Cruiseship Excursions: Wildlife Tours


The  Otago Peninsula is a haven for rare and unique wildlife. The attractions we visit are natural habitat for Penguins and Albatross and other marine life. There are extensive efforts to protect the wildlife from land based predators and the viewing facilities are designed for minimal human impact.

 

*Please Note; the Otago Peninsula is a world class eco-tourism destination however we cannot guarantee wildlife will be seen every time. You take the tour on the understanding that you will enter the domain of rare penguins and seabirds and while the chance of unparalleled viewing is good, at the end of the day it is up to the wildlife if they choose to be there.

*our tours are all available to book online: click the 'booknow' button
  if you have any difficulty booking online please call us on 0064 3 471 2331


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Albatross Banner

Otago Peninsula plus Royal Albatross Tour

Highlights

  • Meet & Greet at ship's wharf Port Chalmers, then drive along harbour road into Dunedin City.
  • Visit the main city sights with stops for photos and brief walk-about. Take on Baldwin Street if you love a challenge!
  • We travel through Dunedin City on-route to the Otago Peninsula in time for lunch at the Portobello Hotel, another great place to try fish & chips!
  • See the harbour from high up on the Otago Peninsula. View rugged beaches, quaint townships and abundant bird-life along the way.
  • We arrive at the Royal Albatross Center on Taiaroa Heads, visit the information center, gift shop and prepare to embark on the guided tour.
  • The tour (known as the Albatross Classic) involves an introductory talk and a short DVD presentation. Then a brief walk up a steep pathway to the Observatory where a number of nesting areas can be seen. This is the best place to view Albatross if they are flying. 
  • After the tour there will be time for afternoon tea (own cost) at either the Albatross Centre Cafe or in Portobello. We then depart for Dunedin City and arrive back at Port Chalmers in time for ship's departure.

Details

Tour Duration: 7.5 hours (Port Return)

Start Times:     Morning 09:00   |   Arrive back to ship 16:30

Online Price:    NZ$ 175 per adult   |   NZ$ 118 per child   |   Family discount available

* Includes entry fees to Royal Albatross Tour.
* Light refreshments & chilled bottled water provided.
* Meals & other refreshments: own cost.

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Penguins Banner

Otago Peninsula plus Yellow Eyed Penguin Tour

Highlights

  • Meet & Greet at ship's wharf Port Chalmers, then drive along harbour road into Dunedin City.
  • Visit the main city sights with stops for photos and brief walk-about. Take on Baldwin Street if you love a challenge!
  • We travel through Dunedin City on-route to the Otago Peninsula in time for lunch at the Portobello Hotel, another great place to try fish & chips!
  • Experience the pristine views of the Otago Peninsula. Marvellous photo opportunities as we tour through a number of interesting and beautiful areas within this special part of Dunedin's landscape.
  • We arrive at Penguin Place, a Conservation Reserve for the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin.
  • The guided tour involves an introductory presentation on the life and ecology of the Yellow Eyed Penguin. You are then transported on a short bus ride over the hill to the secluded Pipikaretu Beach for a walking tour of the Penguin's habitat.
  • There are a number of gentle steps leading into the reserve. Walking tracks are over gently rolling terrain through an innovative series of camouflaged tunnels and hides.
  • The tour also passes a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals providing good viewing of seals on nearby rocks. Then board the vehicle to end the tour and head back to base.
  • We then depart for Dunedin City and arrive back at Port Chalmers in time for ship's departure.

Details

Tour Duration: 7.5 hours (Port Return)

Start Times:     Morning 09:00   |   Arrive back to ship 16:30

Online Price:    NZ$ 175 per adult   |   NZ$ 118 per child   |   Family discount available 

* Includes entry fees to Penguin Place Tour.
* Light refreshments & chilled bottled water provided.
* Meals & other refreshments: own cost.

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Wildlife Double

Otago Peninsula Wildlife Double

Tour includes both Albatross & Penguin Tours

Start promptly at 9:00 am from the ship's wharf at Port Chalmers (if your ship is scheduled for a later arrival we can customize the tour to suit). Travel along the harbour road to Dunedin City and head onto the Otago Peninsula, home to the rare Yellow Eyed Penguins and majestic Royal Albatross.

Experience the pristine views from up high along the top road of the Otago Peninsula. See plenty of sheep on the small farms and learn about the local Maori who have lived in Dunedin and on the Otago Peninsula for centuries.

We arrive at Penguin Place for the first wildlife tour of the day at the Yellow Eyed Penguin Conservation Reserve. After the tour we have time for a light lunch before heading to Taiaroa Heads at the end of the Peninsula for the second wildlife tour at the Royal Albatross Colony.

After completing both wildlife tours on the Otago Peninsula, we head back to Dunedin City for a brief city sights tour which includes a visit to Baldwin Street on route to the ship's wharf at Port Chalmers.

Penguin Place (Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve)

  • View up close the extremely rare and endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin.
  • Penguin Place is a unique nature reserve with a long standing commitment to conservation. Their efforts have enhanced the area through years of trapping predators & planting native trees to provide a safe haven for these special penguins.
  • The reserve has excellent viewing huts and hides built to minimise human impact on the penguins and the natural environment.
  • Unsurpassed photographic opportunities are available on this tour!
  • The gentle steps leading into the reserve are not steep but there are quite a few which require a reasonable level of mobility in order to complete this tour. Walking tracks are well maintained however we recommend tour participants bring suitable footwear for walking (i.e. no sandals or high heels).

Royal Albatross Colony (Albatross Observatory Tour)

  • Visit the only mainland breeding colony of the magnificent Northern Royal Albatross right out on the headland of the Otago Peninsula.
  • This particular species of albatross is one of the largest birds in the world with a wingspan sometimes in excess of 3 metres in length!
  • Tours take you up to the Observatory where nesting albatross rear their chicks. Shags (cormorants) make their nests nearby the observatory and NZ Fur Seals can often be seen down on the rocks.
  • Please note the Albatross will be nesting and raising their chicks throughout the season from October right through until July. Eggs are laid in October/November, the chick will hatch in January and fledge in September.
  • Albatross can be seen flying all year round however sometimes they are out at sea. Weather conditions often dictate how close they fly to land.

Details

Tour Duration: 8 hours (Port Return)

Start Times:     Morning 09:00   |   Arrive back to ship 16.45

Online Price:    NZ$ 220 per adult   |   NZ$ 128 per child   |   Family discount available

* Includes entry fees to both wildlife tours are included.
* Light refreshments & chilled bottled water provided.
* Meals & other refreshments: own cost.

All prices are quoted in $NZ.

To convert to $US or other currencies, we recommend using this online currency conversion tool:

gocurrency.com


* Minimum of 2 people required for tours to go ahead

* Prices are all inclusive, book now to guarantee a place!

* Group booking discounts available (see our private tours web page)
 
* Time and weather conditions may restrict access to some areas
 
* Please feel free to call or email us for more information on any of our tours and services