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Royal Albatross Centre

Get close to some of New Zealand’s rarest and most spectacular birds at Taiaroa Head.

Visit the Royal Albatross Centre, the world’s only mainland royal albatross breeding colony, and marvel at these giant birds as they soar above the wild Pacific Ocean. See penguins and sea lions on the beaches around the centre and check out Fort Taiaroa to find out why this location played such an important role in the nation’s history.

Located on a long green headland at the tip of the Otago Peninsula, the Royal Albatross Centre offers a truly unique wildlife experience. Watch from the indoor viewing area as great northern royal albatrosses circle the cliffs before returning to their nests just a few metres away. If you visit in the summer after the chicks have been born you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the adults teaching them to fly. To find out more about the birds’ behaviour, take a tour and enjoy a short film that documents the existence of the albatross in Otago.

During your trip be sure to explore Fort Taiaroa. Positioned right on the end of the headland, this underground fort was built on the site of a 14th-century Maori camp. As well as being a key defensive outpost during both world wars, this spot is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840.

The coastline that surrounds the centre is a haven for an array of animals. The most popular resident is the little blue penguin. Join a guided tour of Pilot Beach and look for the furry birds as they waddle up the beach to their nests after a day of fishing. Spot the lazy sea lions that spend their days sunbathing on the warm sand.

The Royal Albatross Centre is a 40-minute drive northeast of Dunedin. The centre is open all day through the year. Book tours over the phone or through the centre’s website.


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Top Royal Albatross Centre Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Portobello Motel Studios and Cottages NZ$160
Portobello Motel Studios and Cottages

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    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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    Larnach Lodge NZ$136
    Larnach Lodge

    Larnach Lodge

    145 Camp Road, Dunedin
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in a rural location, this luxury lodge is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Larnach Castle and within 9 mi (15 km) of Dunedin Chinese Garden and Speight's Brewery. First Church of Otago and Toitu Otago Settlers Museum are also within 9 mi (15 km).

      Kaimata Retreat
      Kaimata Retreat

      Kaimata Retreat

      CACPE SAUNDERS ROAD,297, Cape Saunders, Otago
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Offering direct access to the beach, this Cape Saunders lodge is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Otago Peninsula and within 6 mi (10 km) of NZ Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium and The Fletcher House. Allans Beach and Boulder Beach are also within 9 mi (15 km).

        Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin NZ$139
        Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin

        Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin

        10 Smith Street, Dunedin
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Dunedin City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Paul's Cathedral, Speight's Brewery, and First Church of Otago. Olveston and Toitu Otago Settlers Museum are also within 15 minutes. Dunedin Railway Station is 10 minutes by foot.

          The Victoria Hotel Dunedin NZ$129
          The Victoria Hotel Dunedin

          The Victoria Hotel Dunedin

          137 St Andrew Street Centre City, Dunedin
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Dunedin City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, The Octagon, and Dunedin Town Hall. St. Paul's Cathedral and Speight's Brewery are also within 15 minutes. Dunedin Railway Station is 6 minutes by foot.

            Quest Dunedin NZ$155
            Quest Dunedin

            Quest Dunedin

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              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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              Camp Estate NZ$482
              Camp Estate

              Camp Estate

              100 Camp Road, Dunedin
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Dunedin, this luxury inn is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Otago Peninsula and 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Larnach Castle. The Fletcher House and Boulder Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Scenic Hotel Southern Cross NZ$189
                Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

                Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

                118 High Street, Dunedin
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Dunedin City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Dunedin Casino and Speight's Brewery. Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Regent Theatre are also within 10 minutes. Dunedin Railway Station is 9 minutes by foot.