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

Description:

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 gentle 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:

February 2020 - late summer 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 quality of the viewing. 

We are through the breeding season now and into one of the most fickle times of the year for viewing. The moult has started - a time when our Yellow-eyed Penguins change their feathers - 4 weeks on land and a starvation phase. Some days viewing will be incredible, others it will be a wild goose chase, it just depends how the Yellow-eyed Penguins are feeling. Our rehabilitation facility has over 30 penguins in it recuperating from various life threatening issue, so while not in the wild we can guarantee some nice close views when we visit this facility. 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 Penguin Place (included in the tour price) go directly towards the conservation of these wonderful creatures...you 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

Duration:

4.5 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:

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