Moutohorā : Island Sanctuary Tour
- Duration: 4 Hours (approx.)
- Product code: MIS
Join us for a 4-4.5-hour journey to
Moutohorā (Whale Island) one of New Zealand's little-known
treasures and home to a number of New Zealand's rare and endangered plants,
birds and reptiles. Departing from Whakatāne Wharf, following bio-security checks, you'll begin the short 15-minute journey to Moutohorā our comfortable catamaran “The Moutohorā Cat”. Designed to be
able to nestle right onto the shore,
disembarking is as easy as walking down some stairs and stepping onto the beach.
Once ashore, the fully-guided tour
allows visitors to learn about the island's
unique flora and fauna and the conservation effort focused on Moutohorā for the
past 50 years. Since becoming pest-free, bird life on Moutohorā has flourished
and there is a chance to see a number of different species – including saddleback/tieke, kakariki/red-crowned
parakeet, little brown kiwi, bellbirds, tui, grey warbler – many of which are
endangered or seldom seen on the New Zealand mainland.
The walk includes a visit to the island's saddle (the dip
between the two highest summits) for spectacular views out to White Island and a visit to
Sulphur Bay where geothermal hot springs
come up through the sand allowing for you to dig your own hot pool on the
beach. (Note: there are no changing facilities or
bathrooms on the island).
having a swim, you will return to Boulder Bay and re-board “The Cat” where, if
conditions permit, we will circumnavigate the island before returning to Whakatāne. There
may also be an opportunity to stop and spend time with any marine life we
encounter along the way.
Due to the precious nature of this
pest-free island access is highly restricted to the general public and the only
way to visit the island is with a Department of Conservation approved
concessionaire. We are privileged to be allowed to take a small number of
visitors to the island each day.