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“Unexpected Highlight”

White Heron Sanctuary Tours
Reviewed 24 July 2016

We contacted Dion on a wet day in Franz Josef and although short notice he easily arranged a time to take just the 3 of us by Jet Boat up to the Heron Sanctuary. The ride up was brilliant weaving through the farm land and although quite a miserable day no need to avoid going. Spend an hour at the sanctuary which was surprisingly informative, the Herons only nesting in this small 50 metre stretch and nowhere else. Highly recommended.

Thank Colin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"nesting area"
in 8 reviews
"jet boat"
in 36 reviews
"beautiful birds"
in 6 reviews
"the river"
in 24 reviews
"short walk"
in 11 reviews
"new zealand"
in 18 reviews
in 4 reviews
"nature reserve"
in 3 reviews
"great trip"
in 5 reviews
"wet weather gear"
in 5 reviews
"nesting season"
in 5 reviews
"guide dion"
in 4 reviews
"great viewing"
in 2 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 2 reviews
"across the road"
in 3 reviews
"south island"
in 4 reviews
in 37 reviews

32 - 36 of 103 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2016

The White Heron Tour begins about half an hour away from Franz Josef and well worth doing at the right time of the year. The advertising leaflet does say September to March although we went February and some white herons had already dispersed. However, the jet boat ride up the river is really good and then there is a short boardwalk to the hide. We got brilliant views of royal spoonbill, white herons, shag and the guide also explained about the flora and fauna. Plenty of time in the hide and not hurried at all. Would definitely go again.

Thank Suegofar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2016

I didnt do the tour but I did spend a lovely night at the attached hotel, run by the same folks. There seemed to be two parts to this hotel, the original next to the tour office and the old hospital down the road. I was in the old hospital - dont worry, there are no hospital beds and no bed pans, the only give away is the (excellent) disabled bathroom facilities.

Like just about every other hotel in this part of NZ, the owners think of everything: there's a toaster, kettle, microwave, cutlery, bowls, cups and - the real winner - a can opener! You can pick up some supplies at the On The Spot across the road, though dont leave it too late, they close around 5/6pm.

A great option for cyclists and anyone unable to find a bed in Franz Josef (which seemed to be quite a few people when I was there).

Thank Lily W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2016

Whether or not you are an avid birder (and I am), this is a spectacular tour that allows you to see the only white heron breeding site in NZ. These statuesque birds breed in the summer and we were lucky enough to get there shortly after most of the chicks had recently hatched. There are fewer than 150 nesting pairs of White Herons in all of NZ and this is the only place you can see them. What a show they put on! You observe from across the river where there is a blind- perfect for taking photos. Getting there is half the fun as well. You start with a short drive in a van while getting the history of the area and information about the local flora. Then you get into a jet boat to head up the Waitangi Taona River into the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve. After a short easy walk along the boardwalk and through the rainforest you arrive at the sanctuary where we saw not only the white herons, but also nesting Royal Spoonbills and little shags. See my photos to see why it was such a high point of our South Island visit

Thank yummyrib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 March 2016

Arrived about 5.30pm for an overnight stay. Room clean and tidy, Internet very good.
I could not get the television to work so rang the proprietor at 7pm. They were at my motel room within 5 minutes and very happy to help.Before she left she told me if i had any other problems just ring. Very accommodating.

Thank Denise2159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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