Nature’s Wonders Naturally

Top choice wildlife reserve in Otago Peninsula
Image by Mark Meredith / Getty Images

What makes the improbably beautiful beaches of this coastal sheep farm different from other important wildlife habitats is that (apart from pest eradication and the like) they're left completely alone. Many of the multiple private beaches haven't suffered a human footprint in years. The result is that yellow-eyed penguins can often be spotted (through binoculars) at any time of the day, and NZ fur seals laze around rocky swimming holes, blissfully unfazed by tour groups passing by.

Depending on the time of year, you might also see whales and little penguin chicks. The tour is conducted in ‘go-anywhere’ Argo vehicles by enthusiastic guides, at least some of whom double as true-blue Kiwi farmers. A less bumpy coach option is also available, and there's also the Albatross Express boat tour, departing 3km south from Wellers Rock Wharf, devoted to spotting albatross and sea birds. Combo tours are available.