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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$1,469.78*
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,100 reviews
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    Very good
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Educational and Unique

You can learn a lot about bird life and New Zealand pluck by visiting this special spot that has contributed a lot to our knowledge of the huge and beautiful albatross and the... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Bud W
via mobile
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1,100 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,008: English reviews
Queenstown, New Zealand
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

While we found the tour informative and the staff friendly, we were really disappointed with regards to the speed and expectation for guests to keep up. We live in Queenstown NZ and our parents were visiting from Canada; we booked this in advance as we had previously told our parents about the amazing birds in NZ as they too are... More 

Helpful?
Thank bubblyonemo
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, your feedback is very welcome. I am terribly sorry that your family didn't enjoy your visit with us because of the walk up the hill. We do have mobility scooters available and I apologise that these were not offered, we do care about our guests and want to... More 

Fremont, CA
Level Contributor
55 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

This is truly an awesome place ... we got to know a lot about albatrosses and see them ... we also saw red-beaked sea gulls (because we went in Spring there were fluffy little sea gull chicks too) ... And the best bit of course was seeing Blue Penguins coming to shore at dusk ... I would recommend this to... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Sen
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. Sounds like you had a wonderful time with us, Taiaroa Head is a thriving wildlife sanctuary and there is so much to see. The gulls are endangered so its very special to see their chicks in spring and isn't seeing the penguins a very special experience. You really... More 

Grafton, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

After dinner at the 1908 Restaurant in Portobello, we headed out to the Royal Albatross Centre at dusk. It is important to book early as they only take 100 people every night. Around 9:30 pm we walked down to the shore on a slightly lit trail down to the coast. We waited for the blue penguins, the smallest penguin in... More 

Helpful?
Thank 7didi7
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 great 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 that call Pukekura home, including a joint venture with the Pukekura Trust to... More 

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The classic albatross tour was brilliant and very well priced. Our guide Freya was wonderful - very informative and helpful. We got plenty of viewing opportuntities and some amazing photos. Highly recommended

Helpful?
Thank 119kmc
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. We'll pass on your feedback to Freya, she will appreciate it! 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... More 

Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This is a fantastic look at nesting Northern Royal Albatrosses. You learn a lot about the birds, and view them from a blind with a knowledgeable guide. There is a film about the birds and their lives.

Helpful?
Thank Elizabeth Z
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. 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 

Sydney
Level Contributor
182 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Limited spaces and we were very lucky they added a tour just for us as we were a big party. Hard to get good pics, but great to view them so close even though you can't truly appreciate just how big the birds are. Excellent well informed staff and a good cafe too.

Helpful?
Thank Turkey_Baster
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. 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 

Level Contributor
51 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

You can learn a lot about bird life and New Zealand pluck by visiting this special spot that has contributed a lot to our knowledge of the huge and beautiful albatross and the world wide oceanic web of life. The museum is free. Guided tours to see the nesting birds cost $50 for an hour. Don't miss if you are... More 

Helpful?
Thank Bud W
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. 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 

Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited this center as a part of our Sundowner Tour (Monarch Tours) and were happily surprised at the facility. There is a museum, a gift shop, a decent cafe, and for a bit of extra $, access to the Royal Albatross observatory that gives you and up close and personal look at nesting Royal Albatrosses. You are in the... More 

Helpful?
Thank HolladayTraveler
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. Thanks for supporting us by taking a tour, The Sundowner tour is great and shares all our amazing activities. Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories of the albatross and introducing visitors to the 'Royals of Taiaroa' and the Blue Penguins Pukekura. It is indeed a special... More 

Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Very ecological and educational. While it is not guaranteed to see many albatross there as it depends on the seasons, it is the real nature. It is much better than zoos since we can observe the natural behaviors of the animals. Very inspiring for ecological tour developers as well.

Helpful?
Thank EvY03tw
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. 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 

UK
Level Contributor
33 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

An impressive visitor's centre with a very nice cafe. The staff are very helpful and the tour is wonderful. There are two tours available - to see the albatrosses or to additionally tour the historic gun emplacements and see a fully installed 'disappearing gun' (which also gives additional views of albatrosses). In addition, there is an endangered species of gull... More 

Helpful?
Thank PackHorseUk
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. 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 

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