|Farewell Spit Eco Tour ~ 6 1/2 hrs|
Most people choose the Eco Tour which, as well as exploring the spit, stops in Puponga and at the most northern point on the South island, Cape Farewell. From the cliff top, seals and their pups can be seen all year basking on the rocks below.
The next stop is Fossil Point at the beginning of the Spit, a popular hauling out place for NZ fur seals. Old fossils expose themselves among the rocks and sea life abounds in rock pools nearby. 30 km along the ocean beach is the Lighthouse reserve, where we pause for 45 minutes or so to climb the lighthouse, check out the pouwhenua, learn some of the maori legends about the spit, have refreshments in our lighthouse keepers cottage and soak up some history.
Returning from the lighthouse, we climb a sandhill for panoramic views of the ocean beach, the parade of dunes along the centre of the spit and the inter-tidal plain where the migrant waders from the arctic circle feed during our spring summer and autumn.
Cape Farewell is the northernmost point of the South Island and the clifftop views nearby are spectacular. The coastal cliffs are sliced through with fault-lines, vertically walled slashes where streams run inland rather than to sea.
Our guides are passionate about the history and ecology of Farewell Spit, they are knowledgeable about the wildlife and committed to ensuring you get the most from your trip. Hear the history of Puponga and New Zealand's first Radar Station. See where Whales strand and uncover the mystery of the migrant waders.
During the summer there are up to 20,000 godwits and 30,000 knots at the Spit as well as other Northern migratory birds, New Zealand natives and introduced species. Bring cameras and binoculars to make the most of this nature-lover's paradise.
At the Farewell Spit Lighthouse there is time to explore around the historic buildings and enjoy the refreshments provided in the century old lighthouse keeper's residence. Along the beach you have stunning views of the Tasman coastline and the opportunity to climb the sand dune at Mullet Channel for panoramic views of the intertidal plain and a stop at Fossil Point, where fossilised shells and wormcasts emerge from blocks of mudstone cliffs.