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“Absolutely unforgettable experience. Highly recommended!”

Pohatu Penguin Habitat
Certificate of Excellence
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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 17 April 2008

There are a couple of tour options for visiting the Pohatu reserve, some involve kayaking and others just a hike through the penguin colonies. We were unable to do the kayak trip due to inclement weather, but the hike was absolutely amazing.

The tour consists of about a 30 minute drive from the Akaroa tourist information center (in the heart of the town) to the Pohatu reserve. On a nice day, the drive alone is worth the cost of the ticket. The views from the crest of the volcano rim were breathtaking. The hike and viewing on the preserve lasted about 2 hours. We were fitted with camoflage and provided with binoculars. By the time we left, the sun had already set and we saw alot of other wildlife on the dark drive back to Akaroa including numerous hares and rabbits and a couple of bush tailed possums.

The reserve is managed by Shireen and Francis Helps... Shireen was our guide and she is very friendly and knowledgable. According to Shireen, the best times for penguin viewing are from September through November and those are also slow months for tourists in Akaroa, so they're not very crowded. We were there in April and the viewing was quite good. We saw hundreds of penguins swimming in the water and around 50 on the rocks. We also saw two of the bigger yellow-eyed penguins.

Highly recommended for anyone in the Christchurch area!

1  Thank Tanchan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"nesting boxes"
in 32 reviews
"penguins coming"
in 14 reviews
"conservation work"
in 20 reviews
"blue penguins"
in 62 reviews
"wheel drive"
in 9 reviews
"friendly sheep"
in 11 reviews
"new zealand"
in 59 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
"cute penguins"
in 5 reviews
"coming ashore"
in 6 reviews
"eco tourism"
in 5 reviews
"cruise ship"
in 28 reviews
"kayak trip"
in 12 reviews
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449 - 453 of 480 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2008

We had heard about the Pohatu penguin tour from a friend, and made a day trip from Christchurch to Akaroa specifically for this. WOW was it worth it. Akaroa is a beautiful little seaside town, and Shirene Helps drives you to her home in Flea Bay. The view alone is breathtaking and if you are lucky enough to witness penguins coming ashore to feed their chicks you will agree. It was amazing to see so many white flippered penguins, both adults and chicks, and we were even lucky to see 2 of the larger yellow-eyed penguins. Highly recommend this trip!

6  Thank rogi8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2018 via mobile
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Kevin P, General Manager at Pohatu Penguin Habitat, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2018
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Reviewed 10 March 2018
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Pohatu_penguins, General Manager at Pohatu Penguin Habitat, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2018
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Reviewed 8 March 2018
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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 13 March 2018

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