Photo © White heron sanctuary
Visit NZ’s only White Heron, Kotuku nesting site - a unique experience!
Seasonal from September - February/early March
Established 1987, White Heron Sanctuary Tours, Whataroa, is the original and only company to operate in the Waitangi-roto Nature Reserve and to visit New Zealand’s only White Heron, Kotuku nesting site. All tours operate with a Department of Conservation concession and entry is by permit only.
The tour includes a short, informative minibus ride from Whataroa to connect with our jet-boat for a gentle 20 minute scenic cruise into the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve (the only access to this area is by boat). In the reserve we disembark from the boat for a short walk (approximately 500 metres) through ancient Kahikatea rainforest to our purpose built viewing hide to observe the magnificent White Heron, Kotuku in their natural nesting environment. Royal Spoonbill, Kotuku Ngutu Papa and Little Shag, Kawapaka, also share this special area and all can easily be seen from the hide.
The population of White Heron in New Zealand is approximately 150. To see one of these splendid birds is a rare and special sight and to visit their only breeding ground is a truly unique experience!
You will find our White Heron Sanctuary Tours office in the small township of Whataroa on State Highway 6 - 30 kms North of Franz Josef and 100 kms South of Hokitika.
Tour Duration: 2.5 hours return from our office in Whataroa.
Tour Times: 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm - These times do sometimes vary therefore bookings are recommended.
Bookings can be made via our website or by contacting us direct.
Rates: Refer website
Tours operate rain or shine. Full wet weather gear is provided if it is wet. A warm hat/clothing and comfortable footwear is recommended.
Accommodation is available
White Heron Sanctuary Tours Contact Details
64 Main road
State Highway 6
South Island West Coast
PO Box 19
Phone : 64 3 753 4120
Fax : 64 3 753 4087
Freephone : 0800 52 3456