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“Go with the flow”

Driftwood Retreat & Eco-Tours
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2-Hour Royal Spoonbill Tour by Kayak
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Driftwood Retreat & Eco-tours brings you close to nature in the peaceful Wairau Lagoon, South of Picton. Stay at the cosy eco-lodge by an eight hectare wetland. Book a guided tour by kayak or van into the heart of the nearby lagoon where 92 species of bird has been identified. Hear about the human and natural history of the area by your friendly guide. All tours are complimented with homemade cooking.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Go with the flow”
Reviewed 14 March 2014

My husband Nigel and I (novice kayakers) did the evening kayak trip with Will. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience, which I would suggest is very typically "Kiwi". (We have been living in NZ for 3 years, originally from Wales). There is no prescription to this trip so embrace it and make it your own. Will allows you to just go at your own pace ... enjoy periods of silence or chat and share stories/ observations as you paddle along. Don't take it too seriously - it's pretty funny when (in my case) arm & feet in-coordination caused me to zig-zag a bit more than was completely necessary. The home baking done by Will is awesome and Vicks the dog was a welcome forth member of the group. Paddling back as the sun was setting over the hills was magical. Yes, slightly sore shoulders the following day, but 100% worth it!

Visited March 2014
Thank 832Sarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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174 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Interesting trip, but much more difficult than expected”
Reviewed 11 March 2014

As a background, we are 30-somethings in average physical shape--but with little kayaking experience--who did an evening/moonlight kayak trip with Will.

There were positives and negatives - as most people have mentioned, Will's baked goods are great and he knows quite a lot about the area. He definitely allowed us to see a part of the country that we could not have done on our own. However, our trip was very physically demanding, we were having problems steering the kayak, paddling upstream was awful, we trekked through heavy mud (so much so that it pulled my hiking boot off) and I was exhausted by the point we got to the dinner location. At least it was beautiful.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank ef002014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oscar2NewZealand, Owner at Driftwood Retreat & Eco-Tours, responded to this review, 14 March 2014
Thank you very much for giving us this valuable feedback. We take your comments seriously. One of our mottos is ‘nature’s beauty at your own pace’ so this kind of review is not what we like to hear. If we notice people struggling in any way, we offer options such as walking as part of the kayak tour or shortening the distance to the destination point. After all it’s the journey that’s important.

Please feel free to contact us via our website and we are happy to discuss how we can make some kind of compensation to you, as we like to exceed expectations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blenheim, New Zealand
Level Contributor
61 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Outstanding experience”
Reviewed 11 March 2014

We have done both the Kayak trip and the four wheel drive trip and thoroughly enjoyed both. Wonderful scenery and bird life. Will Parson has an amazing knowledge of the area and if all of this is not enough, the home made food he made was excellent. I would thoroughly recommend any tour with Will, but particularly the evening Kayak tour.

Visited April 2013
Thank Sontie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
“Evening Kayaking”
Reviewed 1 March 2014

My husband and I used a travel agent to book our trip so we really had no idea what to expect for the kayaking adventure. Will was wonderful. What we hadn't realized was that the kayaking was an all evening adventure in which Will had personally made us dinner. It was valentines Day and he even included a chocolate cake! Will was very knowledgeable about the area in which we were kayaking including the fauna and flora. He was able to answer all of our questions. By the time we returned the sun was setting and it was gorgeous to watch the sunset from the river. But the best part of the whole kayaking experience was Will's Dog Vix. He climbed aboard my kayak and spent almost the whole time enjoying the ride from the front of my kayak. He was a little dog with a huge personality! My husband and I highly recommend using Will in the future.

Visited February 2014
Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Thank Sarah J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Three day conducted tour”
Reviewed 26 February 2014 via mobile

Eight friends were taken by Will on a 3 day tour through the Alpine valleys and off road tracks from Murchison to Blenheim via Hanmer Springs. Will had planned the trip, provided food and some accommodation, and provided a huge amount of information about the flaura and fauna, the Maori and pre-Maori inhabitants, and the geology of this earthquake prone area. We all had a wonderfully enjoyable time with a truly generous man.

Visited February 2014
Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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