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“Bird enthusiasts paradise”

White Heron Sanctuary Tours
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Whataroa
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Bird enthusiasts paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2017 via mobile

We did an early morning trip starting with a gentle jet boat trip winding through narrow streams leading to the white heron colony. Beautiful scenery. Tranquil and peaceful.

Visited January 2017
Thank Chris T
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
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
203 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Stunning & Magical”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2017

This tour is a unique experience and one to put on your 'must do' list! There is a minibus ride to the river with a friendly driver commentary that is most informative, then a brilliant jet boat spin to the nesting site, going past ancient kahikatea on the riverbank. A boardwalk through the forest takes you to the hide from where the Kotuku can be seen in trees across the water. A wonderful trip - do it!

Visited February 2017
Thank Kaye W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Best day out for many a year!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2017 via mobile

Fabulous trip down the river with friendly and knowledgeable Guide Deon. The drive in is across farmland and then a 15 min jet boat ride down the river almost to the coast before turning into a DOC controlled reserve of natural bush and the amazing white heron breeding colony. Plenty of time to view and ask questions and local family on our trip made it all the more entertaining giving their kiwi slang on the ride. Excellent value for money and couldn't recommend it more highly, especially as it is an escape from the crowds around the glaciers into the peaceful NZ bush with amazing views of the Southern Alps to Mt Cook.

Visited January 2017
Thank Margaret H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winters, California
Level Contributor
69 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“An Opportunity To See Cranes”
4 of 5 bubbles 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
Thank H2OAlgae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
89 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Good but not a 'must do' for me”
4 of 5 bubbles 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
1 Thank DexterD2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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