Dunedin Tours
Peninsula Encounters -standard tour closeup Penguins Seals Sea lions Albatross

Peninsula Encounters -standard tour closeup Penguins Seals Sea lions Albatross

By Elm Wildlife Tours
Recommended by 100% of travellers
100% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
Our knowledgeable guides deliver commentary of activity. Our private conservation area ensures exclusivity with brilliant opportunities to photograph Hooker's Sea lions, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins, a breeding colony of New Zealand Fur Seals and other sea bird colonies.  At Taiaroa head from a cliff face we watch and observe Royal Albatross flying about the headland and from the ocean. A further 25-30 other estuarine and marine bird species are seen during the experience around the bays and lagoons. Duration Summer 6 - 6.5 hours    Winter 5 - 5.5 hour Tour Requirements Walking is required. The walk requires basic fitness as the terrain is hilly farm land, sandy beaches and stairways. Availability This tour is not available to cruise-ship passengers. All year (except - Not available 25 and 31 December)

Ages 0-99, max of 10 per group
Duration: 6–7 hours
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English

  • Binoculars
  • Driver/guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)
  • Rain Jacket if required
What's not included
  • Food and drinks

  • Dunedin, Dunedin, Otago Region, South Island
Pickup details
  • Location Name: Dunedin Visitor Information Centre Location Address: 50 The Octagon, Dunedin
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 73286P1

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
    • This Tour is not available to people arriving by cruise-ship.
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 73286P1

