Tours and Tickets
Dunedin Peninsula Wildlife Encounter
5

Dunedin Peninsula Wildlife Encounter

By Elm Wildlife Tours
Recommended by 98% of travellers
98% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About

Ages 0-99, max of 10 per group
Duration: 330–390 minutes
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Live guide: English
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Written guide
Print or digital reading material such as a guide, map, brochure, etc.
: German, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, French, Danish, Spanish
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  • Driver/guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)
  • Binoculars
  • Rain Jacket if required
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Entry/Admission - Elm Wildlife Tours
What's not included
  • Food and drinks


Start:Multiple pickup locations offered.
  • Dunedin isite Visitor Information Centre, 50 The Octagon, Central Dunedin, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
    Outside the Dunedin Visitor Information Centre.
Pickup details
  • We can pickup from Hotels, Motels and B&B's in the central Dunedin area. We do not pickup from AirBnB or Private residence.
Hotel pickup offered
During checkout you will be able to select from the list of included hotels.
    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: 73286P5

      • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
      • This Tour is not available to people arriving by cruise-ship.
      • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
      • Children must be accompanied by an adult
      • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
      • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
      • 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: 73286P5

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      Itinerary
      • You'll start at
        Dunedin isite Visitor Information Centre
        Or, you can also get picked up
        See departure details
      • 1
        Elm Wildlife Tours
        Stop: 6 hours - Admission included
        Guests will hear guided commentary. See New Zealand fur seals, New Zealand sealions, Albatross, Yellow eyed penguins, a variety of wading birds found around the tidal inlets plus the spectacular scenery of the Otago Peninsula. Walking down a steep hill is required to reach the animals.
        Read more
      • You'll return to the starting point
      About the operator
      Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
      • Elm Wildlife Tours
        971
        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
      • traveladdict3500
        0 contributions
        5.0 of 5 bubbles
        The best ! Highly recommended.
        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
      • 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
      • 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
      • adityasC6929UF
        0 contributions
        5.0 of 5 bubbles
        A lifetime experience
        One of the highlights of our trip to NZ. We opted for the Peninsula Encounters tour (the one without the albatross sanctuary visit). Had an amazing time at the private conservatory on Papanui beach - we were able to see loads of yellow-eyed penguins, sea lions, fur seals and even a (presumably lost) Snares' penguin! Even the drive across the peninsula was stunning, and we were able to see many different species of birds. Our guide, Raoul, was knowledgable, patient and kept us secure (especially from the sea lions!). I won't say it was worth every penny - because you'll forget you ever spent any money!
        Written 17 September 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
      • jgold10529
        0 contributions
        5.0 of 5 bubbles
        Great Wildlife TOur
        We did both the penguins and albatross tour and was worth it. Got to see lots of animals and our guide, Eric, was super knowledgeable and enjoyable. Keep in mind this goes from 3-930pm so bring a sack dinner (not provided)
        Written 14 March 2020
      • Eileen E
        0 contributions
        5.0 of 5 bubbles
        Great tour for a good cause
        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
      • MsSommelier
        0 contributions
        5.0 of 5 bubbles
        Top Notch - Saw everything we hoped for and more
        We booked the small group cruise ship option and were lucky that we had a very personalized tour - only 1 other couple booked, which made 4 of us. Our docent/guide, Jane, was super. A very safe and competent driver (which was important, because there was lots of driving and a good part in rather rough terrain), she kept up an informative and interesting commentary as we drove. It was not just wildlife, although that was the main draw - she also talked about the history and color of the towns we passed through. We had booked a visit to the Royal Albatross Center and Observatory and I highly recommend that add-on. We saw nesting and flying birds, which is not always the case. And the commentary and film at the Center was really good. We enjoyed a delicious box lunch while we continued our drive, very fresh and tasty. On our way to the seal lions and yellow eyed penguin beach, we saw lots of interesting birds - ticked all the boxes of the bird species we might see (23!). Because they have access to a private beach, we were able to access not only the sea lions (there were about 8 there) but also spotted the yellow eyed penguins! That was a real highlight. We saw not one, but two AND a chick in the nest. So cool, especially since Jane was pretty sure, with the sea lions there, we wouldn't see any, since they would be afraid of the sea lions. Got us back right on time to the ship (with an hour to spare, as promised). A wonderful day.
        Written 10 February 2020
      • douglasbG1709IJ
        0 contributions
        5.0 of 5 bubbles
        Excellent Tour!
        Our tour was a variation of the standard tour in that it began earlier in the day to align with our cruise ship's time in port. Our guide Tony met us at the Welcome Centre which is situated at the end of the pier in Port Chalmers. We made a quick stop in Dunedin to see the train station, then continued along the Otago Peninsula towards the Royal Albatross Centre with Tony providing very interesting commentary along the way. At the Albatross Centre Tony pointed out the royal albatross as they soared over the coast and provided helpful information about these magnificent birds. A delicious lunch was provided which we ate on our way to a private beach where we viewed seals and sea lions. Along the way we enjoyed spectacular views of the peninsula as we wound our way along the high road. Walking the beach and seeing these creatures up close was an unforgettable experience and the beach itself was breathtaking. We looked for penguins returning from the ocean (without success as we were too early in the day) and finished our day by spending a bit more time on the beach with the sea lions and seals before taking the low road back to our ship. All in all, we had a terrific tour which filled our time in port very nicely and we thank Elm Tours and Tony for a wonderful day.
        Written 9 February 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.


