We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

The Royal Albatross Centre

2,033 Reviews

The Royal Albatross Centre

2,033 Reviews
Get the full experience and book a tour
Recommended
Our most popular tours and activities
Tours & Sightseeing
Browse our largest collection of experiences
Multi-day & Extended Tours
Multi-day adventures—no planning needed
Shore Excursions
All ashore for easy trips straight from port
•••
Browse
Full view
Location
Contact
1260 Harington Point Rd, Dunedin New Zealand
Get to know the area
Castle to Cruise Tour
Historical & Heritage Tours

Castle to Cruise Tour

6 reviews
An unrivalled tour package! Visit the stunning Larnach Castle, travel the beautiful roads of the Otago Peninsula and join special Monarch Wildlife Cruise. <br><br>Enjoy a 90 minute tour of Larnach Castle and it's beautiful grounds. Hear the scandalous story of early settler William Larnach and his family. Explore the beautifully restored castle, with it's original antique furniture and impressive craftsmanship throughout. Time is allowed for exploring the gardens or a quick snack from the ballroom cafe.<br><br>You'll then continue along the Otago Peninsula and your guide will give an interactive commentary along the way.<br><br>Hop aboard a Wildlife Cruise out through the entrance to the Otago Harbour. Enjoy close viewing of fur seals, royal albatross and other seabirds. Sometimes we spot sea lions, blue penguins &amp; dusky or hectors dolphins.
US$103.61 per adult
2,033Reviews21Q&A
Traveller rating
  • 1,172
  • 517
  • 201
  • 87
  • 56
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Selected filters
  • Filter
  • English
Popular mentions
Louisa wrote a review Feb 2021
3 contributions
I went to the Monarch cruise, Nature Wonder and this albatross and blue penguins tours. Monarch cruise is good. The albatross and blue penguins tours are great. Staff are very friendly. Very informative and knowledgeable tours. You would love it. They are truly to protect the wildlife albatross and blue penguins and help the public to learn about them. The night tour only got 4 customers but the staff still tried the best to provide much info. and knowledge. The job is not easy because the the staff got to finish very late and go home with long drive. I highly appreciated to all staff working at the centre. Thank you for helping protect NZ nature and wildlife animals and birds. Highly recommend this royal albatross centre. Monarch is also good, too. Not the Nature Wonder.
Read more
Date of experience: February 2021
Helpful
Share
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Senior Visitor Host at The Royal Albatross Centre
Responded 4 days ago
Kia Ora and thank you for taking the time to write a review for us! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to the Royal Albatross Centre to see the albatross and blue penguins nesting here. It has been a fantastic season so far with six albatross nests on view and over 30 across the entire headland. The little blues have had a bumper of a season too with almost 500 chicks fledging from the colony! Thanks for your very kind words about our staff, we love to share our knowledge and stories about the wildlife in the area - it is so special to be able to see them thriving in their natural habitat. Great to hear that you enjoyed the wildlife cruise with Monarch too, they see some pretty cool stuff from their boat! The funds we raise from running the guided tours contribute to our conservation work around the area, as well as running the visitors centre. The Otago Peninsula Trust is New Zealand's oldest non-profit charitable trust and our aim is to 'Preserve and enhance the Otago Peninsula'. The funds allow for predator trapping in the reserve, habitat restoration by planting natives and removing invasive plant species, providing education programmes to schools around New Zealand, and the running and maintenance of the visitor centre - so thank you again for your support. The Otago Peninsula Trust has a joint venture with the Korako Karetai Trust to make Blue Penguins Pukekura, which allows us to run the guided tours each evening at dusk to see little blues, and provide funds for the conservation and restorative work in the penguin reserve. We also have a penguin scientist who is microchipping the penguins to monitor the population - she has noted it is increasing steadily each year which is fantastic! We are so lucky to have so much wildlife right here in one place. We hope to see you back again some day soon for another visit, and we hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Dunedin. All the best, Laura, Senior Visitor Host, Otago Peninsula Trust PRESERVING AND ENHANCING OTAGO PENINSULA SINCE 1967
Read more
Peter F wrote a review Feb 2021
Dunedin, New Zealand26 contributions4 helpful votes
