Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours

Reviews

Sevi's avatar

Sevi

Switzerland

Ranking: 8/10

Nice and friendly staff on a one hour boat trip around Otago Peninsula. Saw lots of Albatross and seals.

Reviewed about 2 years ago and experienced in February 2017

Chris's avatar

Chris

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Good activity with kids. Very interesting and the best way to see all the amazing wildlife. Friendly crew.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Des Corner's avatar

Des Corner

Ranking: 10/10

This was a fabulous tour (T3) which enabled us to pack a lot of wildlife viewing into one day. The staff were friendly and knowledgable and ensured that my husband got his binoculars back after leaving them in the minibus. The driver stopped at viewpoints to enable us to take photos and gave clear instructions of when to be where for collection for transport to the next location. We were able to get close to the albatrosses and penguins and lots of information was given about them. The boat trip enabled us to get good views of the seabirds and seals. The little snack pies on the trip back to base were unexpected and very tasty. I have already recommended Monach to other people we met on our holiday.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Martin Bakker's avatar

Martin Bakker

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Nice, affordable cruise passed seals, different species of birds and if you are lucky albatross and dolphins, with professional explanation from the guide.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in December 2015

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Peer Krumrey

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

A shorter boat trip, was really worth the money. nice and very informed guiding, well organised and equipped.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in March 2013

Stefanie Menz's avatar

Stefanie Menz

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Start from Otago Peninsula. Team knows a lot and very good in spotting animals. Prepare everything - warm clothes (jacket as well as binoculars).

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in March 2013

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Jim Woodruff

United States

Ranking: 10/10

One of the real highlights of our 6+ weeks. The Northern Royal Albatross in flight near the point would have been worth it. To then see also Whitecapped and Bullers followed up by some Hectors Dolphins made it "Sweet As".

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2013

David's avatar

David

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Well worth the drive to landing stage and boat captain kept us all interested. Heavily reliant on the wildlife playing their part but if you are lucky it is a fun trip.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Hilbert vanEssen's avatar

Hilbert vanEssen

Switzerland

Ranking: 7/10

Okay but rather pricey for a 60 minute trip.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago and experienced in March 2012

Dorthe's avatar

Dorthe

Denmark

Ranking: 10/10

See what cannot be seen from land.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in November 2011

Lydia McLean's avatar

Lydia McLean

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Great guides, saw seals and albatross etc.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in November 2011

VAGABOND's avatar

VAGABOND

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Initially, I thought the $89.00 cost was somewhat expensive, but once I was aboard and on my way - albeit I was the only passenger for the first part of the journey, I began to appreciate my new surroundings. A neat little wooden [former] fishing vessel, the MV Monarch was the ideal boat to undertake this particular harbour trip. Detailed information was offered by Ed' and the [lady] skipper about Otago Harbour and the surrounding countryside. The biting wind was largely neutralised by complimentary padded wind-breakers and the sights magnified by binoculars. Once Taiaroa Heads was insight the magnificent albatrosses came into view. And, not just the everyday variety but, according to Ed' and the skipper, species not regularly observed, along with numerous other bird-life that delighted in skimming the surface and flying alongside. Hundreds of birds rest and nest on the Heads with barking seals sunning themselves on the rocks below. For a landlubber like myself it was quite an emotional reckoning to see such special wildlife living their lives in natural and secure surroundings and being taken care of by caring and responsible people such as those who operate the MV Monarch, My return boat journey concluded at Wellers Rock from where I was driven back to the city which permitted magnificent views of the Otago Peninsula and Dunedin City itself.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

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Geoff Shutt

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

A dull wet day brought alive by the trip to see albatross, dolphin and other wildlife.

Well informed and helpful crew made it such a worthwhile time.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in May 2011

Juergen Wolf's avatar

Juergen Wolf

Germany

Ranking: 7/10

Seen Yellow Eyed Penguins, Royal Albatross and seals.

Reviewed about 8 years ago

chrissie2011's avatar

chrissie2011

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

An unplanned trip but one I was very glad to have made. The boat was fine and it was really good to have the jackets and binoculars. Most important the captain and crew (I think it was Nigel and Craig - apologies if names wrong) were both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about all the wildlife and went out of their way to get the boat to where we would see the most. We saw the nesting great albatross from a distance but lots of other albatross and other birds out at sea and also a spread of krill which was attracting the birds. We saw the spoonbills nesting and great groups of seals and had excellent explanations about behaviours - the beach masters and so on. All in all an excellent trip and good value.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Lizzie's avatar

Lizzie

Australia

Ranking: 8/10

I did this trip in the rain in 1997 and again in sunshine (and quite a swell) this month. We had wonderful views of the albatrosses, seals and other wildlife and of the beautiful Otago Harbour and Peninsula. And for a flatlander from Western Australia it was great to see the peninsula with a local expert driving on those steep winding roads. Highly recommended.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Wendy's avatar

Wendy

United States

Ranking: 10/10

I joined the first morning cruise on 11th December when we saw plenty of interesting wildlife, including nesting albatross, but none in flight. For this reason, a free repeat cruise was offered which I took at 3:15 p.m. What a treat! Another dream came true, when the Skipper spotted a fishing trawler surrounded by pelagic birds. There, at last, I saw my first Buller's Mollymawk. Many thanks for adding to such a fantastic tour of New Zealand. Wendy, USA

Reviewed over 8 years ago

davidm239's avatar

davidm239

Canada

Ranking: 9/10

It was recommended by a colleague and we are glad to have gone. This boat trip around Tairoa head was excellent value with knowledgeable commentary about the birds, seals etc....

