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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 and 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 unique nature 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.

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

On the Gannet Colony Tour, the real highlight is located about 2km further out where 9,000 gannets are nesting. A 20min walk (feet may get wet) across the flat sand on the spit’s end will lead you to an ideal observation point to view the impressive gannet colony. Do not forget your binocular and camera!

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

The trip is organized in comfortable 4×4 buses and guided by a qualified driver/tour escort. All departure times are in function of the tides. In our booking confirmation we will advise you with the exact departure time or suggest alternative departure days or options if needed. If the Gannet Colony Tour is unavailable, we will replace it by the Farewell Spit Eco Tour which offers a similar program (except the visit to the gannet colony) at a slightly reduced rate.

Tour time
6.5 hours

Departure place
Tour office in Collingwood (30min drive from the lodge)

This tour includes:
• Comfortable four-wheel drive bus with air conditioning
• Experienced local tour escort
• Morning or afternoon tea with muffins and hot drinks

Special Lodge prices
NZ$ 170.00 per person (Gannet Colony Tour)
NZ$ 160.00 per person (Farewell Spit Tour, high tide alternative)

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