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Moutohora Island Sanctuary (Whale Island) - Day Tour

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Whakatane, New Zealand
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About Moutohora Island Sanctuary (Whale Island) - Day Tour
Moutohorā is one of News Zealand’s little-known treasures and home to a number of New Zealand’s rare and endangered plants, birds and reptiles. Located 9 kms off Whakatāne, the island is under the protection of the Department of Conservation (DOC) with access highly restricted. Departing from Whakatāne Wharf, the journey to Moutohorā is just a short 15-minute boat ride aboard our comfortable catamaran “The Moutohorā Cat”, designed to be able to nestle right onto the shore. Once ashore, the fully-guided tour allows visitors to learn about the island's unique flora and fauna, with is a chance to see a number of different species – including saddleback, red-crowned parakeet, little brown kiwi, tui – many of which are endangered or seldom seen on the New Zealand mainland. The tour includes 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 and ends with a circumnavigation of the island.
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Moutohora Island Sanctuary (Whale Island) - Day Tour
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Clive Beeching wrote a review 15 Jan
1 contribution
Our family took this tour recently. 5 X adults and two children. We all had a wonderful experience. The tour operators and crew are polite, experienced, and totally professional throughout the whole day. The tour itself is not only visually exciting, the commentary is informative and interesting. I would highly recommend this tour as a must do. Clive Beeching
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Date of experience: January 2022
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KiwiRoadrunner wrote a review 11 Jan
Auckland Central, New Zealand203 contributions133 helpful votes
A very enjoyable day trip from Whakatane. Trip includes: about a 20 min boat trip to the island, a look (from the boat) at a local seal colony on the rocks, a leisure walk over the saddle to the other side of the island (spotting native birds and lizards on the way) for amazing views/photo ops, a walk back to a hot water beach where you can swim, eat lunch, just relax, then (possibly) a boat trip around the island and then head back to shore. The tour guides have the timing down pat so it's a lovely, relaxing day. A few tips for those that love details: there is car parking available outside the cafe where you check in. They take the biosecurity seriously so everyone has to empty their bags in a special bin while they check them for any predators. This takes a good 30 minutes so make sure to arrive as per their instructions. On the island, you should probably wear more than jandals for the walk over the saddle but you probably don't need full-on hiking boots. I wish I'd worn my Tevas (or similar) that have a bit of grip but can also get wet for when you're on the beach. Note it is a bit of a wet water walk off/on the boat (or at least into wet sand). There are a couple of toilets (long-drop style) near where you arrive and again about halfway through the saddle. Definitely a great day out!
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Date of experience: January 2022
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andreajennynz wrote a review Oct 2021
Raumati South, New Zealand35 contributions26 helpful votes
Fabulous day, great guide, Fiona, pointing out all the bird life and giving comprehensive history of the island. Highly recommend this day trip
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Date of experience: October 2021
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NikSchmutz wrote a review May 2021
Penticton, Canada10 contributions2 helpful votes
Great tour! They were very accommodating when our originally booked time was cancelled due to poor weather: offered us to reschedule or the option of a full redund. Thankfully we were sticking around Whakatane a few more days, so got to do the tour. It was great! Unforgettable views, and a friendly, knowledgeable guide who patiently answered all of our stupid questions. We would definitely come back again!
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Date of experience: May 2021
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Alice wrote a review Sep 2020
Putaruru, New Zealand7 contributions
Really loved this tour! Guides were amazing and friendly. Got to see some fantastic wildlife too The walk was nice and easy most of the way. There is a short steep section but the view from the top is amazing and worth it. Would recommend this to everyone!
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Date of experience: September 2020
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