Royal Albatross Colony & Otago Peninsula Tour

Royal Albatross Colony & Otago Peninsula Tour

One of NZ’s most renowned heritage eco-tourism areas



Royal Albatross Colony & Otago Peninsula

Take this fantastic opportunity to visit the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head. This breath-taking location on the Otago Peninsula is home to the only mainland Northern Royal Albatross breeding colony in the world.

Watch the albatross come and go overhead, gliding on the wind or nesting on the hillside. With its 3-metre wingspan, the Northern Royal Albatross is quite a sight to see.

See it with Awesome Tours.

The 1-hour, fully guided tour at the colony includes:

Explore the centre and its surrounds, with impressive views, a delightful gift shop and cafe, and everything you ever wanted to know about albatross.

Banner photo credit Robert Brown

The journey to the Royal Albatross Colony is as stunning as the destination.

The drive there takes you over the high road of the Otago Peninsula to Taiaroa Head. Along the way you will take in the spectacular views of remote beaches, steep rolling hills, rustic farmhouses, and picturesque inlets. You will also stop for a look at Otakou Marae before continuing to your destination.

After the tour, we will return to the city via the low road – a captivating harbour-side drive.

“Otago Peninsula… the finest example of ecotourism in the world.”
David Bellamy, British botanist, and environmentalist.

What is included:

  • All transport to and from the Octagon (or central city accommodation, if organised prior to tour)
  • 1hr guided coach tour of the Royal Albatross Colony
  • All entry fees
  • Travel the Otago Peninsula with its stunning scenery
  • Experience driver/guide
  • Full commentary

Mating season – 17 September to 23 November

During the albatross mating season, one of the viewing hides is unavailable. The Royal Albatross Centre has modified its tours to include other viewing opportunities. The rest of the tour content is not affected.

Daily tour details

This tour operates in all weather.

  • Duration: 3hr return
  • Departure time: 2pm (returning at 5pm).
  • Departure point: Dunedin i-Site, 50 The Octagon, Dunedin Central
  • Group size: 2-10 passengers (in minibus)
  • 11-19 passengers (in midsize bus)

Need a ride to and from the Octagon?
We have a free pick-up and drop-off service from central city accommodation. Let us know early so we can arrange it. (Please allow an additional 15-20 minutes.)

Or upgrade your Albatross Tour to include the Armstrong Disappearing Gun

Unique Taiaroa Tour (Albatross & Fort Taiaroa)

This 90-minute fully-guided tour includes a short film, presentation on the albatross breeding cycle and a short walk up the hill for viewing from our exclusive glassed observatory to view the albatross and then continuing through the underground fort tunnels to see the fully restored Armstrong Disappearing Gun.

Learn about our exciting 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 an 1864 lighthouse at the entrance to Otago Harbour; from an 1880s underground fort to a large defence base in WWII. Taiaroa Head is today a Nature Reserve and iconic wildlife attraction.

Adult add NZ$25
Child add NZ$10  (5-15yrs)

Disappearing Gun

Your transport

You will enjoy the comfort and safety of:

  • a near-new, factory-fitted, 12-seater minibus (including driver)
  • 19-seater buses available for larger groups
  • PA system
  • air conditioning
  • vehicles that exceed all New Zealand Land Transport requirements.

All drivers/guides are experienced and qualified drivers with First Aid training.

Important: If you are travelling with an infant
Seatbelts are a legal requirement for all passengers travelling in New Zealand, and infants must be in a suitable car seat.

When you book, please contact with the infant’s age, and he will arrange for a car seat.

Important information

Meals and refreshments are not included.
These may be purchased at the Royal Albatross Centre cafe or you can bring your own.

Bring warm and waterproof clothing and solid footwear.
This tour operates in all weather. It is an outdoor activity in a land where the weather can change rapidly, regardless of the time of year.

No flash photography permitted.
Flash photography can disturb the wildlife. Please respect the welfare of the animals.

Reasonable level of fitness required.
The tour includes a short walk up the hill from the Centre to the Observatory, so a reasonable level of fitness is required for this section.