MAX is our eight hour extended package, combining a boat cruise aboard the 'Monarch', a Royal Albatross nesting area tour and our award winning peninsula encounter tour into one 'total wildlife' tour. This extreme option allows Wildlife enthusiasts a unique opportunity to combine the best possible viewing from land and sea. First the one hour Monarch cruise introduces the wildlife of Taiaroa head from the sea where occasionally dolphins and whales are also seen before returning to the jetty where our guide will be waiting to transport you to the Royal Albatross centre. Here you join a descriptive introduction and viewing of the Royal Albatross breeding area before finally travelling to Elm Wildlife’s private conservation reserve. Here you will meet and watch Hooker Sea lions, Yellow-eyed penguins, usually arriving home from the ocean, little (blue) penguins in nest burrows and a large breeding colony of NZ Fur seals.
If you love to be on the water and dream of seeing spectacular seabirds and long for close up viewing of penguins Sea lions and seals, then this is the tour for you. If you really want to see the world's biggest sea bird close-up, rare penguins, fur seals and sea lions within a few metres then this is as good as it gets. This tour is a unique opportunity to saturate your day with wildlife viewing experiences. You will be collected from your accommodation and transported to the boat for your cruise, after which our guide delivers you to the Royal Albatross centre to join the tour, before you re-join for the land based part of this tour. This option is a must for the dedicated wildlife enthusiast - Elm Wildlife Tour - Awarded "New Zealand’s best leisure activity" has also maintained the qualmark Environmental gold level standard since 2010.
8 hours from Dunedin city to approx 6.5 hours from Portobello depending on pickup point
from 1.20pm at city accommodation (pickups by Monarch boat tours)
As this tour duration is approximately six hours, the tour does not suit all children. Children under five years are free of charge and require parent to provide carry pack for walks (tour not suitable for pushchairs/strollers etc)
Within 24 hours: NO REFUND (100% charge) or rebooking at no extra cost if availability permits.
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