Moutohorā : Island Sanctuary Tour
- Duration: 4 Hours (approx.)
- Product code: MIS
Join us for a 4-4.5-hour journey to Moutohorā (Whale Island) one of New Zealand's little-known treasures and home to a number of New Zealand's rare and endangered plants,
birds and reptiles. Departing from Whakatāne Wharf, following bio-security checks, you'll begin the short 15-minute journey to Moutohorā our comfortable catamaran “The Moutohorā Cat”. Designed to be able to nestle right onto the shore, disembarking is as easy as walking down some stairs and stepping onto the beach.
Once ashore, the fully-guided tour allows visitors to learn about the island's unique flora and fauna and the conservation effort focused on Moutohorā for the past 50 years. Since becoming pest-free, bird life on Moutohorā has flourished and there is a chance to see a number of different species – including saddleback/tieke, kakariki/red-crowned parakeet, little brown kiwi, bellbirds, tui, grey warbler – many of which are endangered or seldom seen on the New Zealand mainland.
The walk includes a visit to the island's saddle(the dip between the two highest summits) for spectacular views out to White Island and a visit to Sulphur Bay where geothermal hot springs come up through the sand allowing for you to dig your own hot pool on the beach. (Note: there are no changing facilities or bathrooms on the island).
After having a swim, you will return to Boulder Bay and re-board “The Cat” where, if conditions permit, we will circumnavigate the island before returning to Whakatāne. There may also be an opportunity to stop and spend time with any marine life we encounter along the way.
Due to the precious nature of this pest-free island access is highly restricted to the general public and the only way to visit the island is with a Department of Conservation approved concessionaire. We are privileged to be allowed to take a small number of visitors to the island each day.