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Truly terrific tour - highly recommend! A++

My husband and I booked the standard peninsula encounter. Our guide, Chris, was extremely... read more

Reviewed 20 June 2023
Tourist647607
Highly Recommended Outfit

Very impressed with these guys from start to finish. On time pick-up, great briefing & commentary... read more

Reviewed 6 May 2023
Andy F
,
Devizes, United Kingdom
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Reviewed 2 April 2019 via mobile

We had experienced Elm on a previous trip to Otago peninsular some seven years ago (wildlife tour and albatross centre) - this time we opted for the wildlife tour and cruise around Taieroa Head.
We were picked up promptly from our accommodation in Dunedin and collected a few more people before being dropped off for the Monarch cruise boat trip. I think this was better than the albatross centre as the skipper told us a lot about all the different seabirds and other wildlife that could be seen.
Returning to shore, we continued by minibus to the private Papanui Beach.
As on our previous visit, the weather was superb and the seals, yellow eyed penguins and sea lions all came out to see us! Although a duplicated trip, it was well worth doing again as each visit will be different.
The guides are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about conservation.
Tip - as the trip starts mid afternoon and lasts for several hours, have a large late lunch. Snacks are allowed on the bus but not in the reserves.

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank ASH696
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.
Reviewed 29 March 2019 via mobile

This tour is phenomenal!
A bit of a hike, but do the guides ever know and love their wildlife! We saw albatross, sea lions, fur seals and above all the yellow-eyed penguins. An unforgettable small group tour!

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank sweetlakeacerage
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.
Reviewed 27 March 2019

What a fantastic experience! We really wanted to see penguins on our trip to New Zealand and we were not disappointed with this excellent wildlife tour to a private beach sanctuary and breeding colony for yellow-eyed penguins. They were moulting when we visited so were not terribly active but we were fortunate enough to be able to watch 6 penguins appear out of the sea, waddle up the beach and then start hopping up the cliffs. Sadly, we did not see any blue penguins but that was our fault for visiting at the wrong time of year. We also saw a number of sea lions, visited the best site for watching lots of baby seals playing in pools among the rocks and having what looked like a wonderful time and saw a large number of albatross flying above Taiaroa Head. From the bus during our travels between sites, we also saw a large number of other birds including spoonbills and herons. Donna was a really knowledgeable and excellent guide and we felt that we totally got our moneys worth and more. An American on the same tour told us that they had done numerous wildlife tours in lots of different places around the world and felt that this was by far the best they had been on.

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Seonaid H
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.
Reviewed 25 March 2019

We had a great time on the boat tour, at the albatross blind, and hike down to the penguin beach. Loved seeing the albatross, penguins, seals, and birds on the cliffs and along the way. Albatross were our target bird, but watching the penguins on that beautiful beach was very special.
The guides, especially Warren, were very informative and helpful.
The only negative was that it's an eight hour tour with no real meal break. The Albatross Center serves food, but there was no time to eat there. Be sure to bring along a lunch or plenty of snacks.

Date of experience: February 2019
Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank barbd117
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.
Reviewed 21 March 2019

A well-organised operation that has been in business a long time (I used them for a similar trip almost 20 years ago). Professionally run with good, knowledgeable guides.

We did the Encounters Tour + Royal Albatross Centre Tour, about 6-7 hours long departing mid-afternoon. It is worth paying the extra to get into the Albatross Centre hide for a close-up view of the nesting birds and a good briefing on the research and management of the albatrosses.

Sharing the beach with the Hooker's Sea Lions and Yellow-eyed Penguins is a wonderful experience, as well as seeing the NZ Fur Seal colony.

I would highly recommend this tour to anyone with the slightest interest in wildlife

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank Howard B
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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