White Heron West Coast Tour

Join us on a small group bird watching tour of the stunning West Coast of New Zealand. You'll see the magnificent White Heron (Kotuku) in their natural nesting environment, along with other native birds such as the Royal Spoonbill and the Little Shag.

© Southern Lakes Tours
© South Island Tours NZ

Tour Itinerary

A small group tour to see the stunning natural attractions and wildlife of the West Coast.  A special opportunity to see the natural nesting grounds of the White Heron (Kotuku) with a cruise through ancient Kahikatea rainforest Nature Reserve to see the magnificent birds. See the pristine lakes, and rugged coastlines of the West Coast, visit Greymouth, Hokitika, Franz Josef.

Stay in Haast and enjoy the magnificent scenery of Haast Pass, see Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, staying at the Cardrona Hotel for a special experience. Travel over the Crown Range, with interesting stops on your journey to Christchurch. Travel will be in our comfortable van. Group size will be 4-8 people.

Your own travel arrangements to Christchurch.

Day 1: Christchurch-Hokitika - Highlights Arthurs Pass, Mahinapua
Pickups approximately 9am from your Christchurch accommodation before starting our journey westward passing through the Canterbury foothill townships. Enjoy the scenery of Arthurs Pass crossing over the Southern Alps. We will stop for lunch in Greymouth, before going to Lake Mahinapua to admire the picturesque setting, enjoy the Tree Tops Walk experience, with the Southern Alps reflecting on the lake. You might be able to hear and see the birds that inhabit the surrounding bush also the area is so rich in history. We then check in to our accommodation before enjoying a meal in Hokitika tonight. D


Day 2: Hokitika-Franz Joseph - Highlight White Heron Guided Tour
Today we visit the White Herons at Whataroa and join a tour consisting of a short minibus ride, a gentle jet-boat for a 20-minute scenic cruise into the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve, with a short walk through ancient Kahikatea rainforest to a viewing hide to observe the magnificent White Heron (Kotuku) in their natural nesting environment. The Royal Spoonbill and the Little Shag also share this special area and can be seen easily from the hide.


Returning from your tour we will lunch at a local café. On the way we will visit Okarito village to see how many of the 76 species of birds that live in the area we can spot. We then head off to Franz Joseph for our night’s stay and evening dining experience. B.D

Day 3: Franz Joseph-Haast. Highlight today lakes and rugged West Coast scenery.
Today we are overnighting in Haast and along the way we will visit the beautiful lake Matheson with the famous Mt Cook magnificent reflection, also the township of Fox Glacier, Bruce Bay where Maoris were first thought to have landed on the West Coast and visit the southern and wild landscape of Jacksons Bay. We then drive to Haast and later go out for dinner together at a classic West Coast pub. B.D


Day 4: Haast-Cardrona
Today we travel along State Highway 6 through Haast Pass which only opened in the early 1960s. We stop off at places including Roaring Billy waterfall and other points of interest and listen to any bird life that fly and live in this area also reflect on the last time a Haast eagle was sighted. After driving through the pass, we arrive at Makaroa a little place with a wonderful café, arriving in Wanaka with free time to look around the shops before arriving at the historic Cardrona Hotel for the night. B D

Day 5: Cardrona-Christchurch. Highlight today Wanaka Lavender farm visit

After breakfast, we will depart to spend some time at the Wanaka Lavender Farm, then a stop at Tarras the home of Shrek, Lindis Pass to Omarama for a lunch stop. View Mt Cook and the Southern Alps from Lake Pukaki & visit the Church of the Good Shepherd & Mackenzie’s dog memorial at Lake Tekapo, we travel over Burkes Pass into the rolling hills of North Otago, through Fairlie to Geraldine for a short stop, through the farming town of Ashburton arriving in Christchurch approximately 5.30pm. B


From $1995


Tour Dates:

January 7-11 2021 

Tour includes

  • Treetop Walk Experience

  • White Heron Nature Tour 

  • 4 night’s accommodation

  • 4 breakfasts

  • 4 evening dining experiences