Evening Penguin Tours - Christchurch
Tours are conducted in the evening, with the best time to view the colony in breeding season, between August and January. From April to September, the penguins often come in from the sea, but this is periodic.
Evening Penguin Tours is Best For
Directions to Evening Penguin Tours
Unique chance to visit the largest Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand of well over 1000 breeding pair. At Pohatu you will see the most significantly different of the little penguins the White -Flippered Penguin a variant endemic to Canterbury. Yellow Eyed Penguins also breed at the bay and are often seen on the tour.
Pohatu Penguins is run by the land owners Francis and Shireen Helps, who have been working in penguin protection for over 30 years. Pohatu Penguin colony is the last remaining hill colony of any Little penguin. The undisturbed areas of the colony have penguin behaviour patterns that are not seen elsewhere. Only guided parties are allowed into these unspoilt areas.
By visiting the penguin colony you are helping the preservation of these beautiful birds for future generations.
There are two evening tours available:
Option one: Scenic 4WD
Guests will be picked up from Akaroa and enjoy a scenic 4WD van drive to Pohatu with plenty of scenic stops to enjoy the scenery. The tour includes a guided walk through the penguin colony. You will witness nest box monitoring allowing you to see the birds up close and learn of the life of a penguin. You will also learn of protection efforts to save the species. The tour ends with the viewing of Penguins from our hides until darkness forces our retreat.
Option Two: Self Drive Tour
Guests can take their own 4WD along the steep, winding road from Akaroa, to join the guided tour group at Pohatu. Booking in advance is essential.
*Note: Between mid February and the beginning of April, the penguins leave the colony, so bear this in mind when planning your trip. Good walking shoes or boots with good grip soles that can cope with a bit of mud in wet conditions are recommended. The track can be demanding for some and can be slippery in wet conditions in the heavy penguin traffic areas.
Please click here to book a tour.
Special daytime trip for cruise ship passengers
There is also a two-hour day trip available to cruise ship passengers, picking up from Akaroa. This is a great tour for anyone wanting a shorter option to explore the area giving you the time to also explore the historic town. With a 4 wheel drive 9 seater van ride and photo-stops en route, you will view Akaroa harbour in its entirety, standing on crater rim at our 700 metre view point, hearing about the history of this beautiful landscape by local guides who have lived here for up to five generations.
Visit Pohatu Bay on the outer coast, panoramic views all the way down, working sheep farm and penguin colony. This is a chance to get great photos of our friendly pet sheep which you can feed from hand for a real kiwi experience.
Then come with us as we monitor penguin nesting boxes and learn of the conservation work we do in the largest colony of little penguins on mainland New Zealand. It's a great opportunity to see penguins and their chicks up close on their nests (penguins are only seen in season). Guides often point out other native birds and wildlife as we go.
This option is run on easy gradients to better suit the less fit.
Evening Guided Tour: Adult - $75, Child(under 15 yrs) - $55
Evening Self-Drive Tour: Adult - $40, Child (under 15) - $25
Cruise Ship Day Tour: Adult - $65, Child(under 15) - $35
Please click here to book a tour.