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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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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%
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Closed Now
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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
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"disappearing gun"
in 77 reviews
"royal albatross centre"
in 106 reviews
"blue penguins"
in 117 reviews
"amazing birds"
in 47 reviews
"viewing area"
in 56 reviews
"unique tour"
in 15 reviews
"adult birds"
in 23 reviews
"birds flying"
in 31 reviews
"penguin tour"
in 49 reviews
"big birds"
in 17 reviews
"otago peninsula"
in 87 reviews
"eggs"
in 28 reviews
"money goes"
in 15 reviews
"taiaroa head"
in 33 reviews
"conservation work"
in 14 reviews
"the cliff"
in 27 reviews
"gift shop"
in 37 reviews
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1 - 10 of 1,380 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Wasn’t sure about going but my husband wanted to and turned out that I did enjoy it too! Lovely views all around. Informative guide who was happy to answer questions. Binoculars provided and plenty of time to observe the albatrosses.

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

This is a definite must do..You can pay for the tour which is $NZ 50 a person which leaves every 1/2 an hour and includes a ranger lecture while you go up to see the nesting Royal Albatross. You can also stand outside the facility...More

Thank LibbyH1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 days ago

As part of our Otago Pensinsula round trip we visited the Albatros Centre and Taiaroa Headlands. Apart from its unique scenic value, the work carried out by the Centre is astonishing and recommendable. The displays in the Centre and the knowledge of the staff, the...More

Thank 8623PaulineS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 days ago

An exceptional facility doing vital conservation work. Amazing experience seeing chicks on the hillside and then watching Little Blue Penguins down below come out of the water!

Thank Birdteacher1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Great place to visit to see these great birds and support their protection. Make sure you take the complete tour or you’ll miss out on other aspects of the site. Good explanation and demonstrations from the guide, but felt a bit short, though if not...More

Thank Tekyinblack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

So we just went to the parking spot and went from one side to the other and still saw up to five albatross fly at once. Then we went inside the information centre to get some facts and interesting knowledge.

Thank Victor I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We had a fantastic tour of this facility with a guide who knew everything there was to know about these gracious birds (and spoke multiple languages to our group). We got to see a 1 week old baby albatross from the viewing centre! And they...More

Thank EarthlyAmbler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Pros: - work they do is great - excellent viewing centre for the albatrosses - very informative guides Cons: - quite expensive (but worth it) - a long drive

Thank aschopra06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

We went only to see Blue Penguins and were not disappointed. Great guided tour, the cost of which (35 NZD) is ploughed back into penguin welfare. Staff fully explain the lives of these gorgeous creatures and lead you down lit pathways to a decked and...More

1  Thank JohnHerring
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 1 week ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. It's fantastic that you did the Blue Penguins Pukekura tour and enjoyed it so much. As a kaitiaki/guardian of the headland we are primarily driven by the conservation of all the species that...More

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

Well worth a visit for the informative display. We did not do the albatross tour. Albatross could be seen flying about the headland outside at times.More

Thank ochlophobic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Public Relations Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Kia ora and thank you for your review. 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...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
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
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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
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nysteffi
1 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust | Property representative |
Kia ora, thank you for your enquiry. It depends what tour you book we sometimes have a Unique Tiki Tour that picks Visitors up from the cruise ship in the morning before dropping them back into Dunedin city about lunch time... More
1
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