Auckland Wonders: Bird Refuge, Garden Tour, Museum, and Aquarium
Auckland, New Zealand
- Bird Refuge: Watch wide-winged gannets birds dive for food at the Takapu Refuge Gannet Colony on the rugged west coast between Maori Bay and Muriwai Beach.
- Auckland Domain: Meander the grounds, gardens, and Victorian glass houses in New Zealand's most beautiful – and oldest – park.
- Auckland Museum with lunch: Take a self-guided tour and enjoy a cafe lunch in this stately neo-classical museum highlighting both Maori and Kiwi history.
- Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium: Tour this innovative aquarium with its underwater viewing tunnels and sea life exhibits including the world's largest on Antarctic penguins.
About This Auckland Tour
You don't have to be a bird watcher to marvel at the graceful dive bomb of a hungry gannet. Their dramatic plummet, headlong from almost 100 feet above the sea, can reach speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. Then, just before entry, their black-tipped wings stretch backward and they enter the water at such great speeds that their lower necks puff into personal "air bags" that inflate to ease the impact. Talk about showing off!
Given this display of grandeur, it's not surprising the gannet is one of nature's most impressive sea birds. Since the 1970s, thousands have been nesting along New Zealand's craggy west coast to frolic on black sand beaches and feed on fish in the Tasman Sea. Today, their home is the Takapu Refuge Colony at windswept Muriwai Beach, where you have an open invitation to visit.
The nests there and on the off-shore islands are crammed so close together it's like watching the frantic but efficient work that takes place in a beehive. The gannets take off and land with great precision, avoiding the pointy beaks of their fellow birds. And rumor has it that they display a flurry of courting rituals, from solo dances to presenting seaweed to the object of their affection.
Freshly inspired, enjoy the gorgeous scenery as you ride across the Grafton Bridge – one of the world's longest spans – and into sightseeing heaven with your visit to the park, conservatory, museum, and aquarium. This is your day to soar like a gannet.
It's a bird, it's a fruit… it's a human!
Don't be confused by the word "kiwi." It has multiple meanings, the most common being the small green fruit that grows here in abundance (and tops many a pavlova). Locals generally use the term Kiwi to refer to a native New Zealander (of the human kind!) – a name most are proud to use. Then there's the small, endangered Kiwi bird that, ironically, has been incorporated into the logo of the Royal New Zealand Air Force despite the fact that it cannot fly. Go figure!
Your guide will meet you on your ship's pier. Please look for our GoBe Representative with the displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
It can get windy at the Gannet Colony so bring a warm jacket just in case.
Must be able to walk approximately 0.30 mile over varying terrain, gravel paths at Gannet Colony and some inclines and steps throughout the day. Tour is accessible for travelers with walkers and wheelchairs.
Cultural, Bus Tour, Full Day, Scenic, Family Friendly
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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