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The Royal Albatross Centre

2,026 Reviews

The Royal Albatross Centre

2,026 Reviews
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1260 Harington Point Rd, Dunedin New Zealand
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Castle to Cruise Tour
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Castle to Cruise Tour

5 reviews
An unrivalled tour package! Visit the stunning Larnach Castle, travel the beautiful roads of the Otago Peninsula and join special Monarch Wildlife Cruise. <br><br>Enjoy a 90 minute tour of Larnach Castle and it's beautiful grounds. Hear the scandalous story of early settler William Larnach and his family. Explore the beautifully restored castle, with it's original antique furniture and impressive craftsmanship throughout. Time is allowed for exploring the gardens or a quick snack from the ballroom cafe.<br><br>You'll then continue along the Otago Peninsula and your guide will give an interactive commentary along the way.<br><br>Hop aboard a Wildlife Cruise out through the entrance to the Otago Harbour. Enjoy close viewing of fur seals, royal albatross and other seabirds. Sometimes we spot sea lions, blue penguins &amp; dusky or hectors dolphins.
US$102.89 per adult
2,026Reviews21Q&A
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Kristina H wrote a review Jan. 23
119 contributions26 helpful votes
We chose to do the Albatross Blues combo, which starts at 7pm. We had a fantastic experience seeing the Albatross, we were lucky enough to see 20 albatross from the viewing platform (which provided binoculars), and we were so lucky to see a three day old albatross chick! We spent over an hour up at the viewing platform, and the guide Janice was great at answering questions and providing information about the albatross. The little blue penguin tour was at 9:30pm, so we had time to have a bite to eat at the cafe. The penguins were so beautiful, we saw roughly 175+ on the night we went. The viewing platform is fantastic, with lights underneath so we could see the penguins. The guides were also great, and provided good information. Overall a fantastic tour, well worth doing to see these beautiful animals.
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Date of experience: January 2021
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Happy travellers wrote a review Jan. 17
Auckland Central, New Zealand17 contributions
What an amazing place. Such a remote windswept place which of course makes it the best place for these amazing birds. An informative and interesting tour. Friendly helpful staff.
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Date of experience: January 2021
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Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Senior Visitor Host at The Royal Albatross Centre
Responded 4 days ago
Kia Ora and thank you for your review. Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your time at the Albatross Centre, and thank you for supporting us by taking the tour. We are so lucky to have about 6 nests on view this season - quite a high number for us. The chicks have just begun hatching in the colony - such an exciting time, we love sharing this and our stories with our visitors. We are run by a non-profit trust and rely on visitors on tours to fund our centre and conservation efforts, so we really appreciate your support! Thank you also for your kind words about our staff. We hope you enjoyed the rest of your day! kind regards, Laura, Senior Visitor Host, Royal Albatross Centre
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Smilee168 wrote a review Jan. 15
Wellington, New Zealand21 contributions1 helpful vote
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This is my third visit to the Centre, but my first on a combo ticket also to watch the Little Blue Penguins returning at dusk. Therefore, was on the last albatross tour at 7:00pm at this time of the year, then waited 1.5 hours for the only blue penguin tour at 9:30pm. The 1.5-hour wait was worth it. The albatross tour was the best I've experienced. Probably it was the time of day. Many albatrosses were in flight, and I managed to photograph 5 in a few photos. The guide was very knowledgeable. And he answered all questions posed to him. Two guides were with the penguin group. One of them explained what we were about to witness. With her experienced eyes piercing into the dark dusk (with dark clouds above) she could spot each raft of penguins approaching from a distance. That information enabled us to witness them approaching before they got ashore, making it a 'complete experience'. We had fish and chips at the cafe while waiting for the penguin tour. With a combo albatross and blue penguin ticket, our tasty fish and chips dinner was only $10 each. It was a good discount, but I can't now recall what the usual price was. A few other combo-ticket discount meals were available. That information was on a card on each table and at the cafe entrance. The staff taking our order at the counter did not ask if we had a combo-ticket.
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Date of experience: January 2021
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Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Senior Visitor Host at The Royal Albatross Centre
Responded 4 days ago
Kia Ora and thank you for your review. Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your time at the Albatross Centre on the two tours to see albatross and little blues. We are lucky to have about 6 nests on view this season - which is a high number for us to have on view! The chicks have just started hatching over the past few days and we can't wait to see them. The penguin viewing has also been great with large numbers returning each night to bring food for their chicks. Thank you for your kind words about our guides, we are pleased they could answer all questions :) and we are glad you enjoyed your food in the cafe as well. We are run by a non-profit trust and rely on visitors on tours to fund our centre and conservation efforts, so we really appreciate your support! We hope you enjoyed the rest of your evening. kind regards, Laura, Senior Visitor Host, Royal Albatross Centre
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Miki and Tiki travels wrote a review Jan. 12
Christchurch, New Zealand13 contributions
Wow! Beautiful time spent here, we booked a 11am albatross tour and a 9.30pm penguins viewing. For $66 each. We would recommend you do a tour with the albatross at 7pm and follow on either the penguins afterwards. Cafe does simple yet lovely food at a good price and you could have this in between to reduce you travelling to a from the sanctuary. Albatross tour: started with an informative video and enthusiastic guide. Then went to the viewing deck! Stunning views. However, we saw 6 albatross on nests and none flying around during this time- therefore I would recommend asking how many people are booked on as the viewing deck is small- opt out for the less amount of people. Also do an afternoon tour as there is more activity In the afternoon with the albatross. On our return to the centre we saw a large amount of albatross flying above our head, cafe and around the headland ! Was special to see them fly and definitely made up for not seeing them earlier in the day. Penguin tour could not fault this exciting experience- unfortunate not able to hear the Maori introduction but this could just been technical difficulties. Penguins were awesome - dress up warm and bring binoculars.
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Date of experience: January 2021
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Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Senior Visitor Host at The Royal Albatross Centre
Responded 1 week ago
Kia Ora and thank you for your review. Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your time at the Albatross Centre on the two tours to see albatross and little blues. We are so lucky to have about 6 nests on view this season - quite a high number for us! The chicks will be due to hatch any day and we are very excited. The penguin viewing has also been fantastic as many of them are breeding at this time of year so we are seeing many returning each evening. Thank you for your kind words about the cafe, this is always lovely to hear :) We are run by a non-profit trust and rely on visitors on tours to fund our centre and conservation efforts, so we really appreciate your support! We hope you enjoyed the rest of your evening and look forward to your next visit. kind regards, Laura, Senior Visitor Host, Royal Albatross Centre
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Sam Buckingham wrote a review Jan. 9
Whitford, New Zealand2 contributions
Dead sheep in water 5 dead birds Need to clean paths Need more activities that engage us like visiting the seals
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Date of experience: January 2021
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Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre
Responded 2 weeks ago
Kia ora, Thank you for your review. Sad to see your comment as it doesn't relate to us at all. did you take a guided tour with us to view the nesting albatross? we are a not-for-profit charitable trust, funds generated go towards the protection and conservation of the Albatross being the worlds only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross. We provide free facilities - informative gallery and toilets for visitors to use at no cost. The cliff face viewing platform is Dunedin City Council owned, that area is no managed by the Royal Albatross Centre at all. it is a free public area. The dead sheep again, not us. We are unable to clean the path ways in the public areas, as we are on tank water and truck in 1000s of litres of water which does cost the centre significantly. The Red-Billed gull colony at Taiaroa Head is a 2nd largest in the south island. They are doing well, however it is common to see deceased gulls which is natural. We go out of our way to remove dead seagulls where possible. Kind regards, Chris, Operations Manager
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