Nature’s Wonders Naturally

Top choice in Otago Peninsula

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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Otago Peninsula attractions

1. Royal Albatross Centre & Fort Taiaroa

0.61 MILES

Taiaroa Head (Pukekura), at the peninsula’s northern tip, has the world’s only mainland royal albatross colony, along with a late 19th-century military…

2. Penguin Place

0.98 MILES

On private farmland, this reserve protects nesting sites of the rare yellow-eyed penguin (hoiho). The 90-minute tours cover 2km and focus on penguin…

4. Orokonui Ecosanctuary

6.47 MILES

From the impressive visitor centre there are great views over this 307-hectare predator-free nature reserve, which encloses cloud forest on the…

5. Larnach Castle

7.65 MILES

Standing proudly on top of a hill overlooking the peninsula, this gorgeous Gothic Revival mansion was built in 1871 by Dunedin banker, merchant and Member…

6. Glenfalloch Woodland Garden

9.62 MILES

Make time to pause at these lush, well-tended gardens, filled with flowers and swaying mature trees, including a 1000-year-old matai. Walking tracks…

7. Baldwin Street

10.83 MILES

This street proudly held the title of steepest street in the world until July 2019, when Ffordd Pen Llech in the Welsh town of Harlech was officially…

8. Dunedin Botanic Garden

11.69 MILES

Dating from 1863, these 30 hectares of peaceful, grassy and shady green space include rose gardens, rare natives, a rhododendron dell, an exotic bird…