Penguins & Peninsula

untamedNZ tour company offers you the chance to see the world's most endangered penguin - the Yellow-eyed Penguin, along with beautiful views of the Otago Peninsula on this half day tour.

"Dunedin - magic nature, NZ's historic city" Vanessa on TripAdvisor

"Incredible visit, amazing guide!" Claudia on TripAdvisor


Departing from the city we promptly head for the beautiful Otago Peninsula. Taking in views along the high road, learn about Dunedin's pioneers and early european settlers who arrived in the 1840's.

Winding our way down to the bays and inlets of the Otago Peninsula we will be keeping a close eye out for any wildlife spotted along the way.

If the wind is strong enough we will head to Taiaroa Head where we have the chance to spot Royal Albatross. With a 3.2m wingspan these majestic birds are impressive to view in-flight!

Finally, the pièce de résistance is viewing Yellow-eyed Penguins - the world's most endangered penguin living right here in beautiful Aotearoa, NZ. We visit a private conservation reserve to learn about the struggles these penguins are facing, what is being done to help them and we have the chance to see these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat. Marvellous photo opportunities abound here and we can take pleasure in knowing that our entrance fee is directly supporting the conservation of Yellow-eyed Penguins here in Otago and Southland. Please note: this component of the tour involves a moderate walk of approximately one and a half hours that does involve some stairs (both up and down).

Each month is different at Penguin Place so please use this chart to get an idea of what might be happening at the time of your visit and read below for the latest update:

November 2023 – update: We are currently experiencing record low numbers of Yellow-eyed Penguins - a 76% decrease in the total population over the last two decades has been devastating. Viewing will be variable and we never expect to see quantity but rather we focus on best the viewing available at the time you visit. 

We are coming into the breeding and chick raising season (first 2 chicks hatched today – 30 Oct 2023 – Well done Diego and Juanita a young pair in the reserve!). We have 1 nest on view this season and the viewing early season will be variable and at a distance – we can provide binoculars and spotting scopes to help. Some days viewing will be incredible, others it will be a wild goose chase, it just depends how the Yellow-eyed Penguins are feeling. As the breeding season progresses we expect to have a significant numbers of penguins in rehabilitation for various ailments and we are fortunate to be able to get up close views of the penguins at this facility on tour. Little blue penguins and NZ fur seals are still a major and regular attraction in the wild. 

The Yellow-eyed Penguin is at severe risk. This is a penguin whose prognosis is potential mainland extinction within the next 10-20 years! Your entrance fees to The Opera (included in the tour price) go directly towards the conservation of these wonderful can help save the Yellow-eyed Penguin from extinction by joining us on tour! If you would like any further updates on the expected viewing before booking please email us

*We cannot guarantee any or all of the wildlife will be seen on every tour - it is wild after all, and that's the way we want it to stay! But we are confident you will experience some special viewing moments whilst learning about and enjoying the best of what's on offer on the day of your tour*


5 hours (approx.)

What is included:

  • Transport (Hotel to Hotel, or iSite, Octagon, Dunedin)
  • Mateo - your local guide offering expert commentary and keeping you comfortable all afternoon
  • Entrance fee and guided tour at Penguin Place conservation reserve

What to bring:

  • A warm, waterproof jacket
  • A sunhat and sunscreen
  • Your camera
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Money/Credit Card for gifts/souvenirs

Our promises to you:

  • untamedNZ pride ourselves on small group touring - we guarantee you will have 10 or fewer people in your tour group.


Departure times from Dunedin City or Port Chalmers Cruise Ship Terminal for this tour vary during the year to ensure that we are at Penguin Place conservation reserve during prime viewing time and are as follows:

  • October – N/A
  • November – 10.00am
  • December – 10.00am
  • January – 10.00am
  • February – 10.00am
  • March – 10.00am
  • April – 2.30pm
  • May – 1.30pm
  • June – 1.00pm
  • July – 1.00pm
  • August – 1.30pm
  • September – 2.30pm


For this tour our standard cancellation policy appplies:

  • Cancellations more than 1 week before departure - 90% refund
  • Cancellations more than 48 hours before departure - 50% refund
  • Cancellations less than 48 hours before departure - no refund

Booking enquiry

Group size