Sandspit 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. Only a guided four wheel drive tour gives you the opportunity to visit the full length of this unique landscape full of sand hills and mud-flats. During the summer this environment is occupied by up to 5,000 gannets, 20,000 godwits and 30,000 knots.

The tour starts in Collingwood and follows the coastline to the start of the Spit. Thirty kilometres along the ocean beach is the Lighthouse Reserve where you pause for 45min to climb the lighthouse and learn more about the Maori legends.

Then you travel for about 2km beyond the Lighthouse for a 20min walk (feet may get wet) across the flat sand on the spit’s end to view the impressive gannet colony. So don’t forget your binocular and camera!

Returning from the lighthouse you 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 organised in comfortable 4x4 buses and guided by qualified drivers/tour escorts. Tour times are in function of the tides. In our booking confirmation we’ll advise you with the exact departure time.

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 price.

As departure time for this tour is tide dependent, it isn’t always possible to have your lunch or dinner in a local restaurant. If so, you can pre-book our delicious picnic hamper for NZ$22 per person.

Have a look at our other tours

Alegria Suite Adagio Suite


  • Eco / Gannet Colony Tour
  • Four-wheel drive tour
  • Bird watching
  • Beach Safari
  • Farewell Spit
  • Cape Farewell
  • Mullet Channel
  • Fossil Point
  • Spit lighthouse
  • Gannets, wading birds
  • Seal Colony
  • Sand hills, lookouts
  • Coastal cliffs
  • Fossils, shells
  • Rock pools
  • Maori legends
  • History & ecology
  • Refreshment
  • Low tide departure
  • Maximum 20 people

Info & Price:

  • Duration: 6 ½ hrs
  • Season: All year
  • Price: NZ$ 155 pp

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