D’Urville Island Wildlife Tour

Nature Tour to D'Urville Island

On this 5 day d'Urville Island Wildlife Tour you will discover the beautiful flora and fauna and the island's rich heritage, both on land and by sea.

Rangitoto Ki Te Tonga or d'Urville Island remains one of New Zealand’s most intriguing and remote islands. With and area of approximately 58 sq miles (150 sq km) it is New Zealand’s eighth largest islands. Through the island runs a mineral belt with plant life adapted to this environment, it also has a number of smaller off shore islands, home to wildlife such as cormorant and seals.

We know this area because Rose went to school at French Pass on the mainland and lived opposite the southern end of the island. It is an area full of history, some will be familiar with Gerald Hindmarsh’s book ‘Angelina’ telling the tale of the life of Angelina Moleta and her close friend Wetekia on d’Urville.

Meeting the locals in their every day surroundings is what makes your tour special. We will introduce you to our friends on the island as much as possible.

We will be spending time discovering the wildlife and fauna of the island both on land and by sea.  The van will be used to drive to Department of Conservation reserves, remote beaches and a walk at the mineral belt with its unusual plant life adapted to the unique soil conditions.

If weather is suitable we will be taken on a once in a life time charter boat tour to explore the rocky islands, lagoons and inlets looking for wildlife. On this tour you will hear about the genealogy of the local iwi the Ngati Koata.

The French Pass is legendary for its superb fishing. We will have an opportunity to catch our dinner of delicious blue cod. This will be cooked for you at the resort the same night!

We will be staying in beach front cottages, our meals and packed lunches are supplied, leaving us free to explore the area and relax and soak up the island's atmosphere.

Please contact us for a detailed outline of this tour, please note that the activities of the tour are subject to weather and farm schedules, however we always have a b plan.

Per person NZ$2,500


Departure dates: 

Monday 5th March 2018

Monday 23rd April 2018

Monday 5th November 2018

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


Five days.


Comfortable beach front cottages at a fishing lodge at Catherine Cove (shared bathrooms).


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


What to bring:

We will send you a list of what to bring at the time of booking.

Patuki farm see on this wildlife tour
Patuki farm
View of Rangitoto island from d'Urville Island.
Rangitoto island
View looking west on this wildlife tour
View looking west
Clematis paniculata seen on this wildlife tour
Clematis paniculata
Great bird life.
Photograph bird life.


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.