Pohatu penguins
Pohatu penguins
5
Eco ToursNight ToursNature & Wildlife ToursKayaking & CanoeingDay Trips
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Pohatu Penguins is a family- owned and operated eco-tourism business with 30+ years history of advocating and helping to fund the protection of Little Penguin on the family farm in Pōhatu/Flea Bay. Guides are all conservationists, friends and family - with years of working in penguin conservation, a passion for sharing their stories and a wealth of local knowledge passed down several generations.
Akaroa, New Zealand

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2024
Travelers talk about
(2 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles862 reviews
Excellent
785
Very good
55
Average
11
Poor
4
Terrible
7

LCL-travels
Chicago, IL556 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We booked the 4-hour scenic nature walk provided by Pohatu Penguins in Akaroa, New Zealand. Our particular tour did not involve much scenic walking but provided us with a fabulous experience. Our guide Avril drove us around this very hilly peninsula and took us to a few scenic overviews.

The highlight of our tour was the visit to her relatives' 700 acre sheep farm and the description of her family's conservation efforts to protect the blue penguins. In addition to rehabilitating abandoned penguins, the family has provided nesting boxes for penguins and traps for their predators. We were fortunate to see penguins they were being rehabilitated before being released into the wild and baby penguins in their nesting boxes that were still too young to go out on their own.

Pohatu Penguins also offers kayaking and overnight packages.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to write about your experience with us on the Full Scenic Nature safari. It is very nice to hear that you appreciated all the conservation work that has been done by the Helps family. Kindly, Geraldine
Written January 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ヒラリー エ
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We took a nature tour with Ave, as the penguins were not expected to be there (most have already molted at the end of February). We unexpectedly got to see some stragglers and some penguins in care with Shireen. The sheep are adorable, and even the eels were interesting! We saw some fur seals in the wild as well- an amazing opportunity for such a short time frame. Shireen and her family are doing an amazing job as guardians of the land and the penguins who live there- they are absolutely inspiring. I thought I knew quite a lot about penguins, as I love them very much and have read several books, but I learned SO much just listening to Ave talk. The lengths they go to are absolutely inspirational. The world needs more people like this! Even if you see no penguins, you'll be in awe of the beauty of the Banks Peninsula. If you don't want to make the drive yourself, Maossie Tours is highly recommended, as we took another tour with them and I'd trust them implicitly.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there, Thank you very much for bringing your feedback about your experience on a Nature tour. It's so nice to hear that you found the tour inspiring and learnt a lot about penguins! Wishing you guys all the best :)
Written March 4, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sophie & Chris
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 • Couples
This was one of the best experiences of my life. The 24 hour package offered by Pohatu penguins is incredible value for money. The guides were friendly and knowledgable, the accommodation was cosy and comfortable, and of course the wildlife was stunning.

The highlight for me was the sea kayaking. Our guide Ben spotted a pod of Hector's dolphins, and took us out to meet them at the mouth of the bay. The dolphins came and went about three times, each time swimming under and around our kayaks. We were able to get a really good look at them (and them at us) - it was truly so special and something I will never forget.
Written January 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Sophie & Chris, Amazing!! It sounds like you guys had an awesome time staying at Pohatu... and what an incredible experience to have the Hector Dolphins visiting and being in a playful mood! All the best to you both :)
Written February 10, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Aofaine M
Hamilton, New Zealand20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
The evening walk: Pohatu thoroughly prioritises the penguins. A whole-hearted conservation effort that is making a difference. Their monetary input comes solely from tourists. It’s a gorgeous set-up. See the penguin houses, some of which have penguins in them. The roofs are lifted so that they can be monitored for food status and hydration. As a tourist, this means you get to see them tucked up and snuggling in together. Binoculars are provided to view them coasting in groups together, waiting for night to fall so they can come up on the beach. We could not see them come on to the beach , as our presence would have disrupted them too much, ad they were catching our scent on the wind. A brilliant tour, with guides that thoroughly respect the penguins, as well as a great cause. Support the penguins by supporting this group!
Written August 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there, Thank you so very much for your review an kind words toward our conservation effort. It is very good to share the area and the work. Just a quick correction, although for over 25 years the work was indeed purely funded by tourism, now days the conservation work is also funded by many donations coming from clients and our Charity than allows people to adopt a penguin for a year ^-^ We wish you all the best. Kindly, Kevin.
Written September 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Whitney R
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Couples
We thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Pohatu Penguins. The evening kayak tour was sold out so we “settled” for the 2-hour walking tour and it did not disappoint!
We were greeted by Geraldine who drove us to the conservation site.. telling us about the history of Akaroa and the stories behind the conservations efforts. We stopped at a couple of scenic points to take photos and she generously offered to take our photo.
When we arrived at the site, we were greeted by the floofy black-nosed sheep that we’re so friendly a cute. We even got a chance to feed some of them treats! We learned how the sheep help keep the grass low to prevent mice (and in turn stoats) from living there and endangering the penguins.
Lastly, we got to peek into penguin houses and learn more about the conservations efforts. I learned so much on this 2 hour tour (which actually went a bit longer, thank you!). The penguins did not disappoint either. They were so adorable in their little penguin houses! We got to see some babies that were by themselves as well as one that was still being watched over by it’s parent.
Geraldine was patient with all of our questions and clearly has a love for saving these precious animals. We had a great afternoon with her and look forward to returning again someday and learning even more from what they learn during their research! Fabulous tour. Amazing cause. The most adorable penguins (and sheep!) … 15/10!! Would be a shame to miss this one your trip to Akaroa! 🐧💫💙
Written December 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Whitney, Thank you so much for your very kind review about your 2hr tour in Pohatu. It was a real pleasure to meet you guys and share with you the conservation work we do with the penguins along with the fun parts of the sheep farm ;) We really hope to accommodate you on the kayaking safari or even the Farmstay experience next time you guys can come back to NZ!! All the best :) Geraldine
Written January 23, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Carolien S
52 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
We were very lucky to stay here for 2 nights and we had the best experience ever!
Sue picked us up and she was fantastic, telling us everything about the history of Pohatu, the area, the family business, the light house etc. She took pictures of us and dropped us off at the track, while she dropped our luggage off at our accommodation and even put our stuff in the fridge, which was very much appreciated! We stayed in the Gypsy Wagon which was lovely and quirky and we loved all the funny sheep around. The kitchen was amazing and looked quite new, same for the toilet/showers. The evening penguin tour by Sue was great and we saw heaps of penguins in the water and on the rocks. We heard the sounds of the penguins at night as well, which was very special.
The next morning we met Ben for our sea kayak nature trip and that was amazing, we saw lots of (baby) seals and penguins on the rocks. After feeding the cute sheep, he took us to the evening penguin tour as well and he was very professional, funny and informative and we couldn't have asked for a better experience. We were lucky to go kayaking again the next morning and we even saw Hector Dolphins around our kayaks as well this time, wow!
We were amazed what this (extended) family does for the penguins in this area and we were very fortunate to have been part of this experience. We will be back!
Written April 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi guys, Wow it looks like you had a blast! Good on you guys for staying 48hrs you really made the most of the Pohatu experience. What a wonderful wildlife experience you had! All the best :)
Written May 10, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KellyPosti
Auckland Central, New Zealand9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 • Couples
We went on an early morning kayaking scenic trip with a guide from Pohatu penguins. It was amazing! To see the wildlife in their natural habitats is really special. We saw penguins, seals,native birds even some dolphins. Being in the kayak gave us an up close experience. Our guide Viola was very informative and we felt very safe in her hands. Thank you Pohuta Penguins, we will never forget our experience.
Written January 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marie R
Auckland, New Zealand16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
Last night I took two teenagers on the Pohatu Penguins evening tour. The tour was guided by Sue a totally professional guide with a real passion for the conservation work being done at Flea bay. We enjoyed every minute and learnt a huge amount about these amazing birds. Well done Pohatu this is not just an experience for overseas visitors but for locals too - even people who have lived in the area all their lives.
Written January 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Iona
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
We had a great time on our evening tour to see the penguins. Our guide, Sue, was friendly and knowledgeable, and we saw moulting penguins in their nesting boxes, spotted penguins out on the water from our hide on the shore, and saw others coming ashore as the light was fading. Magical to see wildlife out in the wild and to hear about the efforts to increase their numbers. So glad we went!
Written February 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melanie B
28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Loved our 24 hour package experience, having seen the Country Calendar programme.
Covid kept daughter out of Aotearoa for too long and with only having 5 days with her, I chose this to reconnect her to her roots.
We took the French Connection shuttle to Akaroa.
Kevin drove expertly on a single lane steep gravel road to the secluded bay. Next thing we were sea-kayaking with him, then I walked up a hill.
The crib was the real deal, and daughter hadn't seen the milky way all her years overseas.
Kevin's enthusiasm for conservation is a delight. His 'scenic tour' conducted in total fog on the second day was so funny.
We knew there would be no penguins at this time of year. that didn't matter at all. Just made us eager to return to do the package experience again.
Written April 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Melanie, What a beautiful way to spend time with your daughter after tough covid times! You got it, that is what we are all about: reconnecting people with Nature's treasures with no light (nor technology) disruption. We hope to see you again so you can also enjoy viewing some penguins ;)
Written April 17, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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