See the highlights of Dunedin’s city center and Larnach Castle in the morning, then spend the afternoon immersed in the natural beauty of the Otago Peninsula. Visit the nesting grounds of the rare and endangered yellow-eyed penguin and northern royal albatross as you explore the scenic coast along Taiaroa Head. Small-group tour with a maximum of 19 people allows for personalized attention from your knowledgeable guide.
After morning pickup in Dunedin, see the city’s highlights including the University of Otago and Baldwin Street, which claims to be the steepest residential street in the world. Take photos of the Dunedin Railway Station, known as “Gingerbread George” for its elaborate Renaissance Revival architecture. Then take in the Octagon, the vibrant city center where many notable Victorian and Edwardian buildings are located, including heritage-listed Dunedin Town Hall and St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral. Next, leave the city behind as you drive about 20 minutes to reach Larnach Castle, rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of its original owners! The sprawling mansion features beautiful gardens that you explore on a short tour with your guide before having time to wander on your own. Castle tours are optional and at own expense. Here you'll have the option to buy lunch at the ballroom cafe attached to Larnach Castle.Once you have refueled, continue down the road to a reserve where you observe native yellow-eyed penguins, the rarest penguins in the world. A naturalist guide from the reserve leads you on a 1.5-hour tour through hides and tunnels that allow you to get close views of the penguin nesting area without disturbing the birds. This tour requires that participants be a able to walk at least one third of a mile (600 meters) and climb and descend 90 steps. When you have completed the penguin viewing, reboard your coach to visit nesting grounds for the northern royal albatross at Taiaroa Head, the only human-inhabited mainland where an albatross colony of any species exists. Learn from your guide about the large seabirds as you look for them gliding over the headlands. Enjoy the beautiful coastline before heading back to Dunedin to end your tour.