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, his neighbours – the father son duo of Mark and Jack Randall and a long-time friend Alan Lawson.
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.