Will and Rose Parsons of Driftwood Eco Tours are 4th and 5th generation Marlborough locals and just the sort of people we love meeting. Today we struck gold! Will and Rose specialise in boutique customised eco tours for photographers and nature lovers who especially like kayaking under a full moon. Driftwood Eco Tours Blenheim Marlborough is a great find.

Driftwood Eco Tours Will and Rose

Driftwood Eco Tours Blenheim Marlborough – Will & Rose Parsons

You’ll definitely see a few of these guys. These magnificent Spoonbills have a very interesting spoon-shaped beak. And on the wing, they’re beautiful.

Driftwood Eco Tour Spoonbills in flight

Photo by Will Parsons Driftwood Eco Tours

We only had enough time for  a 2-hour kayaking tour up the Wairau and Opawa River. This is an area rich in Maori and European history with over 90 species of birdlife. But first this novice needed a kayaking lesson:

Driftwood Eco Tour Kayak lesson

There is another very important member of the Driftwood Eco Tours team who steals the limelight at times. Allow me to introduce the smartly turned out ‘Vix’!

Driftwood Eco Tour and Vix

Vix is an integral part of the whole operation and where Will goes, Vix goes, usually at the front of Will’s kayak. Today Vix chose me as her bestie and rode at the front of my kayak. However, every so often she’d look back to check on her beloved pack leader.

Driftwood Eco Tours Vix with Pam

There is a feeling out here of having the whole world to yourself. Too few of us bother to get this close to nature and its so special to glide pass the elegant birdlife like this Shag (Cormorant). Close-up flight shots were difficult for me so this was my best folks.

Driftwood Eco Tours and shag

The oxygen around here is pure and empowering and its so quiet, you can hear the sound of your own breathing. Quick detour to the right…Will’s just pointed out a couple of beauties.

Driftwood Eco Tour Pam Vix and Kayak

Those Spoonbills are here again. When feeding, the Spoonbills move in unison in a loose choreographed routine and when in flight, instead of staring ahead they actually look around at their environment. I was so close to them when they off in flight. It was a special moment.

Driftwood Eco Tour Spoonbills

Will instructed us to stop our kayaks at an embankment by the mia mia (a sturdy shelter). So we headed off with the mystery lunch bag.

Driftwood Eco Tour and lunch

The mystery contents of the lunch bag are revealed. Will’s a dab hand at bacon & egg pie. It’s delicious. But I’m a bit reluctant to try those weird little muffins, also made by Will. He’s very proud of them. Would it be rude of me to refuse? Looks are deceiving. They’re yummy delish.

Driftwood Eco Tour Mai Mai

I love the driftwood that makes up the landscape around here. I can see why Will and Rose chose this name for their specialised tour company. It’s everywhere, bleached white and a perfect resting place for birdlife.


Reluctantly, the return trip flies by and I understand why Will’s customers can’t exactly define why their life has been changed by this experience – they just know that it has. I do know that it has enriched mine.

Driftwood Eco Tour quartet

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5 responses to “Driftwood Eco Tours Blenheim Marlborough”

  1. Jane Smith says:

    You are getting SO ‘outdoorsy’! Pam The Adventurer. Not another soul in sight either – how lovely. The moonlight trip must be rather wonderful.

    • GuestNZ says:

      Yep, I’m totally out of my comfort zone now and becoming the sort of gal I could never have imagined being.I’m
      getting pretty tough as well. Will offered to pick me up and carry me across a big patch of water.A few months ago I would have accepted, rather than get my feet wet. Not anymore. I brushed him aside and waded in. Ha!

  2. Jan Roberts says:

    Beautifully worded Pam, you’ve told a fabulous story that I don’t even think photos would have done justice. Looks an amazing trip – my list is well off the page now……. more time please!

    • GuestNZ says:

      Just makes me realise how much we should celebrate people like this who offer the more boutique and authentic experience. These two locals do it so well.The love they have for their environment shines through. We sure slept well last night!

  3. […] Vix loves to stow away. Michael and Pam Nees enjoyed kayaking with Driftwood Eco-Tours recently, during their epic road trip around New Zealand, sampling nature tours, activities and accommodation. They own ‘Guest New Zealand’ and are committed to offering visitors to our lovely country the best possible kiwi experiences. It was a pleasure to meet you both and thank you for the lovely blog you wrote about your time with us. CLICK HERE TO READ PAM & MICHAEL’S BLOG […]

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