Pohatu Penguins & Marine Reserve, Akaroa, Banks Peninsula

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Akaroa Penguin Tours

Pohatu Penguins offers unique nature safaris and sea kayak tours to see the penguins and wildlife from Akaroa, near Christchurch, New Zealand.

Penguins- Sea kayaking- Overnight packages in unique accommodation.

Pohatu/ Flea Bay is a beautiful sheltered bay out on the wild south eastern corner of Banks Peninsula. It is home to the largest Little Penguin Colony on mainland New Zealand with over 2000 penguins breeding there. The Helps have won a number of conservation awards for protecting penguins on their land for over two decades. Evening penguin safaris take you over one of the most scenic back country roads by 4WD van to see and experience a thriving Little penguin colony.  Yellow Eyed Penguins the rarest penguin in the world also breed at the bay and can be seen.

The penguin breeding season runs from September till end of moult mid Feb and tours run nightly throughout this time. The penguins do return sometime in April and will return for one week in every four throughout the winter. No penguins late Feb and March. All are at sea feeding.

Tours are only open throughout the winter months of May June July and August when penguins are in. For penguin updates over these months, ring our booking office on 03 304 8542/021 246 9556.

Pohatu Marine Reserve was the first marine reserve on the east coast of the South Island. It takes in some of the most spectacular and wild coastline in New Zealand, towering cliffs, rock stacks and deep sea caves. Flea Bay Island is a haven for Sooty Shearwater and Fairy Prions, and Spotted shags nest along ledges on the high cliff faces, and a host of other sea birds nest at or visit the area.

Our sea kayaking safaris give the opportunity of guided sea kayaking trips out onto the reserve. They include your 4 WD scenic transport to the bay and reserve. This trip is mind-blowing in ideal conditions when the outer coast can be kayaked, but is also a unique wildlife experience within the sheltered bay where seals are assured with a breeding colony in easy reach and penguins can be seen in season. There is wildlife from the moment you leave the beach.  Sometimes Hectors Dolphin can also be seen.

The scenic nature safari is a trip for those wishing something a little less adventurous and more leisurely but wanting to find out about the Peninsula's biodiversity including anything from birds to insects. It includes refreshments of a hot or cold drink and muffins at the bay and wildlife monitoring of penguins in season and the Banks Peninsula Tree Weta. Sometimes lizards are also seen. This trip especially suits the more elderly.  It includes the wonderful 4 WD van scenic drive to the bay and the spectacular Akaroa Heads Reserve. It also can include a bush walk into the beautiful Tutakakahikura scenic reserve if the client wishes. Toilets are available.

Spend a night in the middle of a Penguin Colony. 24 hour and 48 hour packages available

The 24 hour Pohatu Package is a popular option offering more time to explore this special area. It includes all transport and your accommodation has full kitchen facilities and all bedding provided. There are several unique accommodation options to suit most. The evening penguin tour is included in the package and most nature safari activities, but there is a small extra charge for sea kayaking if done. Please note food is not included in the package. There is an option to spend an extra day at the accommodation to provide time to check out some of the beautiful walks on the property.

RATES: Quoted in NZ$, Subject to Change.

  • Evening Penguin Tours - Adult $75, Child under 15 $55, Child under 2 years free.

  • Sea Kayaking Safari - $95 per person. Child under 15 years $65.

  • Nature Safari - $95 per person, Child $65

  • 2 Hour Nature Tour in Akaroa. A special shortened version of the scenic nature safari is offered. Tours depart at 1.30pm all year long and 11.00am and 1.30pm on cruise ship day. Prices are $65 per adult and $35 per child.

  • 24 hour Pohatu Package - $135 per adult, $90 per child. Extra night accommodation $90 per unit.

  • Group concessions available.

Book Akaroa Penguin Tour

Pohatu Penguins & Marine Reserve, Akaroa, Banks Peninsula Enquiry Form


2/8 Rue Balguerie
Akaroa 7520

Phone: +64 3 304 8542

Mobile: +64 21 246 9556


Web: Visit website

After Hours Phone: +64 21 246 9556

Pohatu Penguins & Marine Reserve, Akaroa, Banks Peninsula Enquiry Form