0

Your Basket is Empty!

Book a Tour
0

Basket

Your Basket is Empty!

Book a Tour
  • tours  
  • book now  

    Book a Tour

    Book Now Special Offers
  • special offers  
    View All Offers

Bird Watchers Experiences

King Shag

Enjoy the BEST bird watching experiences in Marlborough Sounds with the award winning local WILDLIFE EXPERTS!

 

We take you where the wildlife is!

 

E-Ko is very excited to now offer you, keen bird watchers, five different options for experiencing the plethora of rare and wonderful birds the Queen Charlotte Sound has to offer. All options include time spent on the water cruising the Queen Charlotte Sound in search of a large variety of sea birds that inhabit the area, including one of the world's rarest sea birds, the King Shag!

 

Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary Experience

Briefing times: 07:15 (summer) and 13:15 daily

Trip duration: 4 hours

Price: Adult $99 Child $55 Infant $30

 

This experience provides the opportunity to view a variety of land and sea birds including the very rare King Shag. Found only in the Marlborough Sounds, the King Shag is considered a prize amongst birdwatchers. 

 

Learn about the wildlife from our degree qualified guides as we take the time to enjoy the species that call these waters home. Predator-free Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary is a bird-lovers paradise and home to blue penguins, South Island Saddleback, Kereru, Bellbirds, Yellow-crowned Parakeets (Kakariki), NZ Falcon and South Island Robins.

 

Enjoy a 1-hour bush walk to the top of the island for the added bonus of amazing view across the Cook Strait to the North Island. The birds here are plentiful, fearless and very vocal and if you sit quietly, they may even come within an arm's reach!  Other species likely encountered include dolphins (Dusky, Bottlenose, Hector's, Common or Orca), NZ Fur Seals, Spotted, Pied and Little Shags, Variable Oystercatchers, White-fronted terns, Australasian Gannets, Fluttering Shearwaters, reef and white-faced herons, arctic skuas (seasonal) and much, much more!

 

 

Blumine Island Bird Sanctuary Experience

Briefing time: 07:15

Trip duration: 4 hours

Price: Adult $99 Child $55 Infant $30

 

This experience departs Picton at 07:30 for an hour long nature cruise before being dropped at Blumine around 08:30. You are then free to explore the beautiful island for 2 hours from Camp Bay. You can follow the clearly marked track to the World War II gun emplacements which takes about 45 minutes each way. Along this track you will see and hear many species of native bird as this island with its own water source has multiple species of birds and also very rare carnivorous snails.  

 

For Bird enthusiasts this is the island to see the incredibly rare Orange fronted Kakariki. We have a 90% success rate on finding this elusive bird and bird watchers from all over the world come here to photograph and view these amazing creatures. Before we drop you off on the island we will tell you our secret method for success.

 

After your time on the island we will pick you up at 10:30 for a cruise back to Picton as we search for dolphins and other wildlife before returning you safely to shore at 11:30.

 

 

Double Bird Sanctuary Island Experience

Briefing time: 07:15

Trip duration: 10 hours

Price: Adult $145 Child $101 Infant $30

 

The E-Ko Double Bird Sanctuary Experience is an exciting new full day tour that gives you an exclusive opportunity to visit both Blumine and Motuara Bird Sanctuary Islands.

 

On Blumine you get the opportunity to hike through the bush to the historic WWII gun emplacements, camp with friends and family or search for some of New Zealand's rarest bush birds. This predator free bird sanctuary is home to the South Island Saddleback, Bellbirds, Kereru, Tomtits, Tui, Weka, and the very rare Mohua and Orange Fronted Parakeets - New Zealand's rarest bush bird! 

 

On Motuara you will get to learn about the wildlife from our degree qualified guides as we take the time to enjoy the species that call this unique island home. Predator-free Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary is a bird-lovers paradise and home to Blue Penguins, South Island Saddleback, Kereru, Bellbirds, Yellow-Crowned Parakeets (Kakariki), NZ Falcons and South Island Robins.

 

The trip departs Picton at 07:30 for an hour long nature cruise before you're dropped off at Blumine around 08:30. You are then free to explore the Island for 6 hours before being picked up at 14:30 and taken to Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary for a guided walk. After your walk we will cruise back to Picton in search of dolphins and other wildlife before returning you safely to shore at 17:30. If you want to spend a day or 3 on Blumine that is no issue! Just give us a call or send us an email and we can schedule your pickup for 14:30 on whatever day suits you!

 

 

Bird Watchers Expedition

For Birding Watching Groups or Clubs ; You pick the island!

Briefing time: 08:00

Trip duration: 4 hours

Price: $1500 for up to 14 passengers.

 

This specialized experience focuses on two species; New Zealand King Shag and Orange Fronted Kakariki, New Zealand’s rarest Bush bird, lots of other species are also encountered on the cruise through the beautiful calm waters of Queen Charlotte Sound to our predator free bird sanctuary islands.

 

Departs Picton at 08:00 for an hour long search for our rare and endangered King Shags only found here in Marlborough. There is only 830 of these birds on the planet and we have 99.9% success rate finding them. You have one of our specially trained Captains to guide you and make the photos perfect.

 

Blumine Island, our next stop is THE place to see the incredibly rare Orange fronted Karkariki. We have a 90% success rate finding this elusive bird and bird watchers from all over the world come here to see (and usually photograph) this prized animal. Before we drop you off on the island we will tell you our secret method for success.

 

After your time on the island we will pick you up at 11:00 for a cruise back to Picton as we search for dolphins and other wildlife before returning you safely to shore by 12:30. We also supply scones and hot drinks on this tour. Luxury Birding.

 

 

E-Ko Rowi Kiwi Experience

Briefing time: 13:15

Trip duration: 4 hours

Price: Adult $99 Child $55 Infant $30

 

We transport the rarest Kiwi in New Zealand to Motuara every 6 weeks as part of our ongoing support for the Department of Conservation. You can see these young kiwi chicks up close and personal on one of our transport trips. The afternoon Wildlife Tour is used to take birds out and bring them back from Motuara .

 

Email or call us and we can add you to our list of people wanting to see the Rowi Kiwis.

 

 

These tours are only available through phone or email bookings

 

 

 

Commonly seen on this tour

King Shag

King Shag

(Leucocarbo carunculatus)

The King Shag is one of the world's rarest sea birds with a global population of only 830. They are endemic to the Marlborough Sounds and are the largest of the Cormorant species that inhabit the region. 

South Island Saddleback

South Island Saddleback

(Philesturnus carunculatus)

The South Island Saddleback is endemic to New Zealand and became famous in 1964 for being the first bird species to be saved from extinction by trans-location. From the original 36 rescued birds their population is now estimated to exceed 2000.

Departure Information

  • Duration

    4-10 hours
  •  
  • Briefing Time

    Viewing Only - 30 Minutes before tour departure

Location

Wellington Street Picton
View Map View Map

Features

  • King Shag
  • Unique photo opportunities
  • Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary
More Info

Tour Gallery

Conservation Initiatives

Here at E-Ko Tours we are proud to follow the Marine Mammal Protection Act 1978 and the Marine Mammal Protection Regulations 1992. These ensure the marine mammals of New Zealand are protected and that their conservation is a top priority. Our interactions with the marine mammals of the Marlborough Sounds adhere to all regulations and our conservation focused tours are designed to educate and raise awareness about conservation in the Marlborough Sounds.