At the very Northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, you’ll find Farewell Spit. The longest natural sandbar in the world and home to thousands of migratory wading birds, the natural wetland is protected by the department of conservation and is accessible only by a guided tour.
Its Maori name, Onetahuai, translates as ‘heaped up sand’ but in 1770 Captain Cook renamed it Cape Farewell. 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, over 90 in total.
We recommend a guided tour with Farewell Spit Eco tours to explore the Spit and surrounding areas. As well as exploring the Spit itself, you will also head out to Cape Farewell and Puponga where you can see seals and the pups basking on the rocks below.
The tour will take you across the Split, stopping off at Fossil Point, where you’ll be able to see the fossils in the rocks, before heading over to the Lighthouse reserve where you’ll take tea at the lighthouse keepers cottage and have chance to explore the lighthouse itself and learn about the relationship between the local people and the Spit.
You’ll climb up to the best viewpoints, looking out over Ocean Beach where the migrant wading birds come to feed over the spring, summer and autumn months and out from the clifftop at Cape Farewell where the cliffs are sliced through with fault lines, where the streams run inland rather than out to sea.
What our travellers enjoyed about Farewell Spit Eco Tour…
- Taking the opportunity to pick up the tour in Collingwood to make the most of the guides wonderful knowledge
- Watching the seals playing or basking on the beaches
- The stunning views of the Tasman coastline