What to Bring with You

Stout footwear. For our walking tours we strongly recommend lightweight boots or stout shoes. For our strolling tours flat, comfortable footwear with a good grip should suffice. Thin soled plimsoles and pumps are not suitable.

Warm and waterproof clothing. There are two sayings about Dunedin’s weather: “Dunedin - four seasons in a day” and “If you don’t like the weather wait five minutes”. In addition to our variable weather, we will be visiting exposed hill tops and headlands and cool deep forest, so that even on a warm day additional clothing is advised. Why not check out the local weather first.

Lunch. Please feel free to bring along a packed lunch. Alternatively you can purchase lunch from the cafés and restaurants detailed on individual tour itineraries.

Binoculars and camera.

Drinking water.

Any medicines: Please remember to bring any important personal medications with you.

 

Psrt of the stunning 360 degree panorama viewed from Maputahi Pa site near Port Chlamers.

Stunning views are all around.

4 Nature Tours Provide:

A relaxed small group experience.

Transport in our comfortable air conditioned vehicle.

An experienced local guide.

Interesting and informative commentary.

Complimentary morning tea (a selection of teas or freshly brewed fair trade coffee and homemade biscuits (cookies).

Chilled drinking water.

Binoculars.

Hotel, motel and cruise ship pick ups and returns.

A limited range of additional waterproof and warm clothing.

Sun block and hand sanitiser.

Volcanic rocks and caves at Long Beach.

Easter orchid at Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

 

 

 

Group Sizes

4 Nature Tours minimum group size is 4 or an additional fee applies for smaller groups.

Maximum normal group size = 6 passengers.

Larger groups of up to 15 can be accommodated in a minibus or small coach.

Otago Harbour

 

Pick up Details

4 Nature Tours will collect and drop off clients by prior arrangement from the following locations:

Accommodation in central Dunedin and the West Harbour area. See Tourism Dunedin for accommodation and local information.

Dunedin’s Visitor information centre in the Octagon.

Port Chalmers’ Cruise ship terminal.

Dunedin’s Cruise ship wharf.

 

Cruise ship leaving Otago Harbour.

 

Your Guides

Joanne, has lived in the North Harbour area since 2001 and is a life long wildlife and nature enthusiast. With a degree and a PhD in Biology and 16 years of teaching experience, Joanne has the ability to distill the complexities of nature to its useful, fun and interesting essences. A family member of Dunedin’s branch of Forest and Bird since 2002 and a guide at Orokonui Ecosanctuary since before its official opening in 2009, Joanne is happy to pass on facts and tales about our local wildlife, geology and history. Joanne is a Comprehensively Trained First Aider and of course holds both Passenger and Transport service licences and a 4 Wheel Drive Safety Certificate. Joanne established 4 Nature tours in 2009.

 

Teresa (Trii) came to Dunedin as a croupier aboard the Sky Princess in 1996. Although she was only here for one day she fell in love with this friendly city; the unique wild life and its surrounding natural beauty. As the ship sailed out of Otago Harbour she was overcome with tears and she vowed to return which she did in 2005.

She enrolled as a Mature Student here at the University of Otago studying; geography, history and Māori in order to immerse herself fully into NZ life. It was during this period she began volunteering at the newly emerging Orokonui Ecosanctuary. She also helped the Dept. of Conservation at Pilot’s Beach where she liaised with Tourists at sunset coming to view the little Blue Penguins coming ashore. This led to paid work guiding with Elm Wildlife Tours where she expanded her knowledge of Otago Peninsula wildlife to include Fur Seals, Hooker Sea lions, Yellow-Eyed Penguins and Albatross among countless other wading and shore side birds.

Driven with the discovery of these dual passions for NZ nature and tour guiding Trii obtained her bus drivers licences and built up experience over many years driving groups all over the South Island. Trii combines these experiences with her broad knowledge of local history, a gentle sense of humour and a big smile to make your day here truly memorable.

 

Guide and business owner Joanne.

 

Our Environmental Policy

4 Nature Tours are committed to providing a genuine Ecotour.  Our principle business drivers are:

· To bring fee paying customers to two of Otago’s predominantly volunteer run nature protection projects the Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Katiki Point Penguin Trust (Penguin Rescue).

· To increase awareness of New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna and the threats that it faces.

We use good environmental practices in all our commercial activities and on a personal level we are working towards sustainable living. Some examples of our sustainable practices and initiatives are:

· Our standard full day tours include approximately 1.5 hours of vehicle travel, the remainder being on foot.

· We provide freshly ground fair trade coffee on our tours and use Fair Trade chocolate to make our much loved chocolate chip cookies.

· We use and promote EconoDrive driving techniques and vehicle maintenance to ensure our vehicles operate at maximum efficiency.

· Our highly insulated premises are powered by the only New Zealand electricity provider that uses 100% renewable energy sources.

· Power and water saving devices and practices are used at our offices.

· We are actively involved in the Waitati Energy Project which is seeking to build the country’s first community owned wind generator and the Blueskin Solar project which is working to bring solar power to over 40 premises in the area.

· We collect roof water for all our water needs, process all our grey water on site and use Ecostore products for our cleaning and vehicle preparation to reduce contamination of our stunning water ways.

· We have planted over 120 native trees and bushes on our property and are involved in volunteer planting at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

· We grow native seedlings which we donate to Orokonui Ecosanctuary for planting or for sale in their shop.

· We compost, recycle, grow many of our own vegetable, and produce our own lamb, turkeys and free range eggs.

· We make our own cheese, bread, biscuits, preserves and cakes.

· We are actively involved in Sustainable Port (S’PORT) having run courses on cheese making and raising chickens in addition to attending other workshops and community days (e.g. rubbish collection).

If you would like to know more about sustainable living please ask, we are happy to share our knowledge. If you would like to enjoy a lifestyle similar to our own as part of your New Zealand experience why not visit World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

 

 

 

Pukeko (purple swamp hen) and chick.

Ferns abound at Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

 

We encourage all our clients to be good Eco Tourists and we ask that you consider following the seven principles of leave no trace whilst on our tours:

· Prepare – check the weather forecast and follow our suggestions of what to bring.

· Leave what you find - take only photographs and memories and leave only light footprints.

· Listen to Nature – keep noise, lights, mobile phone use and music down to a minimum.

· Respect wildlife and farm animals - give our wildlife room and never make them feel threatened or encircled.

· Stay on paths and follow your guide’s instructions.

· Dispose of waste properly (or leave in our vehicle) and use designated toilet stops.

· Don’t light fires.

 

If you want to do more to help protect wildlife consider some of the following:

· Put out bird feeders and sugar water in your garden especially in winter.

· Put up pest traps – in NZ stoats, possums and rats are the biggest problems.

If you want to help clean up or improve your local area contact Keep New Zealand Beautiful knzb.org.nz or your local council

· If you have a cat put a bell on it.

· Follow the seven principles of leave no trace when ever you are out and about.

· Join a local community group and help with planting, weeding, pest control etc.

 

For more information on activities and accommodation in New Zealand see

New Zealand Travel – Plan your New Zealand travel at the official site of Tourism New Zealand.

Leave only footprints take only photographs and memories.