Royal Albatross Centre

Royal Albatross Centre


140 Rankers Reviews

131 Face-to-Face

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Imagine.... a huge Royal Albatross with a three-metre wingspan gliding overhead, within metres from where you are standing....

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.


Feature Value Info


Otago Peninsula Trust

Commercial organisation


South IslandCoastal OtagoDunedin


  • Bird Watching


Showing 8 reviews of 123.

Jocelyn Booy's avatar

Jocelyn Booy


Ranking: 10/10

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.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017

David's avatar


United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Highly informative, passionate delivery, biggest birds in the world.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017

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Andi Teuber's avatar

Andi Teuber

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Very expensive but you feel that good work is done there, nice staff with a good knowledge.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Tomas Kellner's avatar

Tomas Kellner

Czech Republic

Ranking: 10/10

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.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in February 2017

Loic Besson's avatar

Loic Besson


Ranking: 6/10

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.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

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Anthony Terry's avatar

Anthony Terry

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Really impressed with the dedication from the team there. Very informative information and was amazing to see those incredible birds in flight and nesting.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Jasmine Rogers's avatar

Jasmine Rogers


Ranking: 8/10

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.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Pernille and Flemming's avatar

Pernille and Flemming


Ranking: 9/10

A very dedicated guide.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016