    Currently unavailable
    This product is unavailable to book via Tripadvisor.
    Explore other options
    Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Elm Wildlife Tours
      Dunedin, New Zealand
    • Tourist647607
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Truly terrific tour - highly recommend! A++
      My husband and I booked the standard peninsula encounter. Our guide, Chris, was extremely knowledgeable about the area’s wildlife, particularly albatrosses as he managed the Royal Albatross Center for many years and grew up on the peninsula. He was kind and patient with all of our questions and helped our group understand the steps we needed to take to view the local wildlife respectfully. It was a great outing and we would definitely send our friends!
      Written 19 June 2023
    • AndyF430
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Highly Recommended Outfit
      Very impressed with these guys from start to finish. On time pick-up, great briefing & commentary as we roamed around the Otago Peninsular for a whole day. They showed us loads of birdlife, fur seals, sealions, blue penguins and the now-threatened yellow-eyed penguins in their small sanctuary. Then dropped us back at our hotel. Very happy, and would highly recommend this outfit.
      Written 6 May 2023
    • 390hilak
      0 contributions
      2.0 of 5 bubbles
      Not for kids. Period. Hardly worth it for adults
      Not quite sure how this gets rave reviews. Unless your are an avid bird voucher, this is a very expensive 7 hour excursion. Money and time can be invested better. We travel many places with out kids, hiking several kilometers is NOT and issue for us. However, the content of this tour is NOT for children. Unless your children are avis bird watchers. The tour starts with a drive to a public beach and you may see a sea lion or two. Again you can access the beach on your own so no real value add. On the way to this beach you pass a body of water where you can view via binoculars some local birds. Not very captivating unless you are an avid bird watcher. Then you visit the albatross center, again you can visit this yourself. No value add. You then go to a penguin rehab center for a few minutes where you have to be dead silent and you see one or two penguins. Finally you are taken to a private nature reserve and again via binoculars hope to see penguins coming out of water. We barely saw two from such a long distance. Kids simply don't have anything to do on this tour. Even adults would find it too long for any benefit especially when considering the cost. We did see a few seals at the nature reserve which was very nice. But again, for 7 hours with two kids and what was given, we would certainly NOT recommend it. Other than the private nature reserve, everything can be seen on your own.
      Written 22 December 2022
    • AnnZ857
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Bigger, better
      We took this tour several years ago and in spite of really bad weather we thoroughly enjoyed it. This time we understood that the company had changed hands, but the tour was better than ever. The tour had been lengthened with new areas added. Our guide for the land portion of the tour was excellent. He was not only congenial but he was extremely well-prepared. We saw seals, sea lions, porpoises, penguins and all manner of sea and land birds. Don’t come to Dunedin without taking this tour!
      Written 20 November 2022
    • Paul B
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great 7 hr afternoon trip
      Tour by small minibus ca 10 people. The driver gave an almost constant comentary on the outward bound legs. It was both informative and entertaining He covered both aspects of the wildlife we were seeing and about to see and the vegitation. The bus was pausped frequently to allow us to take in the views, be those vistas or animals. Finally, his local knowledge allowed us to observe the Otago Peninnsula big three: seal, sealion and yellow eyed penguin. Also saw Blue Penguins in nesting boxes. It was a long afternoon, returning at 9pm, but well worth it. This trip does need a degree of fitness and mobility to get the most out of it: walking in sand dunes and up steep unpaved tracks. I would recommend including either the Boat trip or the Albatross centre in your package.
      Written 17 November 2022
    • Sairzyb1965
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Dunedin in Spring
      What a great day we had with Tim and Rob. We were treated to the amazing scenery of the Otago peninsula and the birdlife found there.Much of this tour was on hidden roads which opened out onto beautiful coves and secluded beaches where we got up close and personal with a fur seal who was chilling on the beach in the sun. After lunch we got to see more fur seals, gannets and the amazing albatrosses on the Monarch cruise. We also went to a Yellow Eyed Penguin conservation facility where we heard about the efforts to conserve these animals. Tim and Rob had a great knowledge of the history of the area and the flora and fauna which could be seen on the tour. Thanks for an amazing day.
      Written 6 October 2022
    • OtagoAnimalLover2020
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Thanks Laura
      Thanks to my lovely guide Laura for making the excursion on the peninsula so memorable. Laura was not only very friendly and hospitable, but she has a wealth of knowledge about the area and the animals.
      Written 30 December 2020
    • Ian W
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A photographers paradise
      We saw Royal Albatross taking off from the sea and in the air. Had a close encounter with a Yellow Eyed penguin and ended up being chased my four amorous male Sealions. The guide was excellent and gave full information on everything we saw including both sides of any conservation issues.
      Written 26 October 2020
    • EAndJBailey
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing tour
      We had Laura as our guide and she picked us up from the octagon. Very knowledgeable and passionate about the restoration of the peninsula and of the animals and she really loves sharing her knowledge. While we didn’t see any albatross due to timing and weather, seeing fur seals in the wild, just hanging out on rocks, yellow eyes penguins and sea lions on the beach made this unforgettable. Amazing views and wildlife. Would recommend to anyone. Pack warmly though as the wind can get up
      Written 3 October 2020
    • Navigate492079
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Our best day in Dunedin!
      A great day at the Peninsula seeing albatross, fur seals, sea lions & yellow eyed penguin. Tony was a great guide telling us lots about the animals & plants we saw. He was also a good driver & made it an enjoyable day.
      Written 17 September 2020
    • Tyranny1057
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Lot of driving but worth it
      We were collected from our hotels by Elm Wildlife and spent a long time collecting others and driving out to the peninsula. Be aware, half this tour is spent being driven around to get to the Elm Wildlife sites. Other tours may have their site closer to Dunedin with less travelling time. We went first to the Albatross Centre where on arrival the rest of the bus went off to view the Albatross chicks /nesting area which we weren’t booked for. We tried to get on their tour but there was no space left so we were taken to a cliff site and got 15 mins chat from the guide who then said we should go to the Tea room or buy something fluffy for the next hour whilst we waited for the others! Our tour was booked by our NZ travel agent First Light Travel who failed to tell us of this option. This was all a huge disappointment. We then went onto Elm Wildlife sites where we saw Hooker Sea Lions, Yellow-eyed Penguins and NZ Fur Seals. There was a lot of up and down walking but it was worth it and don’t let this put you off. Our guide was knowledgeable but frequently referred to things we wouldn’t see which was very negative. Yes, go on the tour, book (in season) the Albatross nest viewing and enjoy. It was a lot of fun and a lot of driving.
      Written 1 April 2020
    • dleighb
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Fantastic Day!
      We had a fantastic time on this tour that we took as a shore excursion. It was so great, we wished that we had an overnight in Dunedin so that we could truly have seen more of the wildlife. We enjoyed the very quick stops at the tourist attractions of the Railway Station and Baldwin St just so we could say we saw them, but the real star of the day was the wildlife. Our guide Yosh was fantastic and definitely knew her way around the peninsula. We did the add-on of the Albatross Center which gave us a close-up view of the nesting albatross. Sure, we could see them from the cruise ship as we sailed by, but they were little dots compared to the better views we got from the center. We thoroughly enjoyed the fur seals and sea lions as well as the scenic views from beach, but the real highlight of the day was seeing the yellow-eyed penguins strolling up the path after Yosh had prepared us for disappointment telling us that afternoon is not the best viewing time. If we ever make it back for an overnight stay during the proper time of the year, we would definitely book with Elm Wildlife one of their dawn or sunset tours to watch the penguins all going out and returning on the beaches. The tour was great and Yosh did a good job juggling those of us who were booked on the optional albatross tour or those joining up with us after a morning harbor cruise thus crafting a great day for all.
      Written 1 April 2020
    • fairsuzy
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing day viewing local birdlife and sea lions
      Wonderful close up viewing of birds all day long, in the lagoons and on the beaches, sadly we did not see the adult Yellow eyed penguins - we did see the bottom of a baby one in it's nest! A very close encounter with a large sea-lion in the sand dunes which was a bit unnerving but our guide Laura handled it very well. The weather went from sunshine to heavy downpours of rain, so make sure you have good waterproofs with you. The trip to see the penguins is quite energetic, lots of steps and a long steep walk to the beach. Our time at the Albatross Centre was just stunning, having them soaring over you in the hide, we were so lucky to see a changeover, when the adults swap over sitting on the young bird. An amazing day - not to be missed if you love wildlife and visit the Dunedin area. We did this from a cruise ship and the timing was perfect.
      Written 28 March 2020
    • TrMarek
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Seals & yellow eyed penguins the real highlight
      This one day tour gives you the opportunity to view some of New Zealand's finest wildlife in one day (pick up was suppose to be 3:00 but they were 10 min. late**they time the visit with the yellow eyed penguins home retreat schedule. The entire trip took about 6.5 hours). We enjoyed watching the world's largest seabird- the Albatross sky sailing (bring a warm clothing) but the highlight was the yellow eyed penguins and the giant beach seals. Our guide Maria was pleasant & it's a good tour if you don't have an abundance of time. Ideally, we would have liked to spend a night in Oamaru to view the penguins at our own pace.
      Written 21 March 2020
    • AllanA363
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Peninsula Encounters
      We really enjoyed our tour. Our guide/driver Warren was very informative. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand!
      Written 17 March 2020
    See all 971 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

