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The Royal Albatross Centre is located at Taiaroa Head on the tip of the Otago Peninsula 45 minutes drive from Dunedin. Owned and operated by the Otago Peninsula Trust, a charitable trust, whose purpose and objective is the protection and enhancement of the Otago Peninsula. Taiaroa Head itself, a nature reserve, is managed by the Department of Conservation.
As well as being the only mainland place in the world to view Northern Royal Albatross in their natural habitat, Taiaroa Head has a strong historical connection. From Maori settlement in the 1300's to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi: the establishment of the lighthouse and fortifications in the late 1800's, and its use as a defense base during World War I and II, New Zealand's culture and history is uniquely celebrated here alongside wildlife.
Open 364 days, the Visitor's Centre is complete with gift shop and cafe. Reservations Essential.
Things to know:
The Royal Albatross Centre is owned and operated by a charitable trust. All surplus funds generated by the enterprise are returned to projects which protect and enhance the environment and wildlife of Dunedin’s Otago Peninsula.
There is no public access to the wildlife reserve, access is granted by booking on a guided tour. Bookings are essential to guarantee a place on a tour.
The albatrosses are not in captivity. They are wild creatures. Accordingly, we cannot guarantee their behaviour or sightings on any given day, although some times of year and some seasonal and weather variations create more suitable conditions for albatrosses to fly.
Ours is a rugged environment. A reasonable level of fitness is required to walk from the Centre to the observatory and the fortifications.
Adults not booked on a tour pay a $5 entry fee to visit the Centre to enjoy the facilities. NZ Gold Card holders $3 and school age children free.
The Royal Albatross Centre is a 32km scenic drive from Dunedin city centre.
The closest public transport to the Centre terminates at Harington Point, 3.5kms from the Centre.
The Northern Royal Albatross is just one of about 20+ species of bird and animal which makes its home on Otago Peninsula’s Taiaroa Head.
South Island ▷ Coastal Otago ▷ Dunedin
Showing 8 reviews of 123.
Fantastic. Great information by our guide. Yes - people tell you that the birds can be seen from the parking lot - but paying for the guided tour is well worth the money. Weather was cold and windy but many albatross were flying that day.
Highly informative, passionate delivery, biggest birds in the world.
Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.
Very expensive but you feel that good work is done there, nice staff with a good knowledge.
Great experience to see the Royal Albatross during flight. An excursion was very interesting and instructive too - life of Albatross is really glamourous. The windy day is the best for the excursion.
Beautiful landscape where it is possible to see seals, albatross and penguins. But to see penguins it is a little expensive just for one or two hours photography.
Really impressed with the dedication from the team there. Very informative information and was amazing to see those incredible birds in flight and nesting.
Great sense of history. Video, tours and more wildlife than you can shake a stick at. Seal, sea lions and a variety of birds. You do not have to pay for the seals and lions but the Albatross and penguins are guided tours.
Pernille and Flemming
A very dedicated guide.