic knowledge about the region, the Maoris, colonization and the place itself.

If you like paddling, nature and want to take some hours relaxing in a place which seems to be 100% private for you, I recommend doing this kayak tour with Driftwood!

Btw: The Blemheim region is famous for wine lovers, so this tour makes a good balance after so many wine tasting! :-)

Thank DanielSachet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 22, 2012

I spent the day paddling through the lagoons which was a really amazing day, living up to all the previous reviews and expectations. Will has a comprehensive knowledge of local history and bird life & shares it with with good humour and enthusiasm (and a delicious lunch). I was en-captivated by the wildlife and all the dynamics of the area. If I lived locally I would Kayak in these lagoons in all weathers & at all times of the day and year, as there would always be something new in their fascinating and ever changing environment.

Thank Imogen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oscar2NewZealand, Owner at Driftwood Retreat & Eco-Tours, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2012

This was a fun trip allowing the client and myself to explore a new area having the benefit of a incoming tide. We were searching for godwits which we found and this extended our normal trip by 4 hours! It was so rewarding for us both and I always find it so much more interesting when clients love this environment as much as I do.

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