Experience the wonders of the rugged South Coast near Wellington
Stunning views of the snow-capped mountains in New Zealand’s South Island
See and learn about New Zealand flora and fauna
Private access through farmland
Starting in central Wellington, we will pick you up in our exclusive 4WD Mercedes vans that offer the best in safety and comfort. We begin our journey at Otari-Wilton’s Bush - 100 hectares of ancient and regenerating forest and NZ’s only botanical garden dedicated solely to native plants. Designated a 6-star Garden of International Significance by the NZ Gardens Trust of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, Otari-Wilton’s Bush let's us introduce you to what the landscape of New Zealand was like for early Maori and European settlers. Walking across the skybridge, you will be treated to views across the canopy while your friendly and knowledgeable guide describes the unique flora and fauna endemic to this country and the challenges they have faced to survive. We regularly see beautiful native birds like Tui, Kaka, Kakariki, Kereru and, occasionally, Karearea, all of which were extinct or endangered in the Wellington region only 25 years ago.
Next, we head towards the south coast. Turning off the main road, we utilise our private access through Terawhiti Station, one of the oldest and largest stations in New Zealand. We’ll likely see sheep, cows and goats on the drive up the hill, before finding stunning views across the Cook Strait, Kaikoura Ranges and the South Island once we reach the top. the This area is now home to the Capital Kiwi project, which has recently reintroduced wild Kiwi a full 100-years since they were last seen and heard in the hills. We then follow the ridgeline road that was created for the imposing Project West Wind – a wind farm that generates enough electricity to power all the houses in the Wellington region. This city is known as Windy Welly for a reason! Your guide will explain how this collaboration was essential in keeping the farming operation going in what are challenging and harsh conditions and added another chapter to the long, storied history of Terawhiti.
Once we begin the descent towards sea-level, appearing in the distance will be the Karori rock lighthouse, which is more commonly known as the ‘leaning lighthouse’. One of New Zealand's first automated lighthouses and, yes, it does lean! You’ll see for yourself once we reach the coast and traverse the rocky, sandy track towards Tongue Point and the colony of native Fur Seals. Wander the beach to observe these cute creatures in their natural habitat as they sunbathe, play and swim. Staying at a safe distance [for their safety and ours], your guide will talk about the history, ecology and conservation which has allowed their numbers to flourish once again. We’ll treat you to some light refreshments as you take photos and watch the ferries crossing between New Zealand’s main two islands.
More stories will abound on the return journey over farmland and fault lines while soaking in those amazing views all over again. Upon arrival back in central Wellington, we’ll leave you to reflect on your experience to an area that even many locals don’t know about.
Pick-ups from central city locations or cruise terminal
No walking is required
Safari runs in all weather
Weather and other conditions may lead to route changes. Confirmed bookings can be transferred to another day at no charge when the supplier is notified with at least 24 hours notice. Cancellation of confirmed bookings 14 days or more prior to departure will be refunded 100%. Cancellations made 7-13 days prior to departure will be refunded 50%. Cancellations less than 7 days prior will receive no refund.
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund