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The Royal Albatross Centre

#10 of 110 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
Closed 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 (1,367)
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1 - 10 of 1,246 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

I really enjoyed our visit, the guide we had gave a very informative & factual presentation. The day of our visit we got to see a lot of albatross in flight and nesting. My children loved looking through the binoculars. Highly recommend visiting.

Thank MarcelJCross
Reviewed 3 days ago

Well worth the effort to see the Royal Albatross chicks. Did see several and 1 bird in flight. Great guides with excellent views of the birds.

Thank gazzap44
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

We learned a great deal during the educational talk before we climbed to the look out. The climb is steep but we took a break half-way. We saw 5 chicks and several parents returning to feed the chicks. Expensive but only place on mainland to...More

Thank kidsalongtraveler
Reviewed 4 days ago

A once in a lifetime experience. Seeing penguins come in out of the water to nest was truly special. Kids loved it.

Thank msanchez12
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The trip to see the Albatross colony is quite far feom Dunedin central, its a narrow road along the water which is beautiful but you arent able to see the Alvatross colony unless its via a tour which costs $55 per person including the fort...More

Thank lechegray
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

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...More

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This place was better than we had expected. Joel, our tour guide, was very engaging and was full of information. We weren't sure what to expect but we really enjoyed our visit. Very pleased to be able to see several chicks and an adult albatross...More

Thank newnztraveller
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. We will pass your thanks on to our wonderful guide Joel! Our team takes pride in making the albatross experience an excellent excursion and we are glad you enjoyed your visit with us....More

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We chose the 1-hour (albatross only) visit. Very good experience. The guide was really nice, took time to explain every little detail about breeding, nesting, fledging, mating, etc. After some detailed explanation about the albatross' life and a short movie about the Taiaroa Head area...More

2  Thank Kler_974
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days 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 2-4 chicks on view, albatross chicks to see and breeding adults coming and going....More

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We visited on a freezing evening an hour before they closed and got to join the group watching the rafts of tiny blue penguins coming home to nest. It was a great experience and well worth the cost as all money goes back into the...More

Thank 141jaydeeelle
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. It's fantastic that you joined 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

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

On our honeymoon my wife and I visited Dunedin. We were only there for a short time but wanted to jam all we could in a short time. We were more interested in the lighthouse than anything else so we visited the center. It was...More

Thank Allen W
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 5 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 see the area and more specifically the beautiful Taiaroa Head - it is a wonderful experience and we love sharing it with...More

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

If you have a couple of hours to spare you can be part of an 80 year old experience: that was when the first recorded Royal Albatross reared a chick on the mainland; since then there have regularly been about 25 albratross chicks reared at...More

Thank JedAfterthought
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. 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. It is indeed a special and unique experience...More

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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Terry C
27 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
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Jay R
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
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samille
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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