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“Great penguin tour!”

Pohatu Penguin Habitat
Ranked #3 of 27 Tours in Akaroa
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Pohatu penguins is a family owned business that offers 4WD safaris trip to the Largest Little penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Conservation based tours include: -Evening penguin tours -Scenic nature safaris (2 or 4 hours) -Sea-kayaking with seals and other wildlife -24 or 48 hour package including accommodation in the middle of the penguin colony
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Great tour from Akaroa cruise ship harbor to the penguin habitat. Tour guide Averil was very well informed and fun. Exciting drive over the mountains to a secluded bay where we saw seals and penguin chick in the nests. Adults are only on shore at night so we didn't see them. One of the best excursions we did. We never book cruise line excursions but found this one on our own.

Thank jlwolst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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326 - 330 of 389 reviews

Reviewed December 24, 2012

We signed up for the total Pohatu package- jeep tour, hike in, overnight stay in the rustic cottage, and penguin viewing. We would have kayaked if the weather permitted, but it was too windy.
We were more than pleased with the entire experience.
the hike was steep, but all downhill, and in the midst of a bush ecosystem, with intervening views of the pastures and bay. It took us about 3 hours with stops for snacks and side tracks to some waterfalls.
The cottage was very cute and cozy, not at all damp, and the furnishings adequate. There were plenty of candles, lanterns and flashlights. I made a basic dinner with the pots and utensils provided on the gas burners. A big wooden spoon and a larger skillet would have been nice, but I made out fine with what was supplied.
The penguin walk with Francis was interesting and informative, and we really enjoyed seeing the little blue penguins and their chicks. We also were lucky to see a golden eye penguin close up!
Francis and Shereen and their helpers are lovely kind people who will go out of their way to ensure your experience is good. their dedication to the penguins is clear, and they have made quite a difference in the preservation of this endangered species.
Don't try the road without a very reliable, high clearance four wheel drive vehicle. You may get down, but getting back up is another matter.

Thank SnowyandSniggles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2012

We were lucky enough to stay several days in the region to pick a good weather day for this nature tour. Pohatu Scenic Drive organization was very flexible to re-book the original trip.
Visitors will experience a very personalized trip to the penguin habitat, with a limited number of fellow-visitors in the 4WD vans.
The road doesn't allow for bigger "cars", yet one feels that extensive mass tourism has never been the interest of the founders of the penguin habitat. The treat the entire environment with the greatest respect possible, and invite their visitors to do so as well.
We can only recommend the Pohatu Penguin Habitat tour...

Thank Georges B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

We went on a kayak tour. The french origin guide was fantastic, nice and helpful and very good with our kids (4 of them). The wind was rather hard against when we went our on the kayaks so the guide towed our biggest kids a long stretch. The nature was fantastic, we saw a lot of seals and 8 penguins. Afterwards the guide showed us some kid penguins at shore. It was an awesome experience.

1  Thank Fredrik A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We spent last 2 days of our 9 day Southern Island trip on this tour. We had already met yellow-eyed and blue penguins, fur seals and sea lions (and of course sheep). The stay on the farm was a great final touch to our trip. In our 24 h package, we’ve got:
1) A pick up from Akaroa early in the afternoon and a tour of the Banks Peninsula hills (with spectacular views) where we would never go on our own (without a 4WD). Avril took care of us (we first followed her van to the place where we left our car), shared her profound knowledge of the region, and stopped her van anywhere we wanted to take photos.
2) A 2.5 h walk (which is optional and not guided, but the trail is clearly marked) along a stream in a bush (there is also a waterfall along the way). We saw some interesting species of plants and birds. The walk was easy, but some places were muddy and slippery (hence think about hiking boots).
3) A stay in a very nice bungalow with huge windows, 2 bedrooms, a kitchen (with a fridge, cutlery, stove, toaster, kettle) / living room, and a bathroom (separate toilet outside). The interior design was done with a great taste. Sheep were running around, and we could watch each other through the windows. We also watched Southern Hemisphere night sky, which was of a good quality in the absence of city lights.
4) Penguin tour per se started at 7.30, and was preceded by lamb feeding with milk prepared by Shireen in advance (1 lamb per person). The lamb finished the milk far too quickly, we wouldn’t mind feeding another one. Shireen and Francis have 30 years of first hand white-flippered penguin conservation experience, hard work and very impressive results. Our group (4 people) was guided by Joey (who was very knowledgeable), while Francis had a separate somewhat larger group, and they started earlier. The two groups were well coordinated and did not interfere with each other. We saw closely (and took photos) adult penguins and their chicks in the nests. Good binoculars are included. In addition to chicks in the nests, we saw individual penguins as well as a group jumping out of the water and climbing immediately very steep rocks on their way home. It was too dark to take photos, but we managed to take some videos. Of course, the number of penguins that can be seen varies in different days (but even in a zoo, one wouldn’t always see a favourite animal on every occasion). This is rather a plus, as it gives an element of real life; the guides know their wild “pets” very well and do their best to ensure that the visitors do see them.
5) A kayak trip next morning at 9.00 on Flea Bay (5 min walk from the bungalow), guided by Kevin. All kayaks were tandems; the tour lasted 2.5 h. We saw blue penguins (a group on water and one on land) and a yellow-eyed penguin, and many fur seals at a close distance (most resting on the rocks, but some swimming close to us). Kevin was a great and easy-going guide, although we were busy watching animals and could not hear everything. After the kayak trip, Kevin drove us back to our car, and we followed his van back to Akaroa.
Overall, everything was organised in a very friendly, considerate and thoughtful way. The pricing is very reasonable for what we had in the package. We would highly recommend this 24 h package.

1  Thank Alexandra A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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