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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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and up
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Great opportunity to see Albatrosses

The Centre is a must-see if you like sea birds. You can see Albatros(ses) flying by for free. They usually never come inland so it is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity. However, if... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
FrenchTraveller2013
,
Paris, France
via mobile
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1,338 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,218: English reviews
Paris, France
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

The Centre is a must-see if you like sea birds. You can see Albatros(ses) flying by for free. They usually never come inland so it is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity. However, if you want the full tour and see the babies, they are on the other side behind a fence and you will have to take the tour. The tour is... More 

Helpful?
Thank FrenchTraveller2013
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I have been wanting to visit The Royal Albatross Centre in Dunedin for many years. It was really fantastic. We saw these magnificent adult birds flying in the air as we arrived and also saw four fluffy albatross chicks at the lookout. The chicks sit in the grass for eight or so months in the cold weather and wind ..... More 

Helpful?
Thank Fefum
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' we will be sure to pass your thanks on to Christine your guide. It is indeed a special and unique experience... More 

Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We booked this months earlier so the weather was not going to change our plans even though the centre staff would not guarantee seeing any birds . We did see some Chicks in their nests some adolecents and a passing DOC Ranger ( which when he passed behind the birds ,gave a perspective of size ) . A very knowledgeable... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rodney C
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 

Brisbane
Level Contributor
77 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

We did the dusk penguin tour tonight and it was excellent. The access is super easy, hosts are knowledgeable and friendly with a passion for the birds. Seeing these little guys come up to roost was awesome.

Helpful?
Thank Peter-the-eater77
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Public Relations Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. It's fantastic that you were glad you did the Blue Penguins Pukekura tour and enjoyed it so much. Its a very special experience to see them come in at dusk. As a kaitiaki/guardian of the headland we are primarily driven by the conservation of all the species that... More 

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited here just over a week ago, stunning drive to get to centre, when purchasing tickets were told viewing of chicks was 100% guaranteed however there was no guarantee of seeing adult birds as they only come in to feed the chicks every few days the rest of the time they are out at sea. We went with guide... More 

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

Kia ora and thank you 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 2-4 chicks on view, albatross chicks to see and breeding adults coming and going. Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories of the albatross and introducing visitors... More 

Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago

Excellent tour, very informative, great views! Our guide even spoke French, which was a bonus for a number of overseas tourists.

Helpful?
Thank Robert_NZ19
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! Isn't it great that we have staff with such experiences - they... More 

Christchurch
Level Contributor
163 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

We came with a 12 year-old boy and we all enjoyed it. I had last been over 15 years ago and it has developed since then. We took the tour that includes the disappearing gun which is fascinating local history. The guide was young, but well informed. The albatrosses were fairly quiet but we still got some great photos and... More 

Helpful?
Thank tipsfromatraveller
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 2-4 chicks on view, albatross chicks to see and breeding adults coming and going. Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories of the albatross and introducing visitors to... More 

Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
39 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

the view of the chicks in their windswept nests was great - I guess their location varies from year to year but we were able to see 4 quite well, plus the top of the head of "Webby", the 2017 webcam star. It was a very windy morning and we were lucky to see adult birds swooping on the currents,... More 

Helpful?
Thank AdrienneJ15
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Public Relations Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. Its great you got to see 'Webby', even if just the top of its head. Today DOC is announcing a naming competition so you can have the chance to name the chick yourself and win a great prize to come and meet the chick! Check out DOC's Royalcam... More 

Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
84 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

We came to the Royal Albatross Centre to check out the view from the peninsular and also attend the Blue Penguin spotting tour. We arrived about an hour earlier than the tour time. We walked up to the platform nearby the parking lot to check out the sunset and sea cliff. We were able to spot different kind of birds... More 

Helpful?
Thank Tobbie888
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Public Relations Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. Albatross and Penguins - you did have a great time at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head! It's fantastic that you were glad 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... More 

Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
47 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Stopped here for a quick drink on Mothers Day. Very nice setting on the Otago Peninsula. The coffee could have been a bit hotter but I couldn't fault the taste! Unfortunately it was also extremely expensive.. $6 which is the most expensive coffee I've come across. Friendly staff added a nice touch to a good day out.

Helpful?
Thank Robert J
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 visit us - it is a wonderful area and we love sharing it with our visitors! Our team takes pride in making the experience an excellent excursion and we are glad you enjoyed your visit with us.... More 

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