Shore Excursion inc Boat Tour

  • Cruise passenger shore excursion combo by boat and minibus
    A combination wildlife cruise and road tour combining two hours on the MV 'Sooty chaser' then by minibus viewing Royal Albatross Penguins, Sea lions and Fur Seals and many others. An absolutely unforgettable wildlife experience...

Availability (Seasonal)

1 October – 30 April

(NOTE: Only available to ships arriving before 9am)

Port Chalmers - Dunedin - New Zealand


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.

image - by passenger Hiedi Haupt

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.

Average duration

  •  6 hours 


  • 1 October – 30 April  (Not available 25 and 31 December)

Health and Safety 

  • Land based operates under a strict Health and safety plan. The boat operates under MTOP (Marine Transport Operators Plan). 

Child policy

  • This tour duration is approximately seven hours, which does not suit all children. Also, as this is an exclusive tour we only a small number of seats are available. Because of this limitation we have no preferred child rate for this tour option. All participants pay the online rate (tour not suitable for pushchairs/strollers etc)

Cancellation policy

  • Less than two weeks - no refund.
  • Once the tour has commenced - no refund with the exception of any prepaid optional activities not available
  • NO CHARGE made if your ship is unable to dock.




Peninsula Encounters tours

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. 

Cruiseship excursions and LITE tours

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.

Hill walk from beach (line depicts gradient)

Image depicting angle of climb from beach to vehicles

Access to conservation area

Access walk to seal breeding area


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


Peninsula encounter tours 

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. 

Cruiseship passenger tours 

A light lunch is included in the tour fee.

Wild Coast Explorer

Meals - as per previously agreed itinerary inclusions.

Catlins Encounters

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 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

NOTE: No tours available 25 December and 31 December

SeasonPickup Times
 ( NZ daylight saving time BEGINS on last Sunday in September ) ( NZ daylight saving time ENDS on first Saturday in April )  
Last Sunday in September first Saturday in April 3pm 3.45pm
first Sunday in April 30 April 1.30pm 2.15pm
1 May 31 August 1pm 1.45pm
1 September Last Saturday in September 1.30pm 2.15pm

Pickups are usually from your accommodation or the Dunedin Visitor Centre (50 The Octagon). Pickups can take up to 15 minutes from the pickup time shown above