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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
Open 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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Need to book ahead in tourist season

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... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
utas2010
,
New Delhi, India
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1,174 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,072: English reviews
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
171 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

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
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
58 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW 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?
Thank KiwiKirkNZ
Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
372 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

When you get to the end of this peninsula, and it's shrouded in cloud, you feel very remote. Except of course for the bus loads of tourists. The Centre itself has really good exhibits inside that are very thought provoking. Like many if this kind of preservation effort, it was inspired by one forward thinking man. We didn't take any... More 

Helpful?
Thank MiguelitoyCat
Wollongong
Level Contributor
349 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

It's a bit of a drive out to the centre but the views are lovely. The tour lasts about 90 minutes and you get to see albatross on the wing and nesting - depending on the time of the year. The last part of the tour was of the old battlements. There is a gift shop and cafe as well.

Helpful?
Thank Jennie W
Wales
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Help this wonderful charity and see the most beautiful birds up close. The trust and DOC help these albatross. Please visit and support them.

Helpful?
Thank ILoveToTravelMoreMrP
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
116 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We went to the 2130 viewing of the blue penguins (when they return to the nests). It was busy but the viewing gallery is big and allows you to see all the action. The staff are knowledgeable, helpful and obviously have the penguins as a priority. They warn everyone about the risks of using a flash,so flash photography is not... More 

Helpful?
Thank familyoffiveonhols
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Outstanding opportunity to see penguins coming home after a busy day fishing. Excellent views and engaging presentation. Recommend not allowing photography (too many cameras/phones competing for views) and lowering lighting. Also reducing participant numbers. Too many people on platform. Consider allowing 20 people and lending binoculars. Crucial element is kaitiakitanga element. The back story is so important.

Helpful?
Thank Katy H
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
227 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We went to see the Blue Penquins which is definitely worth the 30.00 nz. The Albatross was more but we didn't pay to see them. I can't say enough about the people who work there. They are so nice, accommodating, love there jobs and work they do to prerserve these birds. One woman even helped us to find lodging. Go... More 

Helpful?
Thank scott a
Auckland
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is a great place to see an amazing animal. There were 4 albatrosses sitting on nests when we visited. You can see albatrosses from the car park too, though not as close. The tour is well organised and informative,. We visited at peak time and it was very busy. It's worth visiting though. An alternative (better if you want... More 

Helpful?
Thank scoggij
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. Our team takes pride in making the albatross experience an excellent excursion and we are glad you enjoyed your visit with us. Your tour fees do indeed go to a good cause -... More 

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
293 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We made reservations (mandatory) for the 9:30pm viewing of return of penguins to nest. It's late but well worth it. The centre accepts 100 reservations so it's packed but manageable. It was amazing to see the "rafts" of penguins come in groups ashore and make it through the big rocks up the hill to their nests. There are soft lights... More 

Helpful?
Thank smatso
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, 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 

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