Welcome, Eco Traveller

“The food was excellent and the hospitality great. Thanks Will and Rose.”-- Mary Watson, Wellington, New Zealand

Driftwood Retreat & Eco-Tours, New Zealand.

Our kayak, walking and vehicle tours share the wildlife and human history of the Wairau Lagoon, New Zealand’s best kept visitor secret. This is a place of great spiritual significance, being the site of the earliest village in New Zealand. It is also a place of great natural beauty, Will’s photographs speak for themselves. Since 2004 we have had the great privilege of meeting likeminded people, drawn to this special location. We have a two room eco retreat for those who want to immerse themselves in peace and quiet. Guests use it as a base for exploring the attractions of the surrounding province of Marlborough, which is at the top of the South Island, between Picton and Kaikoura. Sandra Luik our kayak guide specialises in fun and safety on the water. Will’s home baked muffins are a highlight as well as our kayaking jack russells Vix and Gus, which will come along for the ride if you allow them. We plant one tree for every tour taken, in our protected eight hectare wetland,which you are welcome to view. We hope we will have the pleasure of meeting you soon.


1 – Retreat Accommodation: Refresh your soul at our architecturally designed two room retreat by our conservation wetland. Beautifully peaceful yet only ten minutes to shop and restaurants and twenty minutes to Picton and the Marlborough Sounds.

2 – Meet the Royal Spoonbill by Kayak: A fun, two hour tour for small groups to see the majestic Royal Spoonbill feeding and preening at the Wairau Estuary.

3 – Wairau Lagoon by Kayak: Discover the best of New Zealand’s wildlife and human history with a friendly, qualified eco guide, happy to share Marlborough’s many stories. We take small group tours to the spiritual wilderness of the Wairau Lagoon, birth place of New Zealand’s first known human civilization and home to over ninety species of migratory and resident bird.

4 – Wairau Lagoon by Vehicle: A land based version of the tour above, this one is via the private access of one of Marlborough’s oldest sheep farms. This wildlife safari takes you to 1000 feet to see sweeping vistas of Cloudy Bay. Then to the foot of the towering white face of Te Parinui o Whiti to take a guided bush walk or relax with a glass of wine in total solitude.

5 – Wairau Lagoon guided walk: A three hour guided walk setting off from our home by the Opawa River. Hear the stories of the early settlers to this historic location and view the wildlife from the walking track that winds to the Wairau Lagoon. You will see the cormorant colony, the archaeological remains of an early Polynesian fish trap and the hulk of the SS Waverley.



Will and Rose Parsons your hosts                 Sandra Luik, outdoor activitiy co-ordinator