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The Royal Albatross Centre

#10 of 109 things to do in Dunedin Features Animals
1260 Harington Point Rd | Otago Peninsula, 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%
Travellers talk about
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:15 - 20:30
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
1260 Harington Point Rd | Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand
CONTACT
Website
+64 3-478 0499
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Reviews (1,350)
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1 - 10 of 1,350 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

At the far end of the peninsula but worth a visit. The displays are very informative and outside there are opportunities to spot wildlife such as seals, albatross and penguins. However, penguins tend only to "land" in the evening.More

Thank PamNottingham_UK
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. The Blue Penguins Pukekura tour departs each evening at dusk (the timings change depending on the season and the daylight hours) - the penguins are wild so come and go on their own...More

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Fascinating and full of information about the albatross and other local birds. Good cafe. Very good viewing points.More

Thank L147
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. We are glad you enjoyed your visit with us and took in our amazing (but often harsh) environment. We are very lucky to be able to offer our gallery for free to the...More

Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

A fantastic experience. Watching the baby chicks in their natural habitat. The guide was very informative and added value to our visit. Definitely a must to see. Excellent facilities...and a cafe. Lots of interesting information and displays in the centre. Absolutely loved it.More

Thank Linda E
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

Reviewed 5 days ago

We came in summer so there weren't any chicks, but there were heaps of Albatross to watch, and the building was full of interesting exhibits. The highlight was heading down after dark to watch the Little Blue penguins come ashore. It takes a few hours...More

Thank kiwieric
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Kia ora and thank you for the great feedback! We really appreciate your 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 with our visitors! Our team takes...More

Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

We had so much fun watching the blue penguins come home in the evening. The staff at the Center were very friendly, and all seemed so caring and passionate about their job. Also very knowledgeable. We took the Bird Mobile from the i-Site at the...More

Thank vtc950
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. It's fantastic that you joined the Penguin Tiki tour and enjoyed it so much. Our 'Birdmobile' certainly allows our visitors a chance to enjoy the scenery - we will pass your thanks on...More

Reviewed 1 week ago

The Albatross is such a regal bird and even if birds aren't your thing you will LOVE this experience! The drive out to the peninsula alone is worth the trip then the centre itself is well designed not to disturb the birds from their natural...More

Thank Shelley H
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. Thanks for supporting us by taking a tour. We are so pleased you enjoyed the whole experience! There is the chance for great viewing at the moment, with 2-4 chicks on view, albatross...More

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Knowledgeable guide (Sara) made our visit almost as much as the hour plus views of the albatross in flight, and our close up views of the chicks. Totally awesome to see this amazing bird.More

Thank David D
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. Thank you for the great review - we have passed your appreciation on to our wonderful guide Sara. We really appreciate your great feedback and encouragement to others to meet the amazing albatross...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

There are very few places to see these wonderful birds so don't miss the chance. The centre is well organised and very informativeMore

Thank Barry D
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. We really appreciate your 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 with...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The price to visit this colony did appear a little on the steep side however it is a truly unique experience and I'm pleased we went. Our guide was approachable and friendly and knew everything there was to know about albatrosses. From the viewing area...More

Thank Roger M
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. Thanks for supporting us by taking a tour. There is the chance for great viewing at the moment, with 3-4 chicks on view and breeding adults coming and going. Our team love sharing...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Another 'must do' while at the Otago Peninsula. Like the penguin reserve, you can also visit this one with a tour company that will make your journey even better. The boat to the centre is optional, and you can enjoy a boat ride while knowing...More

Thank mabrondani
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Kia ora, 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 with our visitors! We are so lucky that we have...More

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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Terry C
Planning a visit in November, probably the 6pm tour, as we want to see the penguins as well. Couple of questions:- Are we likely to see any albatrosses at that time of year and day? Will be be able to have a meal in the cafe before seeing the penguins? Is it necessary to pre book?
28 April 2017|
Answer Show all 3 answers
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust | Property representative |
Kia ora Terry, Thank you for your enquiry. In November we are likely to see birds at the nest with egg laying due to start. We can never guarantee albatross flying at any time of the year as they are wildlife and come and... More
0
Votes
Jay R
Kai Ora T.R.A.C Is April or May generally a better time of year for viewing .I understand that weather changes are unpredictable, but are Albatross numbers much the same on these months? Aroha nui Jay
16 March 2017|
Answer Show all 4 answers
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust | Property representative |
Kia ora Jay April and May are both great times to visit. There are 3-5 chicks on view, growing larger each day! Their parents are coming in and out to feed them. Possibly April on a windy day might be better as the... More
1
Vote
samille
How difficult is the walk to see the penguins? How fit would you need to be? Thanks!
14 December 2016|
Answer Show all 4 answers
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust | Property representative |
Kia ora, The walk is around 100 metres down a walkway to the beach. You can be of average fitness as it is a fairly easy gradient, there are stairs to walk down and up. Hope the answer helps All the best Sophie
1
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