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“4WD & birding combo”

Driftwood Retreat & Eco-Tours
Book In Advance
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$67.83*
and up
2-Hour Royal Spoonbill Tour by Kayak
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$165.79*
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.
Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
“4WD & birding combo”
Reviewed December 21, 2012

The Black Birch 4WD offers spectacular scenery,eyeball views of glorious alpine native veg, and a colourful history of the high country stations. Bring camera, binoculars, light boots & windproof clothing. Strong winds prevented kayaking this time, but the birding last time was excellent and the Wairau lagoon trip then gave maximum gain for no pain.
Will is one of the best guides we have ever had & expertly tailors the experience to the client. He graciously performed the rare feat of providing a 12 hour adrenalin rush. Great food and great conversation. His photography is excellent. His wetland conservation work is very special; years of revegetation by one man with a big appetite for hard work. We will be back for another adventure; perhaps we will try his artful accommodation.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Mary W
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 review, January 16, 2013
This was a return customer tour in which we achieved something special in that we found a flowering penwiper which our clients had been looking for 47 years!
It's always exciting to catch up with past clients and share experiences and this tour was no exception.
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175 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful Day”
Reviewed June 4, 2012 via mobile

What an amazing experience paddling down the river looking at the wildlife and managing to get much closer to them than you could on foot.

Will made you feel instantly at ease and made the day most enjoyable. Tea and lunch were delicious.

I wanted to adopt the puppy.

Would thoroughly recommend.

Helpful?
Thank MezzoandMir
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 review, June 6, 2012
Thank you for the compliments. Our new eco dog Vix is certainly finding favour with our clients!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
“Fantastic Trip!”
Reviewed May 3, 2012

Will, really made us feel at home with our day starting with plums straight off his tree (which was delicious), followed by a scenic and beautiful tour of the river. We also had a home made morning tea break and scrumptious lunch and did a beautiful walk where Will shared the history of the land. It was a really fabulous day and we really enjoyed it and would do it again!
Thanks again,
Jane and Alex

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank Jane G
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 review, May 7, 2012
Thank you for your glowing compliments. This was a fun trip with lot's of variety including sailing, birding, eating and photography.
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Hamilton, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome”
Reviewed April 4, 2012

We had an awesome day on the water with Will in the wind. Wills Knowledge of the area was outstanding as was his baking and lunch, which we had on the shores of the river. Although there was only a little bird life on the day we went Will made sure we seen it all. He made us feel very safe in the kayaks and taught us how to use a sail which was a lot of fun. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who loves the water and bird life and history of the region. Will is your Man. Thanks Will for a wonderful day that I will not forget.
Sue Alcock

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Dorothea255108
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 review, May 7, 2012
This tour came about through another tour I guided for and it was great to continue our friendship for another day!
It's always a challenge to find birds and great photographs so it keeps me thinking and my toes. Cheers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson, New Zealand
1 review
“Wonderful full day trip”
Reviewed April 2, 2012

Will and bus picked up the 21 members of our Probus group and we drove to Mt Vernon where there is a wonderful 360 degree view. Mt Tapuaenuku ( 9.465 ft ) showed up well to the SW.
From there eight of us walked down a series of ridges to the sea. Along the beach to an award winning garden with a vista between some small trees to the sea.
The bus with the balance of our party collected us and took us to an historic cemetery and then on to Peter Yealand's winery. There we were able to taste a wide varieties of wine
Back to the motel at 5.30 pm

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank Brian 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 review, January 16, 2013
This was our 1st Probus group tour and proved to be very exciting in many different ways. With older clientele it's always a challenge to find something new and yet stimulating to extend their knowledge been familiar with the environment. Thank you for your compliments.
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