Whisper to the Birds – Orokonui Ecosanctuary Shuttle & Tour

Experience the best of New Zealand’s rare birdlife in a carbon-zero electric vehicle powered by renewable energy. Join a Whisper to the Birds small group tour of the award-winning Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Visitor Centre above Blueskin Bay, near Dunedin.

Glimpse rare New Zealand birdlife close-up in its natural setting in the 300-hectare self-sustaining Orokonui ecosystem that is an internationally recognised conservation project aimed at protecting our native wildlife.

Wonderful bird-watching opportunities with likely species including takahe, kakariki, tui, bellbird, kaka. Other features of this eco-system include the conifer/broadleaf forest, skinks, eels, fungi, lichen, butterflies and moths.

Wanting to visit Orokonui Ecosanctuary but don’t have transport?
Whisper To The Birds will take from your home or accommodation at any address in metro Dunedin to Orokonui and back again. Either experience the full guided tour that enchanted our overseas visitors, or take the economy ‘transport only’ option with a 2-hour time bracket for you to explore Orokonui on your own.

The route to and from Dunedin takes you via the Otago Harbour bays to historic Port Chalmers, and then up over back roads among the volcanic peaks, with stunning panoramic views of Otago Peninsula and Dunedin along the way.

En route your driver will provide a customised, informal commentary about New Zealand's tectonic journey, recent human arrival, unique flora and fauna, and our innovative ways of living in and managing this corner of the planet.

We are passionate about protecting Otago’s natural heritage for generations to come so we use a small, quiet mini-van powered completely by electricity from hydro, wind, and geothermal energy.

COVID has taught us that we are collectively capable of the kind of change we will need in order to address our larger climate crisis. A transition to a sustainable society and economy is necessary to protect human health. Sustainability demonstrates that there is a way for society to progress and prosper in harmony with the planet. Reconnecting with nature can be the first step in personal environmentalism. That reconnection has been one of the biggest positive impacts of the pandemic.

Book Now
What do the tours include?


  • Pick-up and drop-off at your Dunedin city address or Octagon i-site in a five-seater electric vehicle powered by renewable energy.
  • A tour of the Otago Harbour bays to historic Port Chalmers, driving up over back roads to the volcanic peaks of Mihiwaka and Mopanui with panoramic views of Otago Peninsula and Dunedin.


  • Entry to Orokonui Ecosanctuary and the award-winning Visitor Centre.
  • A 1-hour plus guided tour of the bird sanctuary and forest. Your experienced Orokonui guide will ensure the best bird-watching opportunities. You will also learn how the conservation project is helping to re-establish rare native species that have long been in decline.
  • Light lunch at Horopito café.


  • We take you to Orokonui, wait 2 hours, then return you to the city. You organise your own Sanctuary activity. (Extra charges may apply. See Orokonui Ecosanctuary
How long is a Whisper to the Birds tour?

3½ hours – from Dunedin to Orokonui and return via interesting roads providing stunning views of the city and the Otago Peninsula and harbour.

What do I need to take?

Your camera is a must. There’ll be lots to photograph. Also, you should wear comfortable walking shoes, warm clothes that can be taken off if it gets hot, and a jacket you can put on if it gets cold.

How often do tours run?

A tour leaves Dunedin at 10am on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, returning around 1.30pm, giving you time to enjoy more of Dunedin’s wonderful sights and tours the same day.

Do I need to book?

Yes, by the day before your tour. You can book through the BOOK NOW link.

What does it cost?

Adults $130
Seniors and students $110
Children (5 – 16) $105
Pre-school children $75
Transport only (2 hours at Orokonui) $75 for up to 4.

Book Now

Join us on a Whisper to the Birds – Coast to Cloud Orokonui Ecosanctuary Shuttle & Tour and experience the Kiwi difference!