Starting in central Wellington, we will pick you up in our
exclusive 4WD Mercedes vans that offer the best in safety and comfort. We begin
our journey at Otari-Wilton’s Bush - one hundred hectares of ancient and regenerating forest
and New Zealand’s only botanical garden dedicated solely to native plants. Designated
a six-star Garden of International Significance by the New Zealand’s Gardens
Trust of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, Otari-Wilton’s Bush
allows us to introduce you to what the landscape of New Zealand was like for
early Maori and European settlers. Walking across the skybridge, you will be
treated to views across the canopy while your friendly and knowledgeable guide
introduces you to some of the unique flora and fauna endemic to this country
and the challenges they have faced to survive. We regularly see beautiful
native bird species like Tui, Kaka, Kakariki, Kereru and, occasionally,
Karearea, all of which were extinct or endangered in the Wellington region only
25 years ago.

 

Next, we carry
on through the suburbs and towards the south coast. Turning off the main road,
we utilise our private access through Terawhiti Station, one of the oldest and
largest stations in New Zealand. We’ll likely see sheep, cows and goats on the
drive up the hill, before being treated to stunning views across the Cook
Strait, Kaikoura Ranges and the South Island once we reach the top. We then
follow the ridgeline road that was created for the imposing Project West Wind –
a 62 turbine strong wind farm that generates enough electricity to power all
the houses in the Wellington region. This city is known as Windy Welly for a
reason! Your guide will explain how this collaboration was essential in keeping
the farming operation going in what are challenging and harsh conditions
and added another chapter to the long, storied history of Terawhiti.

 

Once we begin
the descent towards sea-level, appearing in the distance will be the Karori
rock lighthouse, which is more commonly known as the ‘leaning lighthouse’. Built
in 1915 following the sinking of the SS Penguin, the decommissioned 19m tall
tower was one of New Zealand's first automated lighthouses and, yes, it does
lean! You’ll see this for yourself once we reach the coast and traverse the
rocky, sandy track towards Tongue Point and the colony of native New Zealand
Fur Seals. Upon arrival, we’ll exit the vehicle and wander the beach to observe
these cute creatures in their natural habitat as they sunbathe, play and swim.
Staying at a safe distance [for their safety and ours], your guide will talk about the history, ecology and conservation which has allowed
their numbers to flourish once again. We’ll also treat you to some light
refreshments as you take photos and watch the ferries crossing between New
Zealand’s main two islands.

 

We make the
return journey via the same route as we came. More stories will abound as you
traverse farm land and fault lines while soaking in those amazing views all
over again. We’ll also share how this area is now being used as part of the
Capital Kiwi project, which has recently reintroduced wild Kiwi into the area a
full 100-years since they were last seen and heard in the hills. Upon arrival
back in central Wellington, we’ll leave you to reflect on your experience to an
area that even many locals don’t know about.

Key Info

  • alarm Duration:
  • person Age: All Ages
  • people Group Size: Min 1

info Information

  • Available for all ages
  • Packages start from NZ$195.00pp

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