Pohatu Penguins

Pohatu Penguins

Product Overview

Pohatu Penguins is a family-run business with a long-standing history of protecting the Korora (Little Penguin). The colony survival is accredited to Shireen and Francis Helps who have cared for the penguins for 30+ years.

When the Helps first began their conservation work the penguins faced massive challenges that threatened their very existence. These challenges included predation via introduced predators such as dogs, cats, ferrets and stoats, gill net fishing and other human disturbances. Colonies around Banks Peninsula declined at an alarming rate and most disappeared altogether. Through predator trapping, monitoring, rehabilitation and immense dedication the Helps have stabilized the Pohatu Colony - and it continues to grow! In addition to their penguin conservation work the Helps family have also, for many years, protected native forests and other endemic species. Their work helped found the award-winning Wildside Conservation Project.

To this day, the Helps family continue to be leaders in conservation.

Their efforts continue to be self-funded via Pohatu Penguins’ tours.

When purchasing a tour, clients have a positive input on our little Korora.


Small group tours run from Akaroa over one of the most scenic back country roads by 4WD van to Pohatu/ Flea Bay and Pohatu marine reserve, a beautiful sheltered bay out on the wild south eastern corner of Banks Peninsula and home to the largest Little Penguin Colony on mainland New Zealand with over 1500 penguins breeding there.

Many tour options to see and experience this thriving Little penguin colony include Evening penguin tour, Nature tours, Sea-kayaking safaris, Hiking or a 24-hour package with a night in the middle of the colony.

Product Description

Evening penguin tour

Observe penguins in the wild on this evening adventure. A wonderful option for people who wish to take part in our monitoring program and learn more, in depth, about our conservation efforts giving you great insight into the life of a penguin.


Sea-kayaking safari

Explore the towering volcanic cliffs, reefs and sea caves of Pohatu marine reserve en encounter its unique wildlife.

You will be taken on a wildlife adventure to find various seabirds, see curious New Zealand fur seals with pups playing in rock pools, Little penguins and possibly even spot the world's smallest dolphin gliding under your kayak.


Wildside Discovery tour (4-hour)

Join a 4WD safari to the spectacular, award winning Wildside Conservation area.

Discover the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna and Pohatu’s unique penguin conservation program.

Our Nature Safaris offer stunning views of Akaroa Harbour, the outer coast, farm land and forested hillsides. Be greeted by the farm’s, friendly pet sheep and see White-Flippered penguins as we monitor nesting sites.


2-hour nature tour

Join a 4WD safari to the spectacular, award winning Wildside Conservation area.

Ideal for people on a day trip in Akaroa! This option gives you the chance to learn more about Pohatu Penguins while still having time to explore our historic town. You will discover the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna and Pohatu’s unique penguin conservation program.


Pohatu package

Enjoy all of what Pohatu has to offer in this 24-hour package including accommodation.

Have it all including in of our overnight stay in our historic and cosy private rooms in the middle of the penguin colony! Enjoy the safe swimming beach just outside your door or explore the surrounding and secluded landscape.

Complementary evening penguin tour in season, discounted sea-kayaking and an opportunity to walk the beautiful bush and waterfall section of the well-known Banks Track. Visit to the spectacular cliff-tops of the Akaroa Heads Lighthouse Reserve.

At night gaze up and see the milky and wake up to the sound of birdsong, sheep and the sea.


Hike and Kayak combo

Looking for an active day? Join us for a full day of adventure combining a morning hike through endemic ancient forest down our private walking track to Pohatu bay and join our sea-kayaking safari in the afternoon to encounter Pohatu marine reserve wildlife.

Departure Times



Departure time

Sea-kayaking safari

4 hours

8.00 or 12.00pm

Wildside Discovery tour

4 hours


2-hour nature safari

2 hours


Evening penguin tour

3 – 3.5 hours

Departure varies throughout the season.
Contact our office to confirm time.

Pohatu package

24 hours – 48 hours


Accommodation rental

24 hours – 48 hours

Check in: 2.30pm
Check out: 12.00pm

Hike and Kayak Combo

8 hours


Kayak and Evening penguin tour combo 7 - 9 hours 12.00pm


What To Bring

Due to the range of activity we offer and you would choose - sea-kayaking safari, nature safari or overnight stay - different set of gears would be required. That is why upon booking a tour we always send a follow up email with extra information and what to bring. But a must would be:

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Sun protection
  • Good walking shoes
Company Info

As a business and a team, we are all committed to:

  • Continue protecting Little penguins at Pohatu and the wider Banks Peninsula through predator control, rehabilitation of injured birds and weekly monitoring of the colony
  • Continue to advocate for the protection of New Zealand native species through our tours and outreach with schools and communities
  • Continue to support Governmental and Regional advocacy for a better New Zealand for now and future generation such as the Tiaki promise 
  • Continue to be involved in our community and support local events 
  • Continue to advocate for regenerative farming principles and sustainable fibers
  • Continue to work with the Department of Conservation and advocate for a regenerative tourism promoting good practices around wildlife with the SMART program
  • Continue to strengthen our relationship with our local Runanga
Wildside Discovery Tour $135.00 / Per adult
Sea-kayaking safari $65.00 / Per child
Sea-kayaking safari From $110.00 / Per adult
Wildside Discovery Tour From $50.00 / Per child
2 hour nature tour $75.00 / Per adult
2 hour nature tour From $35.00 / Per child
Evening penguin tour $95.00 / Per adult
Evening penguin tour From $35.00 / Per child
Evening penguin tour $250.00 / Per family (2ad + 2/3ch)
2 hour nature tour $200.00 / Per family (2ad + 2/3ch)
Wildside Discovery tour $315.00 / Per family (2ad + 2/3ch)
Pohatu package From $130.00 / Per adult
Pohatu package $80.00 / Per child
Hike and Kayak combo From $125.00 / Per adult
Hike and Kayak combo $100.00 / Per child
Kayak and Evening tour From $180.00 / Per adult
Kayak and Evening tour $120.00 / Per child
Accommodation rental From $75.00 / Per adult
Accommodation rental $55.00 / Per child

0212469556 - 033048542


Wildside Booking Office, 2/8 Rue Balguerie, Akaroa 7520

Christchurch / Canterbury
Christchurch / Canterbury

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