Lovely drive to tip of peninsula. Visitor centre is clean and spacious. Guide was fun and helpful. Informative video - not too long - and small museum/information centre. Good time of year as plenty of birds flying and one baby on show! Might not be so good at other times?
Read more
Date of experience: February 2021
Helpful
Share
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Visitor Host at The Royal Albatross Centre
Responded 1 week ago
Kia ora Peter and thank you for taking the time to leave us such a lovely review! We're so glad to hear that you enjoyed your time spent here at the Royal Albatross Centre, it is certainly a great time of year to visit as we have adults, adolescents, and chicks on view currently! Our guides love getting to share the experience and their knowledge of these magnificent birds so we will pass along the compliment to the team. Your tour fees also go to a good cause - supporting conservation efforts and education programmes to help look after this amazing wildlife sanctuary. A portion of the tour fees also goes to Te Poāri a Pukekura co management group and supports the group's role as guardians of the headland. Our Otago Peninsula Trust, which owns the Royal Albatross Centre is NZ's first charitable conservation trust, set up in 1967 to 'preserve and enhance Otago Peninsula'. As well as supporting conservation, pest control, habitat restoration and visitor facilities we also offer special prices and days for families and locals to enable greater access and appreciation to the colony. We also run education programmes for school children at a minimal cost for the pupils; in 2019 we hosted over 1000 students. The Trust also donates over $11,000 of free tickets annually to help schools, charities and other good causes. Thank you again for coming to visit and support us and we hope you enjoy the rest of your time here on the Otago Peninsula! All the best, Shannon, Visitor Host, Otago Peninsula Trust Enterprises PRESERVING AND ENHANCING OTAGO PENINSULA SINCE 1967
Read more
Wander636823 wrote a review Feb 2021
8 contributions
Visited as part of Horizon Tours Wildlife and Wilderness Tour. Very knowledgeable guide Lyndon Perriman formerly DOC head ranger at this site, thanks to him and colleagues all these beautiful birds easily experienced up close.
Read more
Date of experience: February 2021
Helpful
Share
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Visitor Host at The Royal Albatross Centre
Responded 3 weeks ago
Kia ora Wander636823 and thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We are so happy to hear that you got to experience all that we have to offer here at the Royal Albatross Centre and Blue Penguins Pukekura as well as Horizon Tours! It is indeed a special and unique experience to be able to view these magnificent wild birds in their natural habitat and see the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross close up as well as watch the little blue penguins come home in the evening. Our Otago Peninsula Trust, which owns the Royal Albatross Centre is NZ's first charitable conservation trust, set up in 1967 to 'preserve and enhance Otago Peninsula'. As well as supporting conservation, pest control, habitat restoration and visitor facilities we also offer special prices and days for families and locals to enable greater access and appreciation to the colony. We also run education programmes for school children at a minimal cost for the pupils; in 2019 we hosted over 1000 students. The Trust also donates over $11,000 of free tickets annually to help schools, charities and other good causes. As a kaitiaki/guardian of the headland we are primarily driven by the conservation of all the species that call Pukekura home, including a joint venture with the Pukekura Trust to allow for Blue Penguin viewing for visitors. Pukekura is a precious wildlife refuge and we work with the local Maori Korako Karetai Trust to host visitors and protect the Blue Penguins. We love to share this special place and unique wildlife experiences with our visitors. Thank you again for coming to visit and we hope you enjoyed the rest of your time here on the Otago Peninsula! All the best, Shannon, Visitor Host, Otago Peninsula Trust Enterprises PRESERVING AND ENHANCING OTAGO PENINSULA SINCE 1967
Read more
xrae10 wrote a review Feb 2021
Auckland, New Zealand102 contributions79 helpful votes
What a stunning place. Got to see 6 nesting birds and we got a sight of one of the newly hatched chicks! Nitch, our guide, was brilliant. We did the tunnel tour as well and it is well worth it, to see the disappearing gun!!! However, if you don’t like seagulls, don’t go, as there are thousands of them!!!!!!!!
Read more
Date of experience: February 2021
Helpful
Share
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Visitor Host at The Royal Albatross Centre
