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The Royal Albatross Centre

Features Animals
1260 Harington Point Rd, Dunedin, New Zealand
+64 3-478 0499
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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.
  • Excellent57%
  • Very good26%
  • Average11%
  • Poor4%
  • Terrible2%
Travellers talk about
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:15 AM - 8:30 PM
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
1260 Harington Point Rd, Dunedin, New Zealand
+64 3-478 0499
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Reviews (1,416)
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1 - 10 of 1,290 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

We visited in November, which is egg laying and nesting time, so whilst there were birds there, they were not active. The initial film and talk was very interesting, and the views from the cliff top walk fantastic. The glassed viewing area was not as...More

Thank Karen T
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

The Albatrosses are fabulous, and to get that close to the flying birds was just a privilege. The birds were really flying with the wind we had, and their landings seemed so awkward. This had to be one of the highlights of our NZ visit......More

Thank Grembo
Reviewed 4 days ago

The Royal Albatross in flight is remarkable. The centre is okay. The most expensive tour is best. The 1 hour tour is spent in a single viewing room, which is nice but was on the wrong side for the wind the day we visited. The...More

Thank ensslen
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We took the tour and the young lady was very well informed and enthusiastic, there were two Albatross already sitting on their nests and we had the pleasure of seeing one fly past. More Albatross were expected to arrive in the coming days but with...More

Thank NorthShieldsBoy
Reviewed 1 week ago

Our New Zealand friends picked us up from the ship and drove us to the centre. The tour was very informative, our friends told us to take warm clothing, which we needed.

Thank michaelbN5695YM
Reviewed 1 week ago

We had an amazing experience. The talk, by Janice, was interesting and informative then we walked up to the observatory and saw about 15/20 albatross flying around and one on a nest. It was fantastic and worth every penny. They are doing a great job...More

1  Thank Mandy M
Reviewed 1 week ago

Great knowledge of the albatross by staff, walked up to the lookout and saw young birds. They have a webcam online 24/7 that Is focused on one chick for 8 months until it fledges , amazing watching the progress from egg to fledgling!

Thank vkstanley
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We visited the centre on a cold, windy day. Surprisingly it didn't open until 10.15am with the first tour at 11am. While we were waiting for it to open - there are a couple of places to wander to look at gulls etc. - we...More

Thank gfsc5
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Kia ora and thanks for taking the time to write a review. Thanks for supporting us by taking a tour. There is the chance for great viewing at the moment with breeding adults coming and going. Our team love sharing their knowledge and stories of...More

Reviewed 1 week ago

The centre is informative and well organised and the coffee, good BUT the tour, at $100 a couple was poor value. Having asked how breeding couples there were and told 60, we expected to see some. Having been told that one was sitting on a...More

Thank SueBrian52
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Kia ora. 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...More

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Had a wonderful time at the albatross colony. Did the tour great walk and very informative nice people got to see albatross flying and fishing about half a mile ofshore ate in the cafe food was expensive had a great time anywayMore

Thank William C
OtagoPeninsulaTrust, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

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...More

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Questions & Answers
1 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust | Property representative |
Kia ora, thank you for your enquiry. It depends what tour you book we sometimes have a Unique Tiki Tour that picks Visitors up from the cruise ship in the morning before dropping them back into Dunedin city about lunch time... More
20 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust | Property representative |
Kia ora Ralphie, October is the season for the return of the breeding birds. The breeding pairs are beginning to set up their nesting sites. As with all wildlife what you see on any given day is a complete surprise, even to... More
Terry C
27 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from OtagoPeninsulaTrust | Property representative |
Kia ora Terry, Thank you for your enquiry. In November we are likely to see birds at the nest with egg laying due to start. We can never guarantee albatross flying at any time of the year as they are wildlife and come and... More