Enjoy the BEST 2 hour Wildlife Experience in the majestic Marlborough Sounds with the award winning local WILDLIFE EXPERTS!
Experience marine and land wildlife on a cruise to Marlborough's oldest marine reserve and our local Wildlife Sanctuary. Take a short stroll to the lookout and see the BEST view in the Southern Queen Charlotte Sound.
Fantastic opportunity to get up close to wildlife with our specially trained captains and get some amazing photos as we are the local WILDLIFE EXPERTS! .
We know all the local stories, both Maori and European. We are also trained on flora, fauna, geography and local history to make sure you have a great time with the BEST customer service locally.
Bring Suitable foot wear for a short stroll in Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, up to the 80m above sea level lookout which is the BEST view in the southern Sounds. Alternatively, bring a bottle of wine and some snacks and sit and enjoy the peaceful ambience of the Wildlife Sanctuary at the picnic area entrance or if you're feeling adventurous, have swim from the jetty and beach.
Hear about the flora and fauna of the area; see the birds and marine mammals all in calm sheltered waters with an unforgettable scenic backdrop.
Use the self-guide information on Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary to educate yourself on local plant species and bird species while you enjoy the freedom to actually touch, see and feel them for real.
We are located conveniently on Picton's main Waterfront with car parking close by and only a 1-minute walk from the main street. Just look for the Dusky Dolphin outside our shop!
Come inside to see our stunning display of life size models of the wildlife species you will encounter on your experience. Wildlife information can be downloaded FREE to your phone www.e-ko.nz/digital-info-cards
Board our purpose built vessels at our floating wharf for your small group experience before embarking on your cruise through the scenic and sheltered waters of the southern Queen Charlotte Sound.
The world’s smallest penguin, little penguin (also known as little blue penguin) stand just over 25 cm and weigh around one kg. They spend much of their time at sea hunting small fish, crustaceans and squid.
Population: about 200,000, half of which are in Australia.
Found on: rocky shores throughout mainland New Zealand, the Chatham Islands, and the Subantarctic islands, as well as parts of Australia.
Fur seals and sea lions are distinguished from other seals by their external ear flaps and hind flippers which rotate forward, allowing them to move quickly on land.
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.
The trip starts with a marine cruise, fully guided by Captain / guide who will point out the sea birds, any marine mammals we may encounter, penguins and stop at the oldest marine reserve in the sound. You can hand feed fish with special food (locally produced and designed to keep them healthy). This makes you part of active marine conservation, by helping preserve local Snapper, Blue Cod and Yellow Eyed Mullet populations.
Then to Picton’s hidden treasure, Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary. First created in 2005 to protect and enhance our unique New Zealand wildlife. The 40 hector bush covered reserve is home to many bird species as it is completely predator free. Home to Wekas, fantails, bellbirds, Tuis, Moreporks, Silver eyes, Brown creepers, grey warblers and coastal birds like penguins, spotted shags, pied shags and oyster catchers and even some KIWI! We provide a self guide information sheet so you can educate yourself on local species of flora and fauna.
The local community has put a huge effort into this project and we now have a safe haven for our beautiful New Zealand birds to re-establish. Numerous predator trapping devices can be seen all through this area and detailed flora and fauna information signs located at points of interest. Throughout the bush you will see native Beech trees, Manuka, Kanuka, Kamahi, Silver Fern , Rangiora , Kawakawa , Tawa and Five fingers.
The trail through the bush starts with 4 zigzags up a hill to a small bird bath before meandering along through gentle gradients up to approximately 80m above sea level where you will be treated with the BEST view in the lower sound. About 45 minutes return , normal pace.
At this fantastic panoramic photo location sit down and savour this picture perfect view of the Queen Charlotte Sound. It is an ideal spot to experience the true ambience of the sounds, reflect and re-fresh your soul.
You can also enjoy the beach and jetty area, go for a swim, collect mussel or enjoy a bottle of wine and a snack at the picnic area behind the jetty.
Return to the floating dock and enjoy your short cruise back to Picton.