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Cape Farewell Eco Tour

The 35km stretch of sand known as Farewell Spit sits on the northwestern tip of New Zealand's South Island and is a fascinating place to visit. Home to sweeping vistas, rugged beaches, seals and an iconic lighthouse, you'll explore it all on this 6.5-hour tour.

Don't forget your camera for this fascinating tour of Farewell Spit, a thin strip of land jutting out from South Island's most northerly point and home to highlights aplenty.

The first stop is in Puponga and at the most northern point on the South Island, Cape Farewell. From the cliff top, seals and their pups can be seen basking on the rocks below all year round.

Next is Fossil Point at the beginning of the Spit, a popular hauling out place for NZ fur seals. Old fossils expose themselves among the rocks and sea life abounds in rock pools nearby.

A further 30 kilometres along the ocean beach is the Lighthouse Reserve, where you can pause for 45 minutes or so to climb the lighthouse, learn some of the Maori legends about the Spit, have refreshments in the lighthouse keeper's cottage and soak up some history.

Returning from the lighthouse, participants can climb the sand dune at Mullet Channel for panoramic views of the ocean beach, the parade of dunes along the centre of the spit and the inter-tidal plain where migrant waders from the Arctic Circle feed during spring, summer and autumn.

Cape Farewell is the northernmost point of the South Island and the clifftop views nearby are spectacular. The coastal cliffs are sliced through with fault-lines: vertically walled slashes where streams run inland rather than to sea.

Your guide is passionate about the history and ecology of Farewell Spit; they are knowledgeable about the wildlife and committed to ensuring you get the most from your trip. Hear the history of Puponga and New Zealand's first Radar Station.

See where whales strand and uncover the mystery of the migrant waders. During the summer there are up to 20,000 godwits and 30,000 knots at the Spit as well as other Northern migratory birds, New Zealand natives and introduced species. Bring cameras and binoculars to make the most of this nature-lover's paradise.

Tour concludes approximately 6 hours 30 minutes after commencement.

Experience Includes

  • Coach tour exploring Farewell Spit
  • Visit Fossil Point, Lighthouse Reserve, Cape Farewell and more
  • Transport on a comfortable wide-windowed bus
  • Light refreshments (tea, coffee, muffin)
  • Expert guide

Experience Excludes

  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • Optional gratuities
  • Lunch – this can be arranged at extra cost payable locally

Departs

Daily, weather dependant. Tour will not operate on certain days in winter when there is insufficient daylight.

Departure location

Collingwood.

Start times

Time varies daily depending on weather and tide. Usually between 7.00am and 2.00pm but will be advised locally when reconfirming.

Duration

6.5 hours.

Terms & Conditions

  • Departure Time varies due to tides and will be confirmed at time of booking.
  • The exact itinerary can depend on local conditions and is subject to change.
  • A minimum of 4 passengers is required for this tour.
  • Tour will not operate on certain days in winter when there is insufficient daylight.