Reviewed almost 9 years ago and experienced in May 2010

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Annette's avatar

Annette

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Monarch’s ‘tour 3 full day Otago peninsula package from Dunedin’ was a great and economical way to see some of the region’s natural treasures. Ample time was spent at each of the three destinations and very scenic routes were taken to get to these destinations. Got to sea plenty of wildlife, including the albatross and yellow eyed penguins, despite it being towards the end of the viewing/fledgling season (March). Having a different guide/driver for each leg of the journey was entertaining and all were very friendly and knowledgeable – there was no scripted relentless twaddle which many tour guides robotically deliver. Monarch’s customer service in booking this trip was fantastic, as was the pre- and post tour hotel pick up and drop off service.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Rosemary Macdonald's avatar

Rosemary Macdonald

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Fantastic cruise, saw penguins, albatross, seals up close, staff great

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in January 2010

John Winter's avatar

John Winter

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Cruise from Dunedin. Pickup from campsite. V.good knowledge of the boat crew re birds, local history etc. Good tour of yellow eyed penquin colony organised as part of tour.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Terry Phillips's avatar

Terry Phillips

England

Ranking: 10/10

1 1/4 hr trip of Otago Peninsular. $45 each. Boat took us out to Pacific Ocean, saw seals,penquins,albatrosses,many sea birds. Brilliant. Captain & Crew excellent.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

purplekat99's avatar

purplekat99

United States

Ranking: 8/10

A great afternoon on the water! If you love albatross, this is for you. Didn't see any penguins or dolphins on my trip, but it's nature, so what can you do. Every trip is different.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in January 2009

HovingL's avatar

HovingL

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Wildlife cruise, Otago Peninsula.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago and experienced in February 2009

DimitriD's avatar

DimitriD

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Very friendly staff, very enthusiastic about the wildlife, good with kids.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago and experienced in March 2009

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ChristineM's avatar

ChristineM

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Excellent Commentarty - but not clear enough sighting of Albatross in flight.

Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in February 2009

GrahamM1's avatar

GrahamM1

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Very interesting - staff tried hard to find flying Albatross.

Reviewed about 10 years ago

SimonR's avatar

SimonR

Switzerland

Ranking: 7/10

Boat trip to Otago-peninsula. Not bad, the Albatross were fantasic. Expensive.

Reviewed about 10 years ago

Max's avatar

Max

Switzerland

Ranking: 10/10

Very imformative quide.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

stephanie's avatar

stephanie

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Very small group on the boat. A little more time to watch the seals would have been nice.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Chris Willsher's avatar

Chris Willsher

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Our tour party had not planned a trip but enough of us rebelled for our coach driver to contact the staff at Monarch. Our time was very limited but their minibus met us as we arrived in Dunedin and took us straight to meet a special boat trip scheduled at short notice just for us and then returned us in good time to our group. The trip was excellent and allowed good sightings of all the special birds of the area with wonderful albatross displays. (March 2005 visit)

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Stephanie Schikora's avatar

Stephanie Schikora

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

It was really good, we saw little blue Penguins, Seals, sealions, Shags and nesting Albatross. During the first trip, we saw no Albatross flying so we could do a second trip for free. Then we saw a flying Albatross and dolphins. The crew was very friendly and explained a lot

Reviewed over 10 years ago

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Carrie's avatar

Carrie

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Really good tour with nice people on board the boat. You get information not only on the albatross but on Dunedin and birdlife around the Otago Peninsular as well.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

robthorp's avatar

robthorp

England

Ranking: 10/10

had a great cruise, it is a beautiful country

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

eve's avatar

eve

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic day out on the habour! The best way to view all the wonderful wildlife in Otago. The crew were really friendly and made the day really enjoyable. Would love to go again!

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

pruevitt's avatar

pruevitt

England

Ranking: 10/10

We had a fabulous day, thanks! It was awesome to be shown around by people who really know what they're on about, and who love sharing such an amazing place. Definitely worth a trip!

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

Rob and Dorothy's avatar

Rob and Dorothy

England

Ranking: 8/10

Really good.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

jahirst's avatar

jahirst

Ranking: 10/10

Very knowledgable crew. 2nd trip for free if you don't see an albatros fly

Reviewed over 11 years ago

Colin's avatar

Colin

England

Ranking: 8/10

Nice people.

Reviewed almost 12 years ago and experienced in February 2007

Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours responds:

Dune Rider has since been sold and is now under new management. We have listened to previous feedback and look forward to showing you this wonderful part of NZ with a high level of safety an customer care.

Love Christchurch