Our Story

The ethos of E-ko Tours is to connect Humans with Nature. To give you and Adventure for your soul !

We operate the business around the key concepts of sustainability and conservation. Good business is about respecting nature and conserving for our Future and our childrens future.

 

 Our Passion and enthusiasm for our local environment comes across in our on-board wildlife commentary and up-close encounters while we explore the majestic Marlborough Sounds. We believe in having Fun while showing of our amazing back yard and get you involved in the expereince to create special memories . 

Hence the tag line ; 

 

                                         'Adventure’s for your Soul'

 

E-Ko Tours offer a unique range of products focused around the nature, history and wildlife of the Queen Charlotte (QC) Sound. Our office is ideally situated at the head of the QC Sound on Picton’s picturesque waterfront opposite to the jetty where our two boats (Delphinus and Miss Te Rawa) are moored. We are owned and operated by local mariner Paul Keating and several passionate Wildlife specialists with multipule degreees and language skills. Our aim is to provide the best Wildlife Experience in New Zealand .

 We love to see our customers become as passionate about the NZ wildlife as we are.

                                   We deliver the most diverse Wildlife Experience in New Zealand on land and at Sea !

                                                                             You simply see MORE Widlife on our Tours !

 

Sea Birds

  • Little Blue Penguins
  • King Shags
  • Reef Heron
  • Variable Oyster Catcher
  • Fluttering Shearwaters
  • Artic and Pomeranian Skua 
  • White Fronted Turn
  • Spotted Shag
  • Pied Shag
  • Little Black Shag
  • Australasian Gannets

 

Marine Mammals

  • New Zealand Fur Seals
  • Hectors Dolphins
  • Bottlenose Dolphins
  • Common Dolphins
  • Dusky Dolphins
  • Orca

 

Land Birds

  • Fantail
  • Grey Warbler
  • Tui
  • Bellbird
  • New Zealand Wood Pigeon
  • South Island Robin
  • Rowi Kiwi
  • Yellow Fronted Kakariki
  • South Island Saddleback
  • Nesting Penguins 

 

We provide the best service locally with all our Guides degree qualified, enthusiastic and locally trained.

 We are also privileged to have 6 predator free Wildlife Sanctuary islands all in calm sheltered waters and giving us about 1000 Hectares of land to breed up rare and endangered species. These island provide breeding habitat for two species on Kiwi NZ rarest bush bird the Orange Fronted Kakariki.  

E-Ko Tours was founded with a vision of developing a business that would be a force in local conservation and education. We integrate this vision into both our internal processes and our product offerings.

Our staff are volunteers for Guardians of the Sounds, are trained by Project Jonah as marine mammal medics and we utilize our resources to assist the Department of Conservation (DOC) with their kiwi breeding program – Project Nest Egg. Information surrounding these initiatives is incorporated into the commentary guests receive while on tour and is delivered in a manner that is designed to get people from all walks of life excited about conservation. In our experience, we have found that this approach instils guests with a sense of pride and accomplishment as they can see by simply just participating in an E-Ko Tour they are helping support a business that supports the local environment and as such they are helping conserve that environment too.

Since opening for business, we have won the Tourism Industry Award for Innovation in Eco-Tourism and this year we were inducted into Trip Advisor’s Hall of Fame.