    Popular mentions

    We perform checks on reviews.
    Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
    Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
    When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
    Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
    Learn more about our review moderation.
    5.0 of 5 bubbles11 reviews
    Very good

    Eileen E
    63 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feb 2020
    We loved this tour. Jane and David were super knowledgeable. We saw many fur seals and sea lions. The tour of the Royal Albatross Centre was amazing and we learned a great deal of information about these birds. We did see some yellow eyed penguins in their natural habitat but they were quite a distance away. Jane and David did everything possible to keep us informed about the wildlife and to make sure we saw everything possible on the tour.
    Please remember these tours help to support work of the Elm Wildlife environmental projects. Great tour for great cause. We loved the tour and learned a great deal.
    Written 16 February 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Rouen, France46 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nov 2019
    A most extraordinary excursion for Nature lovers that gave us information about albatross at the Royal albatross centre (though we didn't have a chance to see any flying) and let us observe very close, seals yellow-eyed penguins and many other species of birds in an exclusive and private environment. Our guide Yosh was absolutely perfect with her explanations and driving.
    Written 31 December 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Hasselt, Belgium752 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feb 2023
    We made a reservation at Elm Wildlife tours well in advance. We were picked up at our campground in a minivan. Our group was only small and was accompanied by a driver and a guide. We went to the Albatross center and saw several albatros in flight and on their nests. We also saw baby albatrosses. After that we went to a beach to see Yellow Eyed Penguins. We were there at the exact time when they came out of the water. It was perfect ! We watched them from an observation hut. After that we drove to another place nearby where we could see a colony of seals who also had baby seals. We payed extra to get a ride by a jeep up a steep hill from the beach with the penguins back to the minivan. I can recommend that because the walk up the hill is very exhausting. The guide was wonderfull : he spoke in a loud voice and had very interesting information.
    Written 16 April 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Loughborough8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Oct 2019
    Wonderful experience of seeing penguins, fur seals, sea ions and albatross. Such a knowledgeable guide who made the whole journey enjoyable, making stops to see unusual wild life on the way. His passion for the endangered species was contagious. Great value too! I felt privileged to have been able to take part.
    Written 19 October 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    London, UK4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2019 • Solo
    I didn't have a car to visit the peninsula so there was a pick up in the centre of town. Guide drove us to both albatross centre and the two coast lines. It was cold but so worth seeing the yellow eyed penguins come out of the sea. The guide was informative and passionate for the wildlife that they're protecting.
    Definitely worth booking this tour, I saw fur-seals, sealions, yellow eyed penguins, little blue penguins, mollymawks, Royal albatross and giant black petrels. Great wildlife tour.
    Written 8 August 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Harold B
    Whitecourt, Canada41 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feb 2019 • Couples
    Fantastic experience from start to finish. Full value for the money! Guides were knowledgeable. Paying for the guided Royal Albatross Centre experience was definitely worth it. So many birds. My wife was a bit nervous about walking down to the beach (quite a long incline), but she felt no pressure from the guides and the great views of yellow-eyed penguins and sea lions was worth it. We would do this again in a heart-beat.
    Written 5 April 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Peninsula Encounters -standard tour closeup Penguins Seals Sea lions Albatross provided by Elm Wildlife Tours

    All Dunedin HotelsDunedin Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Dunedin
    All things to do in Dunedin
    Zoos & Aquariums in Dunedin
    RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire