Visit the habitat of one of the world's rarest penguins. Walk through a private nature reserve on this guided tour to see the rare Yellow Eyed Penguin, Little Blue Penguins and NZ Furseals in the wild. Specially designed hides allow for close viewing of penguin in their nesting habitat. Explore the far reaches of the Otago Peninsula and a chance to see the Royal Albatross in flight. Also included in this full day tour is an in-depth look at Dunedin's main city sights. Lookouts, photo stops and full commentary provided along with complimentary light refreshments and chilled bottled water for everyone on board. Enjoy our personal attention to your interests in this small group tour.*please note sightings of Yellow Eyed Penguins in the reserve are extremely rare this season.
This tour will take in a brief look at the main attractions in Dunedin city before heading out onto the Otago Peninsula for much of the day. The tour is focused on providing the best viewing of Yellow Eyed Penguins, NZ Fur Seals and other wildlife available. However the Yellow Eyed Penguin is extremely rare and there are no guarantees you will see Yellow Eyed Penguins in the nature reserve. There is a penguin rehabilitation hospital that is part of the tour and here you will see quite a number of Yellow Eyed Penguins in residence, as well as other penguin species that occasionally need looking after before being returned to the wild.The tour itinerary will include a visit the world's steepest street Baldwin Street, the University of Otago and the Grand Railway Station for a look inside. Then it’s off to the Otago Peninsula for some amazing scenic stops on route to Penguin Place, a world class wildlife sanctuary for the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin. The tour includes an introductory talk and then a short drive into the reserve. Your specialist guide will take you on a short walk (up to 900 meters of walking tracks) into a system of camouflaged hides to see the nesting habitat. The walk will also take in New Zealand viewing of NZ fur seals and Little Blue Penguins. There are some steps to negotiate and reasonable level of mobility is required for this tour. After the Penguin Tour we head to the Royal Albatross Center to visit the info gallery, gift shop and take a light lunch (own cost). Your guide will also take you on a short walk to where albatross can be seen flying close to the cliffs. This is included in the standard tour price. If you would like to include a guided tour of the Royal Albatross nesting site (Observatory Tour), an upgrade option is available when making your booking. If the Albatross Tour upgrade is selected you will join a specialist guide at the Royal Albatross Center and access the Lance Richdale Observatory. This purpose built hide provides excellent viewing through large glass windows of the Albatross nesting area. Some nests can be as close as 5 meters away but please be aware that the Royal Albatross Center does not allow tour participants to walk among the nests.*Last season there are 140 Albatross returned and 30 adult nesting pairs laid 24 confirmed fertile eggs. We can see at least 4 nest sites at close range from the Observatory.