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Sandspit 4×4 Tour

Farewell Spit Tour

Farewell Spit is a bird sanctuary and wetland of international importance. The Spit is 35km long but public access is restricted to the first 4 km. Thanks to this guided 4×4 tour you will have the opportunity to visit the full length of this uniquely beautiful natural phenomenon of sand dunes and mudflats. During the summer, the nature reserve is occupied by up to 9,000 gannets, 20,000 godwits and 30,000 knots!

The starting point for this tour is the settlement of Collingwood and your tour guide will take you on a trip along the Golden Bay coastline to the start of the sandspit. Thirty kilometres along the ocean beach is the Lighthouse Reserve where you will pause to climb up the lighthouse, learn more about the Maori legends and enjoy some refreshments in the Lighthouse keeper’s cottage at the foot of the Lighthouse.

On the Gannet Colony Tour, the real highlight is located about 2km further out where 9,000 gannets are nesting. A 20 minute walk (your feet may get a little wet) across the flat sand on the Spit’s end will take you to the perfect observation point to view the impressive gannet colony. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera!

Returning from the Lighthouse you will climb a sand hill for panoramic views and a look at the inter-tidal plain where migrant waders from the arctic circle feed during spring and summer. Our last stop is Fossil Point, a popular hauling out place for New Zealand fur seals.

The trip is guided by a qualified driver/tour guide in comfortable 4×4 buses. Departure times vary depending on the tide. In our booking confirmation we will advise you of the exact departure time or suggest alternative departure days and options if necessary. If the Gannet Colony Tour is unavailable, we will replace it with the Farewell Spit Eco Tour which offers a similar itinerary at a slightly reduced rate.

Tour duration
6.5 hours

Departure point
Tour office in Collingwood (30min drive from The Bay Lodge)

• Comfortable 4-wheel drive bus with air conditioning
• Experienced local tour escort
• Morning or afternoon tea of muffins and hot drinks

Special Lodge prices
NZ$ 210.00 per person (Gannet Colony Tour)
NZ$ 190.00 per person (Farewell Spit Tour, high tide alternative)

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