Peninsula Encounters + Albatross Tour

  • Albatross - The Worlds Largest Sea Birds
    This tour combines the standard peninsula encounters above with a tour conducted by the Royal Albatross centre at Taiaroa headland. If you want to see the world's biggest sea bird in a nesting area, then this is as good as it gets.

Book Now



Adults: $215  Children (5-14yrs): $150


A great way to learn more about the world's largest seabirds and see the nesting colony from the observatory! 
Add-on to your Peninsula Encounters with a special Royal Albatross Centre tour.


Tour Description

Join a small-group bus tour departing from Dunedin. Our local guide will take you on a journey across the Otago Peninsula. Travel over the high road with postcard views of the harbour and coast. You’ll travel past quaint communities and rural farms.

Spot wading birds as your mini-bus explores around the inlets and the wetland eco-systems. Your tour will visit a remote Otago Peninsula beach. A short walk from the mini-bus will provide dramatic views of rugged coastal cliffs, offshore islands and perhaps some huge sea lions.

The trip continues to Taiaroa Head, home to the Royal Albatross Centre. You’ll be taken up to a private viewing observatory for a special look at the northern royal albatross breeding colony. Watch as these magestic birds glide past on three metre wingspans, or as they feed their chicks at the nest. Viewing distances to nests and bird numbers will vary, but it does provide a unique opportunity to watch these huge seabirds, at the world's only mainland colony of albatross.

Your final stop is at a Yellow-eyed Penguin conservation reserve. Visit the on-site rehab centre before a tour of the reserve. You’ll take trails through native bushland, walking through tunnels and trenches to different viewing hides scattered around the reserve. Watch as the world’s rarest penguin returns ashore and interacts with other birds around the reserve.

The tour ends with a relaxed drive, following the harbour, back to Dunedin.


Summer (1 October - 31 March)

2:00pm to 8:30pm


Winter (1 April - 30 September)

11:00am to 6:00pm
Operating Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday


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 6.5 hours, the tour does not suit all 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.