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“Door charge” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The Royal Albatross Centre

The Royal Albatross Centre
Taiaroa Head | Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand
+64 3 478-0499
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Visit The Royal Albatross Centre like an insider
Top Rated
$1,615*
and up
7-Day South Island Coastal Splendor Tour from...
Ranked #13 of 69 things to do in Dunedin
Activities: Viewing wildlife
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Attraction details
Owner description: Taiaroa Head is alive with wildlife species, many of them scarce nesting seabirds. Our jewel in the crown is the Northern Royal Albatross. Experience it for yourself by taking a guided tour through the Nature Reserve into the viewing Observatory. The latest Lonely Planet publication "1000 Ultimate Sights 2012" features the Royal Albatross Centre alongside the Taj Mahal and Grand Canyon. They say of us: Here at one of New Zealand's hottest attractions the draw card is the bird life. Taiaroa Head is the site of the world's only mainland royal albatross breeding ground, where you can observe the spectacle of the albatrosses with wingspans of up to 3m coming in to land like a succession of 747s. The Royal Albatross Centre is located on the tip of the Otago Peninsula, about a 45 minute drive from Dunedin. We are operated by the Otago Peninsula Trust, a charitable trust formed in 1967 for the protection of the local natural environment. The Nature Reserve on Taiaroa Head is managed by the Department of Conservation.Taiaroa Head is also famous in New Zealand history. From a small Maori camp in the 1300s to a fortified pa where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840; from a wooden flagstaff to 1864 lighthouse to radar entrance for Otago Harbour; from an 1880s underground fortress to a large defence base in WWII. Taiaroa Head is today a Nature Reserve and an iconic wildlife attraction.
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Door charge”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Having grown up in this place, I was disappointed on a return trip to NZ from Aussie that we were charged a $5 door fee per person to look in the shop. So my advise to anyone is Carry on past up the road to NATURES OWN as they are fee for panorama views of Otago Peninsula.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlbatrossCentreNZ, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Hi, 71 Kiwi – Sorry if you thought our door charge (for visitors not taking a tour) was to look in our shop. We have a variety of interpretation and displays at the Centre which give an insight into the life of the albatross as well as the cultural and historical aspects of this beautiful place. Sometimes you even see albatross from our café windows too. The door charge provides the opportunity for visitors to enjoy all of the above. Of course, if you want to spend time in the shop too, that’s even better…
Kind regards - Annie
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Savannah, Georgia
Top Contributor
212 reviews 212 reviews
71 attraction reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Dont pay for a tour”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

When you arrive at the car park just walk down the path and you can see plenty of birds flying over the cliffs. The tour basically takes you to the same sort of place a few meters away and you see the same thing as the public viewing area.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlbatrossCentreNZ, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Hi, John – did you take a tour? The tour to the observatory takes you right into the reserve and the encounter there with the birds is much more personal. Yes, we often see albatrosses from the car park, but there’s nothing like seeing them at eye level to fully appreciate their size and grace. Hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Dunedin.

Kind regards - Annie
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Colchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
55 attraction reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“Enjoyable experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We really enjoyed our trip to the Albatross Centre as we had never seen Albatross before.It is really good to see the birds in their natural surroundings.We saw at least 4 or 5 birds nesting on the hillside,but there were more that we could see.
They runs film at the start of the tour to tell you about Albatross and there surroundings which was very informative,and they have models to show you the true size of the birds which is excellent.
This is a rare opportunity to see these birds in their natural surroundings and the only place they nest on main land New Zealand.

Visited January 2013
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AlbatrossCentreNZ, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Dear Nest Cottage – So pleased you enjoyed your encounter with the albatrosses. They are pretty special and it’s greatly appreciated to have your feedback.
Kind regards - Annie
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The Hague, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A close view to one of the most magnificant birds in the world”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

The tour is great, you learn a lot from the displays and from the ranger that will guide you to the top for a close view ton the birds. The centre does a very good job in protecting the colony. You will get a better idea how big these birds are if you see them gliding through the sky in front of you. There are not many places where you can watch them, so worth the visit!

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlbatrossCentreNZ, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Thanks for your enthusiasm for our experience, Liz. We work very hard to ensure the safety and protection of the birds while providing an opportunity for a close-up encounter with them. It’s amazing to see them from the observatory when they fly so close, isn’t it? I don’t think their sheer size and grace can be fully appreciated until you’re that close. Happy travelling!

Regards
Annie
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Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
54 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Wow!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Saw this as part of the Elm tour which I highly recommend. The guide was excellent - a Maori woman who is a descendent of a chief of the area. The albatross viewing was the high point. Seeing these magnificent birds was exciting.

Visited December 2012
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AlbatrossCentreNZ, Manager at The Royal Albatross Centre, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Hi, Mudge.
Thanks for your follow up. These birds are such extraordinary creatures. It’s great when our visitors can fully appreciate them in their natural habitat.

Kind regards - Annie
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