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“An Opportunity To See Cranes”

White Heron Sanctuary Tours
Ranked #2 of 5 things to do in Whataroa
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Winters, California
Level Contributor
73 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“An Opportunity To See Cranes”
Reviewed 12 January 2017 via mobile

Great tour. We had been sitting in the rain at Franz Josef for several days and were a bit stir crazy to do something. After a torrential downpour the prior night we decided to do the 9:00 AM tour in Whataroa. Initially the 6 people on our tour climbed into a van for a 14km ride. There was so much water from the rain that the road was flooded in many sections. At the dock we climbed into the jet boat for our fanciful ride down the rain swollen river. Whee! After arriving at the conservation area and docking, there was a short bush walk on a boardwalk platform to the viewing hut. The cranes were just across the water channel, maybe 50 yards away. The sun was shining! We saw parents swooping in to feed chicks, some recently hatched chicks in the nest and the comical looking Spoonbill birds overseeing the action. Plenty of opportunities for photography and questions. There was a spotting scope in the hut that you could use. This was a great half day activity.

Visited January 2017
Helpful?
Thank H2OAlgae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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91 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    75
    12
    1
    2
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
91 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Good but not a 'must do' for me”
Reviewed 7 January 2017 via mobile

An enjoyable trip to see the heron breeding colony, hosted by a very knowledgable guide. The trip involves a ~15 minute van ride followed by an enjoyable ~15 minute jet boat ride to get to the breeding grounds. You then have ~30 minutes to watch the herons from a well prepared and situated viewing hut, complete with binoculars. You are only 10-20 metres from the herons so plenty of opportunity to have a good look

A good experience but perhaps my expectations had been raised too far by previous visitors

Visited January 2017
Helpful?
1 Thank DexterD2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
“Breathtaking experience”
Reviewed 3 January 2017

Sometimes the best experiences are the ones you stumble across unexpectedly. The White Heron Sanctuary Tour is not be missed - the jet boat ride down the river into the lagoon, a bush walk to the hide where binoculars and insect repellent are supplied, and then the magical breathtaking moment when the shutters are opened, and there, just across the river, are the white herons nesting, flying in and out, and keeping the royal spoonbills in line. An amazing sight. If you are traveling down the West Coast between November and March, don't miss it.

Visited February 2016
Helpful?
Thank Anne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
562 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 232 helpful votes
“Great jet boat trip - lovely spot to view herons”
Reviewed 3 January 2017 via mobile

Very laid back kiwi team to look aftet you - fun jet boat trip - easy walk to the hide and then pleasant 30 to 40 minutes viewing the herons breading area

They provide waterproof jackets and binoculars and a good overview of the herons breading habits, etc

Visited January 2017
Helpful?
Thank kiwi-traveller-PS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic trip. Totally recommend to all ”
Reviewed 2 January 2017 via mobile

Awesome. We had a great time. Professional and friendly operators. Jet boat driver and tour guide was knowledgeable and was great with my ASD son. Birdlife and viewing fantastic. Recommend to tourists and Kiwis. Special place to visit

Visited January 2017
Helpful?
Thank Kate G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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