This tour is our recommended option differing from our standard option by replacing our guided Albatross viewing with a one hour wildlife cruise aboard the MV ‘Monarch’ to view the albatross colony and other marine wildlife. The tour departs daily from Dunedin city in the mid-afternoon to the beautiful Otago Peninsula and its wildlife 'hotspots', catering to small groups and providing a glimpse into the world of tourism and conservation working in a symbiotic relationship, providing absolutely unrivalled viewing of estuarine and marine wildlife.
Our knowledgeable guides deliver commentary of activity being viewed and visit isolated places to provide the best possible viewing of unique peninsula wildlife. We provide brilliant opportunities to photograph Albatross, Sea lions, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins,New Zealand Fur Seals and other sea bird colonies. At Wellers rock jetty you join the crew on the MV ‘Monarch’ for a 60 minute cruise before re-joining with your Elm wildlife tour guide for the remainder of our half day tour. The MV ‘Monarch’ is our recommended option allowing viewing of the entire Royal Albatross breeding area and usually allows great viewing of flying Albatross and close by resting on the ocean as well as seeing many other species that live and breed around the headland, and regularly see whales and dolphins.
After re-joining our tour a further 25-30 other estuarine and marine bird species are seen during the experience around the bays and lagoons.
Summer 6-6.5 hours, Winter 5-5.5 hours
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.
Some walking is required to access the yellow-eyed penguin private conservation area. The walk requires basic fitness as the terrain is hilly farm land, sandy beaches and stairways provide access the viewing hides.
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.
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