Here in Dunedin we are fortunate enough to have what is
considered the ‘wildlife capital of New Zealand' right at our
The Otago Peninsular is host to an abundance of natural
wildlife including the Royal Albatross, the rare Yellow-eyed
penguin, fur seals, the Little blue penguin, Stewart Island
shag, the hooker sea lion as well as many more. There are
several guided tours available for those who wish to
experience our fantastic wildlife in their natural habitat. A
great way to take in these sights is with Elm Wildlife
Tours. Judged New Zealand's best leisure activity, you
can enjoy a range of tour options from one-day or multi-day
tours. If you looking for a true wildlife experience of the
Otago peninsula they are one of New Zealands best.
The Royal Albatross Centre is nestled at the foot of Taiaroa
Head and offers the incredible opportunity to witness the
greatest of all seabirds in their breeding colony. Watch as
parents carefully guard their eggs, courtship proceedings,
nest building, interplay and the truly magnificent sight of
this majestic bird flying at speeds up to 120kph. Lonely
Planet's ‘1000 Ultimate Sights' features the Royal Albatross
Centre alongside the Taj Mahal and Grand Canyon, so it is
certainly a ‘must-see' for locals and tourists alike.
Penguin Place is home of the Yellow-eyed penguin multi-award
winning Conservation Reserve. A 90 minute guided tour through
the colony in covered trenches and observation huts, offers
visitors the rare opportunity to view this endangered species
going about their daily business.
To see what can not be seen from land, take a Monarch
Wildlife Cruise, and receive unrivalled views of seals,
penguins, marine mammals, albatross and up to 20 other
species of birds. The cruise takes one hour and is
accompanied by an informative commentary, fact-sheets,
jackets, binoculars and refreshments.
The New Zealand Marine Studies Centre and Aqaurium is another
‘must-see' place to visit on your Otago Penisula wildlife
adventure. Here visitors can view the unique marine life of
our Southern waters, from sea-weed and shellfish to octopus,
seahorses, crayfish, sharks, crabs and more. Peek inside a
sharks egg, look at plankton through a microscope, see a life
size replica of a Colossal Squid, or get hands on experience
with some marine life in the aquariums touch tanks.
Another great way to get out and see all the incredible
sights and wildlife the penisula has to offer is by sea
kayak. Eden cafe and boat hire-sea kayaking tours offers the
services of a highly experienced local kayaking guide, who
will take people out exploring the unique surroundings.
Stable single and double kayaks are available for use on
these tours, which take between one and a half to three hours
(round trip) depending on fitness levels and desired time
spent out in the ocean.