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Akaroa Well-being Eco-Safari Tour from Christchurch

​Penguins & Dolphins Nature Safaris & Harbour Cruise option

Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, Flea Bay, & Akaroa Harbour to the Pacific Ocean

Want to relieve the stresses and worries of everyday life? Then give yourself a break and leave behind life’s pressures, problems and pandemics! This tour option is specifically designed with your relaxation and well-being in mind.

This one-day tour combination with Penguins Nature Safari + Dolphins nature safari & cruise options can be varied to include single, or additional experiences (e.g. Alpacas farm tour). All options include morning tea and an afternoon wine-tasting before heading home (non-alcoholic selection available). This option combination also includes lunch.

Tour overview

The days highlights include:

  1. Nature safari hosted by local conservationists looking after a wild penguin colony at Flea Bay near Akaroa. 
  2. Journey of discovery aboard a luxury vessel as you come alongside rare Hector’s dolphins, NZ fur seals, seabirds, and other wildlife set amongst spectacular sea caves & volcanic formations.

Allow a total journey time of around 9-10 hours and includes travel through the breath-taking scenery of the rugged Banks Peninsula. Your tour is fully inclusive with provision a special “Akaroa-style” lunch, as well as morning tea,  an afternoon platter with wine tasting, hotel pick-up and drop off and road journey courtesy of an ultra-modern luxury mini-coach.

During the day, you will have around 1 hours spare time to wander in and around the French-inspired Akaroa township and surrounds at your own pace. Stopovers include the award-winning Barrys Bay chees factory at Duvauchelle and the quaint Little River Café and Art Gallery.

TOURS READY RECKONER

Journey description

On your journey to Akaroa - courtesy of a luxury 4x4 min-coach - take in the breath-taking scenery of the rugged Banks Peninsula coastline and farmlands. This area is renowned for its rugged topography in a surprisingly sparsely populated district. Amongst extensive farm lands, Akaroa’s diverse landscape is a region where conservation areas abound in an area regarded as extremely important for native plants and associated wildlife. In fact, Banks Peninsula has the highest amount of biodiversity than any other part of New Zealand.

Enjoy this unique nature safari experience in the spectacular, award-winning Wild Side Conservation area involving wild penguins! Learn about the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna and the area’s unique conservation programs.

There will be time to enjoy wandering around the French township of Akaroa. A special "Akaroa style" lunch is included. To complete your day, enjoy an end-of-day wine tasting (or non-alcoholic beverage) and afternoon platter at the special French Peak vineyard.

THE PENGUIN NATURE SAFARI EXPERIENCE

Penguins

Be greeted by the farm’s, friendly pet sheep and see White-Flippered penguins as the people of Pohatu monitor nesting sites. This is the only place in New Zealand you can easily see penguins' gathering and socializing on the water. You may even be lucky enough to see rehabilitation efforts such as supplemental feedings and swim therapy! 

Pohatu have been conserving the Little Penguins for over 30 years and have 4 conservation awards for their efforts in penguin conservation, protection and monitoring. Francis and Shireen Helps have worked over the last three decades protecting White-flippered Penguins (Eudyptula minor albosignata), Canterbury’s own variant of Australasian Little Penguin. Importantly, spending time with Pohatu helps the preservation of these beautiful birds for future generations!

Wildlife availability (Penguins)

It should be borne in mind that the penguins at Flea Bay are wild. Nonetheless, you can be virtually guaranteed of seeing penguins between September to mid-February, and a high chance between mid-April and end of June. There is slim or no possibility between mid-February to mid-April, however Maossie Tours runs this day-tour all year since this scenic nature safari remains a very interesting activity even in the “off-season”, i.e. even when penguins are not in the area the safari offers additional sites and wildlife. Binoculars and camouflage gear may also be provided to maximize viewing abilities. 

White-flippered Penguins - Eudyptula minor albosignata
White-flippered Penguins

Eudyptula minor albosignata

Special Notes (Penguins)

Although public access is possible with 4WD vehicles, at the bay you will not see the penguins as all of the conservation work and main colony is within private property (and of course made available to people travelling on this tour). Also, the tour operates in just about all weather - in fact rainy days is just part of experiencing this wild country. Indeed, all of the best wildlife viewing at Pohatu is usually when it's raining (so remember to always bring a rain coat just in case). We all hope for a beautiful sunny day but whether rain or shine the guides will always give you an authentic New Zealand experience!

THE DOLPHIN & HARBOUR CRUISE NATURE SAFARI EXPERIENCE

Dolphins & the harbour nature cruise

Enjoy your harbour cruise on a luxurious and comfortable boat - it has a low-lying profile which means you get closer to the dolphins and other wildlife! The operator holds a Sustainable Marine Mammal Actions in Recreation and Tourism operator permit, requiring operation in a sensitive and responsible manner around dolphins, whales, and seals, to ensure there is minimal impact on the environment and wildlife. 

You will be in awe of the most spectacular coastal scenery - rugged cliff faces and dramatic panoramic views will take your breath away. You will be shown all the best highlights of the area including the highest cliff in Banks Peninsula, the famous ‘Elephant Head’ and Cathedral Cave. 

Passenger groups are kept small so that you have more room to move around the boat, and enjoy your cruise without overcrowding or missing dolphin sightings due to a shortage of viewing space. From the check-in team to the skippers and onboard guides, you’ll be greeted with smiles every step of the way. An integral part of the team is the expert dolphin spotting dogs. Equipped with dog life-vests and a keen ear, they’ll help make your dolphin encounter an unforgettable experience.

Wildlife availability (Dolphins)

The harbour cruise operator enjoys a 98% success rate in encountering Hector’s dolphins in their natural environment, all year round. As the world’s smallest and rarest oceanic dolphins, which are completely wild, it is not possible to guarantee encounters. 

Also, please note that this is an exclusive and intimate 2-hour harbour cruise on a luxurious catamaran - and in keeping with environmental and ecological best practice, we view the dolphins from the boat rather than swim with them.

Special Notes (Dolphins)

Passengers of all ages are welcome, from new-borns to the seniors, as the vessels used are very stable, have secure railings, various indoor and outdoor areas to choose from, and space for pushchairs etc. There are also plenty of lifejackets aboard, including those for infants and children, however, if you are travelling with young children, we do ask for their safety that they are supervised at all times.

The tour operates in just about all weather - so we suggest bringing along warm clothing (including raincoat), as even on summer days you just never know when there could be a cool sea breeze. We also recommend bringing a hat and sunscreen!

 

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