D’Urville Island Wildlife Tour

Please contact us if you require any additional information. Will and Rose Parsons +64 (0)3 5777 651 zn.oc.sruotocedoowtfirdnull@ofni

Five Day Tour to D'Urville Island, Marlborough Sounds, South Island, NZ

Rangitoto Ki Te Tonga - d'Urville Island

Meet the locals, discover the wildlife and hear about Rangitoto Ki Te Tonga’s rich heritage, travelling by land and sea on this extraordinary heartland tour.

This island, also known as d'Urville, remains one of New Zealand’s most intriguing and remote corners, with a rich history, remarkable conservation efforts, stunning scenery and brilliant characters.

The Island was New Zealand's best known site for the production of argillite tools, thanks to the mineral belt running through its middle. The tools were used by Maori for cultivation, waka (canoe building) and weaponry.

Rangitoto Ki Te Tonga has a number of smaller off shore islands, some of which are under conservation protection for their unique wildlife, including Takapourewa (Stephen’s Island) Kuru Pongi (Trio Islands) and the three beautiful Rangitoto Islands.

A large proportion of the island is native forest, under the protection of the Department of Conservation, with the balance in striking steep farmland.

With wild corners, rugged bluffs, lush bush and a backyard of surging ocean, the island offers some of the best scenery in the country. Visitors all love the thrill of riding through the rapids of New Zealand's vertical waterfall, the French Pass with its fascinating pre European and nautical  history. Weather permitting the charter boat tour includes steaming through 'the hole in the rock' part of the circle of off shore rocks which are the remains of an ancient crater.

Rose who owns Driftwood Eco Tours with her husband Will, went to school at French Pass on the mainland and lived opposite the southern end of the island.

Meeting the people who choose to live in this remote environment - whether farming, fishing, or fighting to save native species - is what makes your tour special. “There’s a special kind of hospitality at the island, we love taking guests to visit the homes of our friends we have made there.”

Departure dates:

Heritage tours (tours focusing more on history, culture and flora and fauna, less fitness required) With guides Will and Rose.


Mon 11th Nov 2019 (with native flora)Week after Garden Marlborough. BOOKED OUT


Mon 25th Nov 2019


Sun 2nd Feb 2020 - Before the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival


Mon 16th Mar 2020


Mon 27th April 2020


Adventure tours (tours focusing more on outdoor activity, suited to people with good physical fitness) With guides Will and Martin.


Mon 2nd Mar 2020


Departure point: Blenheim, (Pick up at Rai Valley also possible), South Island, NZ.

Limited tour dates available now for the 2020-21 season. 

Five days.

Comfortable two bedroom beach front cottages at a fishing lodge at Catherine Cove (own cottage and bathroom for couples, shared two bedroom cottage and 1 bathroom for twin share).


Ten seater van. Certified charter fishing vessel. Osprey water taxi.



NZ$2,850 per person

Includes beach front cottage accommodation, all meals prepared by the resort, two way ferry crossing with van, a 6 hour charter boat tour, blue cod fishing, daily water taxi rides.


Will tells about the local history with views over Port Hardy

D'Urville Island Wilderness Resort
D'Urville Island Wilderness Resort

Fishing at d'Urville Island
Blue cod for dinner!


Tour Features

  • See one of New Zealand's most remote places, accommodation, transport and meals are all organised for you.
  • A explore d'Urville Island and French Pass from a charter boat with a local tour guide.
  • The opportunity to have wildlife encounters with forest and sea birds and maybe seals and dolphin.
  • Your guide will give you a commentary of the stories of the local families who lived here.
  • Meet local identities and hear their first hand stories of this fascinating area.
  • Cruise through the turbulent waters of the French Pass, a thrilling experience!

Tour Inclusions

• Accommodation on the beach front.
• A guide who is knowledgeable and has connections to the area.
• All food is provided (alcoholic beverages are at your own cost, there is a bar at the resort cafe).
• A day tour in a charter boat with a local skipper exploring the waterways around the island.
• Blue cod fishing as part of the day on the water which will be cooked for you later.
• Driftwood Eco Tours will make a contribution of $300 to the local community conservation effort.

"We were fortunate to be on the 1st D’Urville Island tour, covering much of the island, enjoying amazing scenery, wonderful nature & visiting some very interesting local families. A highly recommended trip". John & Rosemary, Christchurch.

Questions? Ring Will and Rose at 03 5777 651. (+64 3 5777 651 international)