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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$1,467.27*
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,185 reviews
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  • 585
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    Very good
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  • 33
    Terrible
We saw the disappearing gun rather than the albatross tour

We visited the centre on recommendation. We were in a bit of a rush to travel on and couldn't wait around to do the albatross tour. Instead we had an individual tour to see the... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
Sam S
,
Rushden, England, United Kingdom
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1,185 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,080: English reviews
Skillman, New Jersey
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We made a reservation for viewing from the conservatory area in the late afternoon and saw nesting birds and some immature as well as on come in for a landing. Take your binoculars and your camera. Visited the parking area and boardwalks on 2 days. One day we got brief glimpses of Albatrose in flight and on the second day... More 

Helpful?
Thank Claire T
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The Royal Albatross centre was well worth a visit. My 9yo son and I took the albatross tour and the disappearing gun tour and we were lucky enough to see nesting albatrosses and juveniles. The tour guide was very informative. We continued on to the disappearing gun tour which was well worth it. Then we had dinner at the centre... More 

Helpful?
Thank Anna P
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 

Northants
Level Contributor
86 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

It is a pity that if you want to see Royal Albatross you are limited to experiences such as this. They do not turn anybody away, so right at the last minute, bodies are being crammed onto your group. The birds are so rare, and the demand so great. It is a timed event, with the usual talk at the... More 

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

Kia ora and thank you for your review. I apologise for you having issues with the number of visitors on the tour. Our permit limits us to 18 people per tour, or 21 with an extra guide. We do turn people away and encourage people to book ahead, often people turn up close to the tour departure time and we... More 

Rushden, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We visited the centre on recommendation. We were in a bit of a rush to travel on and couldn't wait around to do the albatross tour. Instead we had an individual tour to see the disappearing gun, this was put on especially for us. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and made it interesting for our two boys (8 and 12).

Helpful?
Thank Sam S
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 about the Disappearing Gun, its special as the world's only fully restored Armstrong disappearing gun in its original gun pit - it is a wonderful heritage experience and we love sharing it with our visitors! Our team takes pride in making the... More 

Marrakech, Morocco
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Called in here on an off chance hoping to see an albatross and we were not disappointed! We were really lucky and could see them circling from the car park! Lots of fur seals laying around to see. Very informative displays inside and good gift shop. Have to pay for a tour to see the albatross up close but it's... More 

Helpful?
Thank hbell90
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 

State College
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The Royal Albatross Centre is a well planned facility with great informational displays and exhibits. We did not go on the albatross tour, but we did take the penguin tour at 9:30pm. We could tell from the crowd building in the visitor center that they over-booked. Once we got out to the viewing platform it became really evident. Because of... More 

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

Kia ora and thanks for your review. Please accept our apologies for your experience on the penguin tour, The numbers are strictly limited to 100 people for the tour and many people are turned away. We expect and train our guides to ask people to move around on the platform, I'm sorry if this did not work well on the... More 

Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

The NZ$110 family ticket allowed us to view a few adult birds on nests, and a few juveniles walking about, from a crowded building that was a considerable way (maybe 50 metres) from the birds themselves. The view was badly obstructed by terrible condensation on the glass. (The Department of Conservation's "Royal cam" - webcam - offers a far superior... More 

Helpful?
Thank Digital21c
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Public Relations 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 

Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

We called the center to book our tour but was told just to turn up. To get thete we took a long scenic drive along the Otago peninsula. The center ia a very popular tourist attraction. We joined a big group of people for a 9.30 pm tour but the staff handled this very well. The view toward the harbour... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mili L
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 

New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
191 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

If you would like to see the majestic big birds, you need to book ahead, or you might end up missing them as we did. We did not have the time to wait several hours until the next available tour. Even without the tour, the conservation centre was very informative. It is at the very end of the peninsula, so... More 

Helpful?
Thank utas2010
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 a great tip to advise people to book ahead, this is a very busy time of the year, our permit only allows us to take 18 people at a time on tour, so the tours do fill up quickly! Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories... More 

Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
59 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This place really promised so much. It really did. My wife and I saw it as a number 1 or 2 attraction in Dunedin, so had to try it for ourselves. A long winding road around the peninsula (beautiful drive and worthy of it's own review if I had to be honest!) delivers you to the Taiaroa Head Royal Albatross... More 

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

Kia ora and thank you for your review. Sorry that you felt the albatross tour didn't meet your expectations. Activity at the colony is different each day as wildlife go about their natural behaviours, we cannot guarantee what people will see each tour. We do offer guaranteed viewing for the breeding season as the Richdale Observatory opened 24th November after... More 

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