Responded 3 weeks ago
Kia ora xrae10, Thank you for taking your time to write us a review, We'd like to thank you for supporting us by taking a tour. We are a non-profit trust and rely on tour fees to fund our conservation work which includes predator trapping, planting and weeding as well as hosting education programmes, and also running the centre and its facilities. Thank you for your kind words to our guides. We are sure to pass on your review to Nitch! We are passionate about the albatross and other wildlife at Pukekura and love to share our knowledge! We are lucky to have the world's only mainland breeding colony of albatross right here in Dunedin, along with so many other seabird species including the gulls, shags, spoonbills and penguins. We hope you enjoyed the rest of your time here on the Otago Peninsula. Ronja, Visitor Host, Royal Albatross Centre, Otago Peninsula Trust Enterprises PRESERVING AND ENHANCING OTAGO PENINSULA SINCE 1967
Read more
kelly19932020 wrote a review Feb 2021
Northland Region, New Zealand11 contributions
First note - you will get pooped on by seagulls so wear old clothes or clothes you can wash easily Secondly, it smells like poop so wear a facemask to help. Thirdly walk down to the viewing platform and wait in case you chance an albatross....we were lucky to have THREE fly by (and one flew directly about us maybe 5 meters over our heads!
Read more
Date of experience: December 2020
Helpful
Share
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Visitor Host at The Royal Albatross Centre
Responded 3 weeks ago
Kia ora kelly19932020 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 and occasional glimpse of magnificent albatross, so you were very lucky to see three birds flying so close over your heads! Any other time your opportunity to ensure you see albatross is to take a tour up to the observatory with a 100% chance to see albatross currently – we have five nests on view and you can have the chance to witness albatross flying close by, or socialising on the ground in front of the viewing area. Excellent guided tours to the purpose built visitor viewing facilities are available. These are visitor's best chance to get up close to these amazing birds without disturbing them and to enjoy magnificent views of the colony. Tour fees go towards building and maintaining these access facilities and allowing visitors a once in a lifetime experience. The albatross guided tour offers an informative, knowledgeable hosted experience for the limited number of visitors that are permitted by the Department of Conservation to access the colony. This includes a video, explanation of and insights into the lives of albatross, exclusive viewing from on the wildlife reserve and the only chance visitors have to easily access a close up experience of an albatross breeding colony. The activity is different every day, all year around as albatross court, breed and raise their chicks. The cost of the tour contributes to the stewardship of the Albatross. It enables the Otago Peninsula Trust, which manages the Royal Albatross Centre to continue to offer albatross experiences to the public, to offer education programmes to children, free interactive displays contributing to understanding of the peninsula wildlife and ecosystem for visitors and to continue in its role "To preserve and enhance the Otago Peninsula". A portion of the tour fees goes to Te Poāri a Pukekura management group and supports their role as Pukeura guardians and for their management and care of the albatross at the colony. The $52 cost for the one hour tour or $62 cost for the 90 minute tour compares very reasonably with other NZ tour attractions - and as this is run by a not-for-profit trust you can be assured that the tour revenue is being used for a great cause! As a kaitiaki of the headland we are primarily driven by the conservation of all the species that call Pukekura home, including the Royal Albatross at the world's only mainland albatross breeding colony. We love to share this special place and unique wildlife experiences with our visitors. We very much value to contribution that visitors are able to make to this precious wildlife sanctuary by supporting the Royal Albatross Centre's tours and activities. As well as understanding more about albatross there is an amazing array of other wildlife the visitor may see - and the views of the harbour, ocean and landscape from the viewing areas at the reserve are breathtaking. Hope you come again to visit the Royal Albatross, and take the chance to access the reserve and experience one of our informative and enjoyable guided tours. All the best Ronja, visitor host, Otago Peninsula Trust Enterprises PRESERVING AND ENHANCING OTAGO PENINSULA SINCE 1967
Read more
Previous
Frequently Asked Questions about The Royal Albatross Centre