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Near Akaroa, on the Banks Peninsula, Pohatu penguins guide you around the Pohatu Marine Nature Reserve giving you the chance to see the largest little penguin colony on New Zealand in their natural environment.
Pohatu penguins also give you the chance to explore the coast within the reserve by sea kayak and from the high passes on land via a scenic four-wheel drive tour.
Only guided tours are allowed into this breeding colony of Australasian little penguins in respect of the sensitive nature of such a habitat and Francis and Shireen Helps, Pohatu penguins' owners and guides, have worked hard to protect them. They offer visitors the chance to experience them in their natural state without disturbing them.
Penguin tours can take place during the evening or daytime, with the breeding season (August-January) being a particularly good time of year to see them with lots of activity and, of course, young penguins.
Four wheel drive tours encompass many of the brilliant sights on the Banks Peninsula. You will navigate one of the highest passes on the peninsula and combine that with penguin viewing and other wildlife spotting, walks through the bush and much more. You can sit and appreciate the views over Akaroa Harbour whilst enjoying your complimentry muffin and hot drink!
A sea kayak experience will allow you to explore the coast of the marine reserve, guided or by yourself. As you venture out to marvel at the towering sea cliffs from the water as well as reefs and deep caves, seals are likely to be lounging on the rocks or swimming past, along with often seen Hector's dolphins.