Royal Albatross Centre

Royal Albatross Centre information

Otago Peninsula , New Zealand
Street Taiaroa Head
+64 3 478 0499
More information
Opening hours
9am-dusk summer, 10am-4pm winter
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Lonely Planet review

Taiaroa Head, at the peninsula’s eastern tip, has the world’s only mainland royal albatross colony. The best time to visit is from December to February, when one parent is constantly guarding the young while the other delivers food throughout the day. Sightings are most common in the afternoon when the winds pick up, and calm days don’t see much bird action. The only public access is through the Royal Albatross Centre where 45-minute tours (adult/child/family $40/20/100) include viewing from a glassed-in hut overlooking the nesting sites. There’s no viewing from mid-September to late November. From late November to December the birds are nestbound so it’s difficult to see their magnificent wingspan. The first tour of each day runs at 10.30am; bookings can be made online. Ask the staff whether the birds are flying before you pay.

Discounted combo deals are available with Nature's Wonders and Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours . Visit for details.