Elm Max Tour (full-day tour)

  • How much wildlife can you take?
    For the wildlife enthusiast, the MAX tour is 8 hours of totally immersive wildlife experience. All our tours rolled into one!



The full day, extended touring experience. Visit every nature hotspot on the Otago Peninsula.
We've designed this tour to provide our guests with maximum exposure to Southern Ocean wildlife.



Adults: $257   Children (5-14yrs): $125 


Tour Description

A full day spent discovering the natural wonders of wild Dunedin. An expert local guide will join you and provide an interesting commentary throughout the day.

Explore the Otago Peninsula. You’ll be taken around the inlet eco-systems and spot different wading birds before stopping at an isolated beach. A short walk from the van will provide dramatic views of rugged coastal cliffs, offshore islands and perhaps some huge sea lions.

The trip continues to Taiaroa Head, and the Royal Albatross Centre. Their guide will take you up to a private viewing observatory that looks out over the royal albatross breeding colony. Watch these majestic birds glide past on three metre wingspans, or as they interact with and feed their chicks.

Time is allowed to purchase lunch from the Albatross Cafe (at own cost). Guests are welcome to bring a pre-packed meal with them on tour.

After lunch, it's a short drive to a Yellow-eyed Penguin conservation reserve. Visit the on-site rehab centre before heading in to the reserve for a walking tour through a great example of native bushland. Watch as the world’s rarest penguin returns ashore and interacts around their nesting sites. 

The final stop is at Wellers Rock Wharf, for a Monarch Wildlife Cruise. You’ll travel out of the harbour, around Taiaroa Head, and out to sea. Watch royal albatross glide across the water and return to their breeding colony. Beneath a historic lighthouse is a colony of playful furseals. You’ll spot other rare seabirds and maybe blue penguins or other marine mammals.

The tour ends with a relaxed harbour cruise, 22 kilometres, making your way back to Dunedin.


Summer (1 December - 31 March)

9:00am to 7:30pm
Operating daily except Thursday*

 *Tours will not operate on Public Holidays.


Winter (1 April - 31 October)

Only available for privately booked groups of 6 or more people.


Tour Departure Point

The default departure point for Elm Wildlife Tours is 20 Fryatt St, Dunedin. We share the facility with Monarch Wildlife Cruises. Please check-in at reception 15 mins prior to the scheduled tour start time. Free carparks are available around this location.


Accommodation Pick-ups & Drop-offs

We provide a complimentary pick-up and drop-off service from central Dunedin accommodation - hotels, motels, backpackers, holiday parks and the iSite visitor centre (no airbnb's or private residences).

If you're staying on the Otago Peninsula we also can pick-up from Portobello Store and Larnach Castle. You are responsible for travel to and from either location.

Your pickup must be requested when making your booking, our reservations staff will confirm your pickup time via email.


Child Policy

As this tour duration is approximately 10.5 hours, the tour probably doesn't suit most young children. Children under five years are free of charge and we recommend the use of carry pack for walks (tour not suitable for pushchairs/strollers etc).


Food & Drink

Food can be purchased during the tour from the Albatross Cafe at the Royal Albatross Centre. Our guests are also welcome to bring a pre-packed meal and drink bottle with them. We recommend our visitors have a good sized lunch before departing Dunedin.



Some walking is required to access the yellow-eyed penguin private conservation area. The walk requires a medium level of fitness as the terrain you may encounter includeshilly farm land, sandy beaches, bush tracks and stairways that provide access to viewing hides.


Clothing & Footwear

All tour options are based outdoors in a land where maritime weather prevails, the weather can change very quickly on the Southern coast at any time of the year. Always wear a few warm layers and a waterproof jacket is a good idea. Your footwear will ideally be designed for walking and should be sturdy, comfortable and enclosed. 


Medicines & Health Conditions

Personal medicines should be carried on all tours. Any health condition which could potentially be a problem should be disclosed before the commencement of a tour. The terrain visited is not suitable for persons with walking disabilities and wheelchairs.



Don't forget to charge your batteries and clear your memory cards, your tour will have many fantastic photo moments. We don't allow flash photograpy of any animals we see. If you have the option to bring both a telephoto and wide angle lens then do it. You never know how close we will be to the wildlife.


Cancellation Policy

We will provide a refund (less a 3% transaction fee) or credit for cancellations made more than 24 hours prior to your tour. We reserve the right to charge up to 100% for bookings cancelled within 24 hours of your scheduled start time, or for no-shows.

If your tour is cancelled by Elm Wildlife Tours, for any reason, such as inclement weather, we will attempt to reschedule your tour to another suitable day (subject to availability). If this is not possible we will provide a full refund.

We reserve the right to cancel or alter any cruise, service or price.