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The Royal Albatross Centre

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Address: 1260 Harington Point Rd | Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand
Phone Number:
+64 3-478 0499
Website
Today
10:15 - 20:30
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:15 - 20:30
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

The only chance to see... the world's only mainland Royal Albatross...

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.

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US$132.80*
and up
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and up
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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You won't see this every day

As the only nesting place for the Royal Albatross on the Mainland, this is truly a unique opportunity to learn about and see these enormous birds. The Centre does a good job of... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Prestwood_Paul
,
Great Missenden, United Kingdom
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1,318 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,198: English reviews
Adelaide, Australia
1 review
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

A wonderful experience to see these huge birds nesting on the mainland. Fantastic and informative presentation by guides who are passionate about their work in conservation and security during the chick breeding and raising months. In the observation tower are binoculars to watch the birds in their environment. We saw, a couple flying and landing, also a fledgling. The walk... More 

Helpful?
Thank Freda D
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. Thanks for supporting us by taking a tour. Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories of the albatross and introducing visitors to the 'Royals of Taiaroa'. It is indeed a special and unique experience to be able to view these magnificent wild birds in their natural habitat... More 

Singleton, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Take the ocan road for a great drive alonmg the lake to get there. Tours are very expensive. Great views of the sea lions for free off the viewing decks

Helpful?
Thank Ratchew
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

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

Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Great tour, very well organised and extremely informative. Our tour guide Lynette was a champion and made the tour! I recommend this to tourists and locals alike. Having lived in Dunedin for 5 years I had no idea of the history of Taiaroa Head and surrounds. Visited with my parents from UK and they loved it. Dad used the mobility... More 

Helpful?
Thank Toufalheed
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. Thanks for supporting us by taking a tour. Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories of the albatross and introducing visitors to the 'Royals of Taiaroa'. It is indeed a special and unique experience to be able to view these magnificent wild birds in their natural habitat... More 

Great Missenden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

As the only nesting place for the Royal Albatross on the Mainland, this is truly a unique opportunity to learn about and see these enormous birds. The Centre does a good job of presenting the background to the birds before you go out to see them. Even if you are not a keen "Twitcher" [bird watcher] it is both educational... More 

Helpful?
Thank Prestwood_Paul
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

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 3-5 chicks on view, albatross chicks to see and adolescents back at the colony and socialising. Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories of the albatross and introducing... More 

Austin, TX
Level Contributor
68 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The Royal Albatross Centre is a sanctuary developed to assist in the breeding of the Royal Albatross. It is committed to securing the safety of the birds during the breeding and chick raising process. They have set up their operation to do this and still allow visitors to view the birds up close. The only way to get close to... More 

Helpful?
Thank AustinBobby
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

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 with our visitors! Our team takes pride in making the albatross experience an excellent excursion... More 

Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

I am familiar with the Otago peninsula since my childhood in the 50's. I have always appreciated the smell of the sea, the waves crashing on the rocks and the sound of seabirds on the wing. Now, visiting the Royal Albatross Colony in my 60's I was astounded that I neither heard nor laid eyes upon one gull. Sure, I... More 

Helpful?
Thank Brian M
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Public Relations Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

Kia ora and thank you for your review I can completely assure you that everyone on our team works hard to ensure the success of the red-billed gulls. We have the only NZ breeding colony of red-billed gulls not in decline - this is due to the work we do to protect the species here, including predator control and habitat... More 

Incline Village, Nevada, Usa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

It was a rainy day as it can be in Duneiden but it was so worth the drive out to The Royal Albatross Center- knew very little about these birds - they are so impressive both in wing span and the fact that they do not touch land for 5 years! The guide was so helpful, they had binoculars for... More 

Helpful?
Thank Tracy S
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

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 with our visitors! Our team takes pride in making the albatross experience an excellent excursion... More 

Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

The Centre sits at the very end of the Otago Peninsula. Natures Wonders Naturally is just a bit further along and is amazing, but this center is a chance to see albatross - the only land based nesting for these birds. We didn't get to see the nesting birds due to heavy fog but saw some flying albatross. The Centre... More 

Helpful?
Thank Diane F
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

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 3-5 chicks on view, albatross chicks to see and adolescents back at the colony and socialising. Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories of the albatross and introducing... More 

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Loved this experience - we got closer to the nesting and circling birds that those who only watched. The knowledgeable guide explained their behavior and her enthusiasm was infectious.

Helpful?
Thank dibry2017
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

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 3-5 chicks on view, albatross chicks to see and adolescents back at the colony and socialising. Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories of the albatross and introducing... More 

Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago

We did the general tour at the Albatross Centre in the Fall (April). The weather was not great (but they provide raincoats as needed). The tour begins with an educational talk about the albatross. Our guide was terrific and gave a great talk with many interesting facts about the albatross. At the time of year we visited, the chicks were... More 

Helpful?
Thank Bo T
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

Kia ora and thank you for your review. 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. Your tour fees go to a good cause - for conservation and education programmes to help look after this amazing... More 

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