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The Royal Albatross Centre

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1260 Harington Point Rd, Dunedin, New Zealand
+64 3-478 0499
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Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula Wildlife Tour
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The only chance to see... the world's only mainland Royal Albatross Breeding Colony. A unique experience to access the nature reserve to see giant albatross court, mate, raise their chicks and show off their three metre wingspans. Taiaroa Head/Pukekura is alive with wildlife species, many of them scarce nesting seabirds. Our jewel in the crown is the Northern Royal Albatross. Experience it for yourself by taking a guided tour through the Nature Reserve into the viewing Observatory. The 2012 latest Lonely Planet publication "1000 Ultimate Sights" features the Royal Albatross Centre alongside the Taj Mahal and Grand Canyon. They say of us: Here at one of New Zealand's hottest attractions the draw card is the bird life. Taiaroa Head is the site of the world's only mainland royal albatross breeding ground, where you can observe the spectacle of the albatrosses with wingspans of up to 3m coming in to land like a succession of 747s. The Royal Albatross Centre is located on the tip of the Otago Peninsula, about a 45 minute drive from Dunedin. We are operated by the Otago Peninsula Trust, a charitable trust formed in 1967 for the protection of the local natural environment. The Nature Reserve on Taiaroa Head is managed by the Department of Conservation. Taiaroa Head is also famous in New Zealand history. From a small Maori camp in the 1300s to a fortified pa where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840; from a wooden flagstaff to 1864 lighthouse to radar entrance for Otago Harbour; from an 1880s underground fortress to a large defence base in WWII. Taiaroa Head is today a Nature Reserve and an iconic wildlife attraction.
  • Excellent57%
  • Very good26%
  • Average11%
  • Poor4%
  • Terrible2%
Travellers talk about
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 10:15 AM - 8:30 PM
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
LOCATION
1260 Harington Point Rd, Dunedin, New Zealand
CONTACT
Website
+64 3-478 0499
Write a ReviewReviews (1,602)
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"disappearing gun"
in 78 reviews
"royal albatross centre"
in 109 reviews
"blue penguins"
in 124 reviews
"amazing birds"
in 49 reviews
"unique tour"
in 15 reviews
"viewing area"
in 57 reviews
"penguin tour"
in 54 reviews
"adult birds"
in 23 reviews
"birds flying"
in 31 reviews
"otago peninsula"
in 92 reviews
"eggs"
in 30 reviews
"taiaroa head"
in 35 reviews
"money goes"
in 15 reviews
"conservation work"
in 15 reviews
"the cliff"
in 28 reviews
"gift shop"
in 39 reviews
"sea birds"
in 29 reviews
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1 - 10 of 1,449 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

We wanted to see penguin up close and personal so we booked the dusk tour. We were not disappointed and got to see 42 come in just on 7pm. 29 came in in one rarf and that was amazing to watch. And we got close

Thank Kim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed yesterday

It is a beautiful place which must be visited during your trip to Dunedin. The drive to the centre is also quite nice, and the views along and at the centre are enjoyable.

Thank aki-g_1235
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 days ago

We viewed the film and went and looked at the young chicks. It is amazing to see these birds. It is great that this conservation work is continuing. The cafe was nice too. Helpful staff.More

Thank YLisette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. We really appreciate your great feedback and encouragement to others to meet the amazing albatross at the world's only mainland breeding colony - it is a wonderful experience and we love sharing it...More

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed 4 days ago

The Royal Albatross Centre is a wonderful place to visit. We booked two tours--the albatross tour and the blue penguin tour. We booked about three months ahead of time so that we could do both activities. The staff at the Centre were wonderful arranging everything...More

Thank Florida-Traveler-US
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. Thanks for supporting us by taking a tour and booking in advance. Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories of the albatross and introducing visitors to the 'Royals of Taiaroa'. It is...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 days ago

With a bit of patience you are able to see Albatross flying along the cliffs from the path, but if you are really interested you need to go on a tour. We went on a tour to see the Disappearing Gun which is worth a...More

Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. Watching Kororā Little Blue Penguins raft through the sea and emerge onto the beach is a very special experience. There are about 500 living at the Pukekura colony, with over 200 nesting pairs...More

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed 4 days ago

Loved this place. You really get to appreciate what amazing birds these are.and their sheer size - awesome. Highly recommend.More

Thank Beccahar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. We really appreciate your great feedback and encouragement to others to meet the amazing albatross at the world's only mainland breeding colony - it is a wonderful experience and we love sharing it...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 days ago

We thoroughly enjoyed the guided tour of the colony and the historical hidden gun turret and associated tunnels. Well worth the trip out there and we look forward to coming back around September when there are more Albatross flying in. Such a special experience to...More

Thank enz0360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. We really appreciate your great feedback and encouragement to others to meet the amazing albatross at the world's only mainland breeding colony - it is a wonderful experience and we love sharing it...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 days ago

This boat trip was truly wonderful - we were so lucky and had about 50 albatrosses diving around our boat, and putting on a magnificent aerial display. Unforgettable!More

Thank Margie72169
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. The Monarch boat cruise is a great option and visitors love taking up our 'Double Albatross Combo' to see these magnificent birds from the land and the sea. Our team takes pride in...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

We much enjoyed the albatross observation room and guide's fascinating knowledge. The penguin part would have been excellent except for the pouring rain - we'd probably skip penguins if we'd realised what the experience was like in bad weather (or bring decent waterproofs)More

Thank 77GBUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. We really appreciate your great feedback and encouragement to others to meet the amazing albatross at the world's only mainland breeding colony - it is a wonderful experience and we love sharing it...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We did the guided tour to the royal albatross breeding field. Tips will come below! Our group were only four people, so we've been pretty Lucky. The one after us was very crowded. First we saw a movie with an additional comment and explanation of...More

Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. We really appreciate your great feedback and encouragement to others to meet the amazing albatross at the world's only mainland breeding colony - it is a wonderful experience and we love sharing it...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
2TSV2
3 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust | Property representative |
Kia ora Sue, The Royal Albatross are best seen from our observatory on the hill of the nature reserve, the actual breeding colony itself can be seen from this great vantage point. The carpark or café only provide a rare and... More
0
Votes
Margaret L
25 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust | Property representative |
Kia ora, Thank you for your enquiry. On our guided tours comfortable footwear is recommended. The pathway to our observatory takes most visitors 5-6mins to complete - although a bit steep in places - this pathway is fully... More
1
Vote
Ozziepore
1 December 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust | Property representative |
Hi there and thanks for the question. Mid February is continuing the hatching and guard stage, where there is an adult always with the chicks. There are also adolescent birds coming, going and displaying. Our observatory is... More
0
Votes