This tour option is a variation of the other two options providing close viewing of the many Albatross species and extremely close Fur seal viewing during the two hour wildlife cruise aboard the MV ‘Sooty Chaser’. This option allows viewing of the entire Royal Albatross breeding area and usually allows viewing of many other Albatross species and seabirds flying close or resting on the ocean. The MV "Sooty Chaser" is an extremely comfortable boat with covered area and toilet onboard.
This combo tour sails from Port Chalmers near where your ship berths to Taiaroa headland and returns to Portobello jetty to join the minibus portion of the tour of the beautiful Otago Peninsula and its wildlife 'hotspots', A further 20- 25 other estuarine and marine bird species are seen around the bays and lagoons during the trip to our private conservation area where exclusivity ensures brilliant opportunities to see and photograph Hooker's Sea lions, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins, a breeding colony of New Zealand Fur Seals and other sea bird colonies.
Knowledgeable guides deliver commentary of activity being viewed and visit isolated places inaccessible to others providing the best possible viewing of unique peninsula wildlife with absolutely unrivalled viewing of rare species.
We ensure you are back at your ship in plenty of time before you sail.
Departure point is the Cruise terminal at Port Chalmers where you will be met and transported by minibus to the "Sooty Chaser" jetty.
Walking is required to access the private conservation area where Hookers Sea lions, NZ Fur seal breeding colony and Yellow eyed Penguins are located. The walk requires basic fitness as the terrain is hilly farm land, sandy beaches and stairways provide access the viewing hides. Generally the two separate return sectors (down & up) each require approximately 15 minutes walking time because of the gradient.
The visit to our private conservation area is usually the highlight of our tours and although we always provide 4x4 assistance in the normally dry conditions, on occaisions if it is very wet we cannot use the vehicle and walking up and down coastal hillside will be required to access the private conservation area where Sea lions, a Fur seal breeding colony and Penguins are located.The walk if required is depicted below.
All tour options are an outdoor activity in a land where maritime weather prevails, the weather can change very quickly on the Southern coast at any time of the year. Always take warm and waterproof clothes.
Walking shoes/boots with heavy tread are recommended and necessary if conditions are wet or muddy.
Personal medicines etc. should be carried if required on all tours. Any medical condition which could potentially be a problem should be conveyed to your guide at the commencement of a tour. The terrain visited is not suitable for persons with walking disabilities and wheelchairs. Parents of infants should bring a backpack for their transport
Although food and drink is available through a small store in Portobello township and the Albatross centre cafe during the tour, we reccomend that participants bring their own snack and drink.
A light lunch is included in the tour fee.
Meals - as per previously agreed itinerary inclusions.
This tour requires a good level of fitness as approximately 30% of the full day adventure is spent exploring beaches forests and other short walks to waterfalls, caves and other view points. During a Catlins Encounters tour stops are made for snacks on the way, we reccomend you bring your own packed lunch.
Flash We do not allow close flash photography of penguins as this startles them, Click here for information regarding flash photography of birds and animals.
Digital cameras and camcorders perform well suited in the low light encountered during the evenings on our tours Take another look at our tour Options, the Peninsula Wildlife Tour, the Catlins Group tour or the exclusive Wild Coast Explorer - private option.
Peninsula Encounters tour departure times vary throughout the year (from 12:45pm mid-winter to 3.pm mid-summer) to coincide with changing animal activity and daylight hours. Departure times can be confirmed when making reservations. Participants will be collected from, and returned to any central City or Peninsula accommodation, the Dunedin Visitor centre at 50 The Octagon, (in city centre) or arranged points on route. Tour duration is 5.5 - 6.5 hours depending on animal behaviours and season.
NOTE: Our MAX (total wildlife experience) duration is 8.5 hours with pickup time from 1.20pm New Zealand Daylight time