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      5.0
      5.0 of 5 bubbles66 reviews
      Excellent
      59
      Very good
      6
      Average
      0
      Poor
      1
      Terrible
      0

      Ellie W
      Bath, UK3 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Excellent trip to the Otago peninsula with knowledgable guides. The small group allowed us to really engage with everyone. Maria (?) from Chile, a PhD student in marine biology, was one of two great guides and led our particular group. Her passion for wildlife and conservation was infectious. Some of the cost of the tour goes towards conservation of the critically endangered yellow-eyed penguin which saw on the trip. Also saw NZ fur seals, sea lions, stilts, plovers, spoonbills and huge albatrosses amongst other wildlife. Great afternoon and thoroughly recommended.
      Written 1 January 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.

      Scuvich
      Dunedin, FL14 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Elm Wildlife tours was an amazing experience.
      We started the day by going to see the Albatros, and were lucky to have enough wind for them to take flight with several flyby just in front or over us.

      They then drove us to see the fur seals with the cutest pups from two very good ventage points.

      Finally onward to see the penguins and Sea-lions, and got lucky to had a close encounter with both.

      The guides were very knowledgeable and clearly passionate about the wildlife. They made sure that we all respect the animals spaces and that it was safe for everyone.

      I strongly recommend you go an a tour with them.

      The scenery alone is worth the tour.

      Impotant note: it isn't that there's much walking involve, as that it at a fairly steep angle. You absolutely need good shoes, also warmer clothes as you stay outside until minutes before sunset and it can be quite windy.
      Written 14 March 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.

      ScoutieHickey
      Waiheke Island, New Zealand3 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Jan 2020 • Couples
      We booked tickets in the morning, based on a short paragraph that included beaches, penguins, albatross, and seals. We lived 7+ hours of a glorious adventure, guided and narrated by Warren. The ride through the towns and farmland was comfortable and picturesque; the birds and wildlife we viewed along the way was incredible (and often due to Warren’s “eagle eye”; and the locations we visited were remote, ideal and let us see yellow eye penguins, and seals in their natural habitats. This is an opportunity you deserve. Go! Enjoy!
      Written 15 January 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.

      Linda A
      Peterborough, UK39 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Feb 2020 • Couples
      This was a great trip out and we highly recommend it. Our guides for the day, Maria and Donna were very knowledgeable about the area and local wildlife and stopped the mini coach regularly to view wading birds and even a tiny owl spotted in a tree trunk. The main events were the albatross colony, where we were lucky to have just enough wind to see these majestic birds in flight. Young seal pups playing in the rock pools was a delight to watch. Later the opportunity to see the yellow eyed penguins emerge from the sea and waddle slowly up the beach was probably a once in a life time experience.
      Written 18 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.
      Elm Wildlife Tours
      Hello Linda Donnah and Maria are passionate about what they do and it shows through on their tours. I will pass on your kinds words and we hope the rest of your time in New Zealand goes just as well. Kind regards Shaun
      Written 18 February 2020
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

      familyadventuresoz
      Adelaide, Australia624 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Jan 2020
      Wow! This tour was such a special part of our trip to the South Island. Observing the local bird life and visiting the Albatross Centre was great however, the highlight was the time we went on private land viewing the seal and penguin colonies. We were lucky enough to see numerous seal pups and observe them playing on the rocks - so cute! Observing the endangered yellow eyed penguins was also a special experience and the guides' passion for these little birds was very evident.
      Written 15 January 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.

      TrMarek
      1,192 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      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
      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.
      Elm Wildlife Tours
      Thank you TrMarek fortaking the time to leave a review. Maria is a wonderful guide and very passionate about the wildlife. As for being late, in our defence, it does say on our website that the pickups start at 3pm but actual pickup time can be up to 15 minutes after that time depending on where the other pickups are and traffic conditions. Kind regards Shaun
      Written 22 March 2020
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

      Ian W
      Auckland, New Zealand28 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Oct 2020
      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
      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.
      Elm Wildlife Tours
      Thank you Ian for the lovely review. Our guides are passionate about the wildlife and the conservation issues facing our rare and endemic species. I hope you managed to get some great shots of your experience and some wonderful memories to take home.
      Written 27 October 2020
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

      Maggie H
      6 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Feb 2020
      This was the 3rd time doing this tour and it's gotten better every time! The guides were great about pointing out the wildlife as we drove (and stopped to get photos from the van). They were also knowledgeable about the penguins, seals, sea lions and albatross and were able to help us spot them, especially the albatross out over the ocean. I'll probably be going back to Dunedin in 2 years and I'll do this tour again! Can never get enough of Yellow Eyed Penguins!
      Written 19 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.

      robyn h
      5 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Jan 2020
      We took this tour in January and were wowed by all the animals we saw. The group was small and Eric, the guide was very knowledgable. We chose Elm as they have their own private reserve/beach where we saw sea lions, seals and penguins. We never felt hurried and Eric was quite happy to modify the tour to make the most of the animal sightings. Was a great first day in New Zealand and highly recommwnded!
      Written 4 March 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.

      David
      13 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Feb 2020 • Solo
      The tour is extremely efficiently run. Warren and Rule were great drivers and guides ... knowledgeable and friendly .
      The Albatross are magnificent and seals , sea lions , yep types of penguin and numerous bird types just made for an enchanting day . To see an albatross skim the waves had been on my ‘ bucket list ‘ for a while !! I was not not disappointed....
      Written 24 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.

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      Dunedin Peninsula Wildlife Encounter provided by Elm Wildlife Tours

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