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Farewell Spit Eco Tours Golden Bay
Farewell Spit Eco Tours
Farewell Spit – or Tuhuroa in Māori – is a natural wonder. This narrow sand spit is located at the northernmost tip of New Zealand's south island and is the longest sandspit in the country. With a reach of about 26km (not including an extra 6km of underwater landmass) running from east to west, the Spit is made up of unbelievably beautiful golden sand, which has been formed over the years from the erosion of Cretaceous quartz sandstone, garnet, ilmenite, magnetite and pyroxene from the cliffs at Cape Farewell.
The low tide – which can recede as far as 7kms – exposes vast mudflats, which create a natural feeding ground that attracts seabirds by the thousands; in fact, up to 20,000 godwits, 30,000 knots and many other migratory and native birds (as well as introduced species) come to visit the Spit during the summer time. An absolute dream for bird watchers! The Spit is now a nature reserve and bird sanctuary and public access is heavily restricted; however, during your Farewell Spit eco tour, you will be granted special access to view part of the gorgeous sanctuary for yourself.
Your tour begins with a stop at Puponga, then a cliff-top view of the basking seals and their pups at the most northerly part of the South Island, Cape Farewell. Your friendly and passionate tour guides will then escort you to Fossil Point – an old hauling point for NZ fur seals. Here you will see exposed fossils as well as an abundance of rock and sea life within the rock pools. Enjoy a short drive over to the iconic and historically significant lighthouse, where you will spend around 45 minutes climbing the lighthouse and exploring the history of the Maori legends surrounding the area. Here, you will see the pouwhenua (traditional carved pillars) and enjoy refreshments in the lighthouse keepers cottage.
You will be awestruck at the panoramic views from a sandhill overlooking the Spit, the inter-tidal plain and the ocean beach; here you will see the migrant waders from the Arctic Circle, as they feed on their ocean feast.
When you later share your wonderful experience with family and friends, you will be helping to raise public awareness of the precious migratory bird ecosystem, so vital for their survival.
- Informative & friendly guides
- Visit Farewell Spit nature reserve & bird sanctuary including Puponga, Cape Farewell, Fossil Point & lighthouse
- View fur seals, migratory birds, coastal cliffs & sand dunes
- Lunch (on request)
- Allow 6.5 hours
- Tours depart once a day between 6.30am & 3pm (departure time dependent on the tides)
- Departs from Eco Tours office, Tasman street, Collingwood (2hrs drive from Nelson)
- Operates daily all year (except public holidays)
- You will need to make your own way to the Eco Tours office in Collingwood
- Tours depart once a day between 6.30am & 3pm with departure times dependent on the tides. You will be informed of the departure time once you book online or if you wish to know before hand please email us & we will inform you of the departure time for your requested day of travel
- Wear sturdy footwear (toes enclosed)
- Bring your camera, sunglasses, lunch & water
- Child prices available for kids up to 15 years old
- Farewell Spit Eco Tour has been operating on Farewell Spit for more than 60 years & has a permit from the Department of Conservation to enter the reserve. It is one of the founding businesses of the Nelson Sustainable Tourism Charter whose aim is to continually improve & promote the environmental, social, cultural & economic sustainability of tourism businesses in our region
Prices & Options
- adult NZD$155.00
- child (0-15yrs) NZD$58.00
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