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“One of the best tours on our trip!”

Pohatu Penguin Habitat
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 15 April 2018

We were on a cruise ship touring New Zealand. We booked this excursion online prior to embarking on the cruise. We did have a concern that we would not get back to the pier to catch a tender to the ship but no worries. They had us back with time to spare. There was a long line to board the shuttle. The tour was excellent. Ben was our tour guide and drove us though the scenic countryside which allowed for wonderful views of the water. Our personal experience was with kayaks that you sat on top. For this adventure we used the sea kayaks that you sit down in. Ben was very knowledgeable and taught us how to maneuver in the bay. It was a small group of eight which was perfect. He took pictures on our phones for us while paddling. We are "middle aged" and had no problems. You do need to assist with carrying the kayaks. The beautiful blue penguins and seals were wonderful to see on the cliffs and among the rocks. We unfortunately did not see the dolphins. Ben stayed out with us but they did not want to come and play that day. This was a delightful day that was not rushed or you felt like cattle being herded. It was very personable and you could ask any questions. Definitely would do again.

Thank Shelahlah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pohatu_penguins, Front Office Manager at Pohatu Penguin Habitat, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2018

Hi there, thank you for the lovely review and for taking the time to explain some details about the Kayak trip that will be useful for our future visitors. We are so pleased (especially Ben!) that we made you feel comfortable and not rushed. That's really how we work : taking the time to explain things, to answer any questions and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings :) We hope to see you again in the future. In the meantime, all the best to you!
Geraldine

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Write a ReviewReviews (473)
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"nesting boxes"
in 32 reviews
"penguins coming"
in 14 reviews
"conservation work"
in 20 reviews
"blue penguins"
in 61 reviews
"wheel drive"
in 8 reviews
"friendly sheep"
in 11 reviews
"new zealand"
in 58 reviews
"banks peninsula"
in 32 reviews
"overnight stay"
in 8 reviews
"sea kayaking"
in 20 reviews
"baby penguins"
in 11 reviews
"nature tour"
in 15 reviews
"photo stops along the way"
in 5 reviews
"cute penguins"
in 5 reviews
"coming ashore"
in 6 reviews
"eco tourism"
in 5 reviews
"cruise ship"
in 28 reviews
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10 - 14 of 473 reviews

Reviewed 3 April 2018

We drove from Christchurch to Akaroa. The Pohatu Penguins office is just behind the BNZ bank at Unit 2, 8 Rue Balguerie, Akaroa 7520. The road from Christchurch is called Highway 75 and it is a beautiful drive. The people who work for Pohatu Penguin Habitat/Plunge are absolutely phenomenal. For example, our flight from Philadelphia to Christchurch was delayed which meant we could not make our reservation. A few desperate emails from the Philly airport rendered a new "next day" reservation for us. So appreciative for the quick and friendly response. Special recognition to Kevin and Geraldine, and to our fantastic Sea Kayaking guide from French-speaking Basque country.

We took the noon sea kayaking tour and it was absolutely incredible. As we were in Akaroa during early February and we saw numerous penguins, tiny playful baby seals, various birds, and it was all coupled with the sheer joy of sea kayaking. We could not have had a better time. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. This is a truly joyful experience and not to be missed. In fact we had such a great time we are planning another trip and we will absolutely book again with Pohatu Penguin.

By the way, they offer an option to drive to the kayaking site yourself. If you are considering that just know that the road is quite steep and unpaved. I was glad that we let them do the driving. Plus, if they drive, then the driver will probably be kind enough to take a picture of you from a scenic location which is quite nice.

What a beautiful, memorable experience.

1  Thank EllenGwynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pohatu_penguins, Front Office Manager at Pohatu Penguin Habitat, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2018

Hi Ellen, thank you so much for your kind words about your experience with us. We are always happy to accommodate our visitors as long as we can :) We are also very pleased that the whole experience at Pohatu was very positive for you and are very much looking forward to having you again! :) All the best to you (and no more delayed flights for you I hope!). See you next time! Geraldine

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Reviewed 1 April 2018

We were on a cruise ship and as arranged made contact with the company's representative at the end of the wharf to meet them at 12 noon. Our tour was the 4WD Scenic Nature Safari. The guide was a young woman from Minnesota who was passionate and informative about preservation of threatened species, and the efforts being made to protect the Pohatu Penguins and their habitat. The drive out to Flea Bay through farming country was in itself interesting and we stopped at various lookouts for photo opportunities including a diversion down Lighthouse Road to Haylocks Bay. If you choose to walk the last half kilometer be prepared for the steep return climb! We then rejoined the road to Flea Bay to arrive at the owner's house where sheep were hand fed before taking a short walk to see some of the 300 nesting boxes constructed to house the birds. We were able to see up close a bird in rehabilitation care and another still in its molting phase in a nesting box. (we knew we were not visiting in the optimum season to see many penguins). A very welcome afternoon tea followed then back to the cruise ship by the appointed time.

Thank YolkandWhite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pohatu_penguins, Front Office Manager at Pohatu Penguin Habitat, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Hi there, thank you for taking the time to write about your experience on your Full Nature Nature Safari with us, and for bringing details that will be very helpful for many other visitors :) There is indeed a little bit of a walk down (then up!) at Akaroa's Head (Haylocks Bay), optional of course. Good on you for doing it! We wish you all the best :) Geraldine

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Reviewed 29 March 2018 via mobile

An amazing tour to visit a unique family operation trying to preserve a penguin colony. A small group tour over rural terrain to the remote farm. After hand feeding the variety of sheep you see how they rehabilitate injured penquins. There is a short hike to see the work they are doing. A very informative day in a beautiful area.

Thank Janet R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pohatu_penguins, General Manager at Pohatu Penguin Habitat, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2018

Hi Janet,

A big thank you for your comment, we feel very special to read that we were the best tour of your holidays, this means a lot.

We are always very happy to show people the work we do and try to inspire anyone to do the same.

We wish you all the best.

Kindly,
Kevin.

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Reviewed 28 March 2018

My husband and I originally booked the kayak tour leaving from Akaroa, but that day it was very rainy, windy, and cold. Luckily Ben, the person we checked in with on the dock, offered a number of other options for us, and we decided on the land tour that day. We were sad we couldn't kayak, but the land tour was excellent! We loved that our tour was small enough to ask questions and get to know the sites and our tour guide (Rocky). We learned a ton about the landscape, the environment, and the animals Pohatu Penguins works with, and I couldn't say enough about the friendliness of the staff! I would recommend walking shoes and a light jacket (it was quite windy in the bay).

Thank ehoisington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pohatu_penguins, Manager at Pohatu Penguin Habitat, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2018

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. Best of luck and good times for your next excursion

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