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Motuara Island

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A visit to the Motuara Island wildlife refuge...

Guarding the entrance to Queen Charlotte Sound, Motuara Island is covered with regenerating forest and has been pest-free since 1991. It is now a bird sanctuary that provides a safe haven for many rare species, including the South Island Saddleback and Bush Robin.

Spend the day cruising through the Queen Charlotte Sound: An eco-marine haven where seals, dolphins, penguins, gannets and shearwaters abound.  The surrounding Sound also has a resident pod of Hector’s Dolphins, thought to be the rarest marine dolphin in the world.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) 'Marine Mammal Watch permit' allows us to interact with the local wildlife along the 30 minute journey to the Island.  Flora and Fauna identification sheets and maps can be provided during your visit, with an onboard commentary by the skipper highlighting points of interest.


Trips can be arranged during your stay. Contact us for details.

Birds found at Motuara Island are:

Tīeke - South Island Saddleback

Kororā - Little Blue Penguin

Rowi - Okarito Brown Kiwi

Toutouwai – South Island Robin

Kererū – New Zealand Wood Pigeon

Korimako – Bellbird

Kawau pateketeke- King Shags

Tōrea pango- Oystercatchers