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Habitat Tours

Features Animals
Auckland Central, New Zealand
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About Habitat Tours
Habitat Tours is a unique boutique nature focused tour company. We explore locations close to Auckland but slightly off the beaten track. Day tours from Auckland visit rainforests, stunning coastlines, black and white sandy beaches and experience New Zealand’s unique flora and wildlife (see many of New Zealand’s rare and endangered birds). Our Nature and Kiwi tour gives one of the best opportunities in the Auckland region to see kiwi, although not guaranteed we do know their habitat well and have a good success rate. Enjoy a delicious homemade picnic lunch or dinner on our full day and night tours. Small group tours (max 7) and our passionate guides ensure the best nature experience.
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Overview
Immerse yourself in the nature and ecosystem of New Zealand—and lookout for the islands' national bird, the kiwi—on this full-day ecotour from Auckland. In the company of a guide, walk through the Tawharanui forests with a small group of just seven people or fewer, taking in sights of local flora and fauna and listening to engaging commentary from your guide. Stop for a picnic dinner to cap off your day before returning to Auckland.

Please note: A reasonable level of fitness is required by participants.
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Patrick C wrote a review Jul 2021
1 contribution
I bought the Kiwi tour for Kiwis as a gift for my parents visiting from Australia, Mum and Dad had an amazing time and were full of praise for Tristan’s friendly nature and said he was a gold mine of information. They’re pretty jealous of his IR eyepiece too! And they were stoked to spot some Kiwis as well as a Takahē! On my end, they were extremely helpful navigating some last minute plan changes due to the Trans-Tasman bubble. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who'd like the best shot at seeing Kiwis in the wild!
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Date of experience: July 2021
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Response from Habitat_Tours, Owner at Habitat Tours
Responded 1 week ago
Hi Patrick, Many thanks for the amazing review and I'm glad that your parents loved the tour! It's always great seeing one of New Zealands icons in their natural habitat, as well as the very elusiveTakahe. The IR monocular is certainly worth its weight in gold! Wishing you all the best for the rest of the year and beyond. Tristan
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rose26303 wrote a review Jan 2021
Auckland Central, New Zealand2 contributions
As a Christmas gift for our teenagers we booked a nighttime guided tour with Tristan up to Tawharanui Regional Park. We also invited friends so they could make up numbers to eight, for a private tour. What an amazing experience for everyone. Tristan picked five of us up in a recent model Mercedes transit van. Great driver which was good because my husband is a notoriously nervous passenger! When we arrived, Tristan set up a delicious picnic dinner for us overlooking the beach and catered for a gluten free, dairy and gluten free, 2 vegans and a vegetarian with ease and grace. Not to mention scrumptious food! Everything was very eco including beeswax wraps over food containers. After a cup of tea we packed up, donned headlights and headed off into the forest on our quest for kiwis. Stunning views over the beach as we wandered with the sun setting helped to set the scene. As night settled, Tristan used a thermal imaging monocular to look into the forest for our elusive national icon. It didn't take long before we saw one. What incredible creatures. Oblivious to our delight the kiwi went about his/her business while we watched, daring not to make a sound, aided by a red light that Tristan shone towards the star of the show. We saw five kiwis in total and two giant wetas. Not a fave of mine personally but I happily stood back! The stars as we emerged from the forest canopy were awe inspiring. So much so that our 14 year old son, a budding astronaut, told us that seeing the stars was equal for him in enjoyment as seeing kiwis. Mental note: next Christmas take him to the observatory! Tristan is fabulous. His knowledge about wildlife is endless, he is professional, kind, thoughtful and patient. The sort of person who is perfect for guiding because you feel safe with him. We wholeheartedly recommend this experience. We don't need more stuff but we do need time off the grid that delights and connects us. This was one of those occasions. Jennifer
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Date of experience: January 2021
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Response from Habitat_Tours, Owner at Habitat Tours
