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

South Island, NZ

Immerse yourself in the dramatic natural beauty of Rangitoto ki te Tonga, D’Urville Island on this small group tour. D’urville Island is a unique blend of rugged scenery, natural history and adventure.

Journey by van from Blenheim to Te Aumiti, French Pass, where you’ll then cruise through the horizontal waterfall and tidal whirlpools to Catherine Cove. Your home for the tour, Catherine Cove is surrounded by native bush and birdsong. In the evening, relax and savour the island’s legendary blue cod, caught earlier in the day, with a glass of local wine. It’s the perfect location to base yourself for a series of adventures by day and enjoy great company by night.

Always a highlight of the tour, you’ll learn about the geology of the mineral belt, where early Māori settlers mined the natural argillite to create beautifully rendered tools, used in cultivation, waka (canoe) building and weaponry. You’ll also spend a day aboard a charter boat exploring the rugged coastline and many smaller conservation islands with local entity Bill Webber. Depending on the weather, you might be lucky enough to cruise through “the hole in the rock”, part of an extinct volcanic crater of the Paddock Rocks—or steam past Takapourewa, Stephens Island, a remote, windswept wildlife sanctuary with generations of lighthouse keepers’ stories.

Spend your days exploring the island, taking in the breath-taking scenery of farms, bush and the outlying islands. Discover the fauna and flora unique to the island, including the endemic king shag, one of the rarest cormorants in the world—if you’re lucky, you might even be able to snap a quick photo. You’ll also get to engage with the community, spending time swapping stories with locals and hearing about their community conservation project Rangitoto Bird Song. 


Comfortable two bedroom beach front cottages at D'Urville Island Wildliderness Resort in Catherine Cove (own cottage and bathroom for couples, shared two bedroom cottage and 1 bathroom for twin share).

Departure dates:

Monday 8th November 2021

Monday 14th February 2022

Monday 28th February 2022

Monday 2nd May 2022

It is suggested to book early to

avoid disappointment.

Driftwood Eco Tours Fitness Level Required 3+ / 5


NZ$3,250 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.


Five days


Ten seater van. Certified charter fishing vessel. Osprey water taxi. Jetty to jetty.

A once in a life time trip to d'Urville Island, in the remote reaches of the Marlborough Sounds. Try blue cod fishing, meet the locals and hear stories from the island's early history.


Tour Features:

  • Be guided into one of New Zealand's most difficult to access islands, accommodation, transport and meals are all organised for you.

  • Explore D'Urville Island from a charter boat with a local skipper.

  • Encounter wildlife and flora such at flowering Rewarewa, Fluttering Shearwaters, Dolphin and Fernbird.

  • Your guide will give you a commentary of the stories of the local families who lived here.

  • Meet locals who will share their love of the island with you.

  • Cruise through the turbulent waters of the French Pass, a thrilling experience!

Tour Inclusions:

  • Travel from Blenheim to the island and return by comfortable modern Toyota Hiace van.

  • Return each night to comfortable beach front cottages with café and bar only steps away.

  • Two guides who will share their knowledge of the island.

  • All food is provided (alcoholic beverages are at your own cost, there is a bar at the resort café).

  • A day tour in a charter boat with a local skipper exploring the waterways around the island.

  • Guided fishing, your catch will be filleted and cooked that night.

  • Driftwood Eco Tours contributions $300 to the D'Urville Island Stoat Eradication Trust.

"Fabulous scenery and tantalizing family and social histories"

Jacky Renouf

Learning from the Locals
Learning from the Locals

D'Urville Island

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Posing with Pelorus Jack at French Pass
Posing with Pelorus Jack at French Pass

D'Urville Island

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D'Urville Island

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Learning from the Locals
Learning from the Locals

D'Urville Island

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Ring 0800 708 844