Department of Conservation Approved

Shorter Tours

These 4 Nature tours depart from Dunedin or Port Chalmers, last approximately 4 to 5 hours and can be tailored to cruise ship arrival and departure times.

Our shorter tours include: an Ecosanctuary and Wading Birds Tour, where you will encounter a wide variety of New Zealand's endangered, unique, rare and cute forest and wetland birds and reptiles whilst taking in the stunning scenery and: Or a Moeraki Boulders and Yellow-Eyed Penguins Tour which combines viewing the world's rarest penguin, a variety of other marine bird and wildlife and the unique Moeraki boulders. Lunch can be purchased from one of New Zealand’s best sea food restaurants located on the harbour side at Moeraki village Fleur’s Place or at the Ecosanctuary.

Opt to add on the 75 minute Dunedin city highlights tour:

A hill top drive to Dunedin provides stunning views over Otago Harbour. We then sample some of the highlights of Dunedin City: Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest street, New Zealand’s oldest Botanical Gardens, Dunedin Railway Station with its mosaic floor and Royal Doulton tiled walls , the Water of Leith, Otago University and First Church. You will then be returned to your Dunedin accommodation or via a scenic drive down the Otago harbour to your cruise ship at Port Chalmers.



Tomtits are frequently seen on 4 Nature's tours in native forest

Ecosanctuary and Wading Birds Tour

4 - 5 hour Tour Includes:

30 minute Scenic drive from pick-up to Orokonui Ecosanctuary - endangered and rare birds, stunning forest approx 2 hours.

Coastal drive - 20 minutes to Wetlands then bird viewing 40-60 minutes, including morning or afternoon tea.

An alternate scenic route is taken on the drive back to your Dunedin drop-off location - 30 minutes.


Tour Detail:

This 4 Nature tour is aimed at those able to walk on uneven ground and with a moderate level of fitness, who want to experience New Zealand’s unique wildlife up close and personal. We will collect you from your Dunedin hotel, motel, or Dunedin or Port Chalmers cruise ship then take a scenic tour to Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

We then explore Orokonui Ecosanctuary a “mainland island” where rare birds and reptiles are protected by a predator proof fence and the forest flourishes in the absence of possums, goats and other pests. An extended guided tour of the sanctuary provides ample opportunity to get up close to many of the resident wildlife, which usually includes: the inquisitive South Island Kaka, New Zealand’s smallest bird, the Rifleman, our huge New Zealand pigeon, the Kereru, the cute Tomtit, the cheeky Fantails, the friendly South Island Robin, daring Wax Eyes, the vocal Tuis, tuneful Bell Birds, entire families of Brown Creepers, shy Fern Birds and others. A lucky few might also spot the endangered South Island Saddleback and the rare Jewelled Gecko, though those determined to try and see these two elusive creatures are recommended to go on 4 Nature's Indigenous Birds and Creatures Tour. You can also marvel at 500 year old rimu trees, other ancient podocarps, and prehistoric fern trees in this magical forest landscape. Experience the evolution of the forest from young bush, to regenerating forest through to mature mixed broad leaf and podocarp forest. Orokonui Ecosanctuary is also interlaced with streams supporting a wide variety of New Zealand’s native fish and aquatic life.

A short walk enables close up viewing of wading birds such as white faced heron, oyster catchers, pied stilts and Spoonbills feeding in a wetland inlet where Kingfishers regularly hunt. Then relax on the scenic drive back to your pick up location.


Book your 4 Nature Ecosanctuary and Wading birds tour here. To get the most out of your day, please see our list of what we provide and what to bring with you.

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Moeraki Boulders and Yellow-Eyed Penguins Tour

Tour Includes:

Travel via scenic coastal road from Dunedin to the Waitaki District - approximately 80km and 2 hours.

Yellow eyed penguins and sea birds - approx. 90 minutes

Moeraki Boulders - 30 minutes

Return journey via State Highway approx. 1 hour

Morning or afternoon tea.


Tour Details:

This 4 Nature tour combines viewing the world’s rarest penguin with the unique Moeraki Boulders. We will collect you from your Dunedin hotel, motel, or Dunedin or Port Chalmers cruise ship then take an hours tour through scenic farmland and dramatic coastline to Moeraki. A stroll along gently sloping grass paths takes you to a breeding colony of the endangered yellow eyed penguins, your tour guide's knowledge of these unique penguins and their habits will maximise your chances of magical encounter. As one of only two small tour operators permitted to guide groups at this site you can avoid the crowds, take your time and thoroughly enjoy meeting the world's third largest penguin. Little blue penguins and over 50 different species of birds also frequent this stunning wildlife location. From October the adult yellow eyed penguins begin to nest, from November through to early April chicks sit on their nest or on the beaches awaiting the return of their parents. In late autumn and winter the adults are only usually viewed when returning at the end of a days fishing and 4 Nature's tours are timed to coincide with this.

A short drive then takes you to one of our stunning beaches and the fascinating Moeraki Boulders; 60 million year old concretions some up to two meters in diameter lie strewn across the beach as though a group of giants has been playing bowls on the beach. A scenic drive through the prehistoric Trotters Gorge and along awesome coastal scenery allows for sweeping views of curving pristine beaches and dramatic coves as your tour returns to Dunedin or Port Chalmers.

.You will then be returned to your Dunedin accommodation or via a scenic drive down the Otago Harbour to your cruise ship at Port Chalmers.

Book your 4 Nature  Moeraki Boulders and Yellow-Eyed Penguins tour here. To get the most out of your day, please see our list of what we provide and what to bring with you.

see other photos

If you would like to consider sponsoring a yellow eyed penguin please go to Foster a YEP.

Yellow eyed penguin the world's rarest penguin usually seen on this 4 Nature tour