Responded 11 Feb 2021
Hi Jennifer, Many thanks for the awesome review; it was a real pleasure to take you and your family out on our kiwi tour. With our borders closed it has been great to have been able to introduce New Zealanders to the wonders in our backyard - most who have never seen a kiwi in the wild. As you say, there's so much more to Tawharanui and the night sky is incredible. So pleased that you have your Christmas gifts sorted for 2021 already! All the very best for the year and trust that you have many happy memories of your adventures from your summer holidays. Tristan
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Welsh NZers wrote a review Nov 2020
Auckland Central, New Zealand1024 contributions74 helpful votes
+1
Kiwi for Kiwi’s Night Tour. Last night we took the night tour to Tawharanui. It was the most fabulous experience and Tristan was a really welcoming and knowledgeable tour guide. We started from Takapuna at 6:00pm and the drive up is approximately 90 minutes. Once you get there, the walk is approx 50 minutes each way along gravel paths are wide and good to walk on, even in the dark with red head lamps. There’s a very clean toilet block by the beach, just a few steps from the small car park. The paths are well sign-posted and the surf beach is obviously popular with the locals. We were provided with a delicious light supper while we waited for the sun to set. There were lots of Pukeko with their chicks, Tui, Rosellas, Paradise Ducks, Oyster Catchers & Rabbits around the grassy areas of the Sanctuary. We’d only ever seen Kiwi in the Zoo before, so we had high expectations that we’d see one on the Tour. Well we did better than that. In the midst of the bush walk, along the wide gravel path, Tristan spotted a large Brown Kiwi foraging for insects. It was beautiful to watch - sadly the photos from our mobiles aren’t great though. Anyway as we walked on we saw another Kiwi which surprised us by dropping onto the path and then crossing in front of us. We couldn’t believe it. Then we came across a Morepork (Ruru) clinging into the branch of a tree and further down the path, another one. The bush was filled with a chorus of birdsong & calls from Kiwi, Tui, Bellbird, Kaka, Pukeko & Morepork - it was magical. The Tour far exceeded our expectations and we highly recommend Tristan and Habitat Tours to other avid native bird fans.
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Date of experience: November 2020
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Response from Tristan2509, Owner at Habitat Tours
Responded 1 Dec 2020
Many thanks for your lovely review. It was a pleasure taking you both out, and is always special seeing and hearing the native wildlife especially the kiwi.
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a_j_race wrote a review Nov 2020
Dunedin, New Zealand18 contributions5 helpful votes
Brought our 11 yr old grandson to Auckland to hunt for kiwi in the wild. Tristan did not disappoint and after some daylight exploration of Tawharanui we sat down to a delicious home-cooked picnic tea. Just 5 of us altogether this was very convivial and we enjoyed lots of preliminary information before we were equipped with the necessary torches as the sun set. Off kiwi hunting, we were thrilled to find 2 fossicking in the forest floor debris, near the pathway. Tristan used a night vision scope to seek out the kiwi making for a very successful trek. Excellent knowledge, great small tour and thoroughly recommended.
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Date of experience: November 2020
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Response from Tristan2509, Owner at Habitat Tours
Responded 1 Dec 2020
Many thanks for the amazing review! It's always great seeing one of New Zealands icons in their natural habitat, especially when they are not in to much of a hurry and run away. All the best and I'm glad that you enjoyed the tour.
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Jane Roger wrote a review Jul 2020
Auckland, New Zealand2 contributions
We had a wonderful experience in the company of Tristan who was well informed about the bush and wildlife and had specialised equipment which enhanced the days trip . We were lucky enough to see a range of native birds ( including the Kiwi and Takehe ) and taken to beautiful areas of bush . We enjoyed homemade soup and sourdough bread ( vegan )
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Response from Habitat_Tours, Owner at Habitat Tours
Responded 21 Jul 2020
It was a real pleasure to take you out on tour and wonderful to be able to share our unique wildlife with our local Kiwis at this time. Thank you for taking the time to write this review and I hope you have some wonderful birthday memories.
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