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Review Highlights
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 27 June 2019

Had amazing day on our Elm Wildlife Tour. It was a beautiful day & within 40 mins we were out on the tip of otago peninsula at the Albatross colony. Despite there being little breeze, a large albatross flew low over us from the tip of one headland to the other. Next stop after some bird spotting in the mudflats was a remote beach, home to Hoiho and Sealions. As we descended toward the beach we watched penguins swimming out through the breakers & Seslions returning from hunting to rest on the beach. The tour guide took us on the beach itself, just a few metres from a male Sealion, sitting upright. He didn’t seem to mind as we watched and took photos in awe. We moved on to see hoiho navigate their way up the beach & then hop up steep cliffs to their nests. At another beach we watched fur seals & their pups playing in shallow rock pools just metres below our observation platform. The day culminated in a drive through the inner estuaries of the peninsula and amazing chance to stand next to and watch young juvenile Sealions, play fighting & swimming in the shallow inlet pools of the mudflats, as we stood just a couple of metres away. I was left amazed and with some great pics & vids to take away. recommended.

Date of experience: April 2019
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Reviewed 24 May 2019 via mobile

Do this tour when in Dunedin! I was extremely lucky to be the only person in shoulder season on this tour, yet my fantastic guide Tony took all afternoon driving me to places, doing detours and pointing out wildlife. Otago Peninsula is beautiful. Saw plenty of birds incl. the Royal Spoonbill and Albatross before heading to see some fur seals. Next came the highlight of the tour. A private property and secluded beach, nice walk down and sealions everywhere and up close! These mammals are massive and weigh up to 400 kg and kept chasing each other, not bothered by us standing right next to them. Great photos! Further down the beach was the viewing area for the yellow-eyed penguin and I was lucky to see four of them over a period of 60-80 min one by one returning to shore. Very cool to see this rare species in the wild. A very professional, environment friendly tour, thanks Tony and Elm Wildlife for an amazing day.

Thank Ailton007
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Reviewed 12 May 2019

We enjoy bird watching and Royal Albatross was high on our priority list when visiting Dunedin, NZ.
We booked a package with Elm Wildlife Tours which consisted of Monarch Boat Cruise and Exploration of Otago peninsula for wildlife. First about the cruise – it was of one hour duration but full of excitement. We saw albatross sitting in water and then take a running start to get airborne. This magnificent bird has a wing span of about 10 ft and when overhead, you appreciate the long slim wings that enable the bird to fly miles without flapping. The skipper certainly had a keen eye for spotting birds and we saw spoon bills, shag, black swan, ducks and gulls beside a number of albatross. Later we explored the exclusive conservation area of Otago peninsula – no crowds, no disturbance. On the rocky shore we saw a good no of fur seals, a success story for re-colonising the area from which they were hunted out. We also saw sealions playing on the beach, a good photo opportunity. There was a hide by the rocky shore where we watched waterbirds like oystercatcher. Highlight of the excursion was Yellow-eyed Penguins. They spend the day feeding at the sea and return to the shore for roosting late in the afternoon. It was amusing to watch these birds walking ashore - upright like humans, taking a few steps, waiting and watching, jumping up the steps with both feet. Thanks to the guide, we could watch penguins at close quarters without disturbing them. Indeed, the guides of Elm Wildlife were outstanding with their on-field experience.

Date of experience: March 2019
1  Thank Anil G
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 24 April 2019

We only had one night in Dunedin and I am glad we chose to spend it with Elm Wildlife Tours. The driver, the guide, the wildlife, the scenery, it was all fabulous. They have access to private property so when you view the wildlife there are not a lot of tourists, just the folks in your tour. We saw seals, sea-lions and the Yellow Eyed Penguins. Again, it was incredible! We also paid a little extra to have a special visit at the Royal Albatross Centre where you can see several nests and young royal albatross. I would recommend this small additional fee for this added experience. Binoculars are provided on the bus, so no need to bring your own. Wear comfortable shoes as there is a little climbing to get to some of the viewing areas. You are also encouraged to bring some snacks and water. Throughout the entire tour, you stay on the same bus so you are able to leave any extra bags, food, etc., on the bus. As we only stayed in the area for one night, we were unable to watch the blue penguins come in at night. If you would like to experience that as well, I would recommend two nights in Dunedin. Enjoy!!

Date of experience: April 2019
1  Thank JAH_Chicago_Paris
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 19 April 2019

We had a wonderful afternoon viewing wildlife up close, with a very good guide. Although we didn't book the Royal Albatross experience, we did see several albatross flying around once the wind got up. We also saw many fur seals, a sea lion and about 10 yellow eyed penguins. We were also lucky enough to see a tiny blue penguin, which was moulting, hence the reason it was staying on shore amongst the fur seals. Many different types of birds were also spotted as we drove in.

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Sunwapta2
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