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Penguin Place Tours and Activities

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57 Reviews
Penguin Place
On the New Zealand’s South Island, a short drive from Dunedin, Penguin Place is a conservation reserve for the endangered Yellow-Eyed Penguin. It’s entirely funded through guided tours, so your visit will directly contribute to the birds’ preservation. In addition to bird sightings, the reserve offers beautiful views of Otago Harbour.

The Basics
Started in 1985, Penguin Place was the first place in the world to fund conservation entirely through tourism. It aims to protect and grow the population of Yellow-Eyed Penguins, and numbers of these birds varies from year to year. Trees and plants are planted every year throughout the reserve to provide shelter for the penguins. The center also scientifically studies the penguins, so provides valuable research that can be used to protect them further. 

Most people visit Penguin Place from nearby Dunedin, either on its own or as part of a wildlife-themed day tour of the Otago Peninsula, the rugged, nature-rich outcrop of land that spreads out from the city. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • You are allowed to take photos at Penguin Place, but don’t use a flash as it can scare the birds.
  • The reserve tour is only suitable for travelers with good mobility, as it covers more than 0.5 miles (1 kilometer) and includes quite a lot of steps.
  • The wildlife seen on guided tours can vary day to day, so you could be in for a surprise!
  • Penguin Place has its own lodge with budget accommodation (closed from May to August.)

How to Get There
To reach Penguin Place by car, drive half an hour on the single road from Dunedin to the Otago Peninsula. Bus 18 makes the trip from central Dunedin in over an hour. Tours begin on Harrington Point Road (the main road along the peninsula), from which participants are transported to the preserve.

When to Get There
Ninety-minute tours operate regularly in the summer months (October to March), once in the morning and once in the early evening; in the winter they run in the mid-afternoon. Summer is a more comfortable time to visit, as the Otago Peninsula can get very windy and cold in winter. What you see on the tour depends on the behavior of the birds and the weather conditions on the day, so every day can be different.

Visit the Royal Albatross Colony
The Otago Peninsula is rich in wildlife. Bird lovers can combine a visit to Penguin Place and the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head, farther along the peninsula. It’s the only place in the world where the enormous birds breed and nest on a mainland, and renowned conservationists consider it one of the finest examples of ecotourism.
Address: Harrington Point Road, RD2, Dun, South Island, New Zealand
Admission: Free but reservation required
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5 Tours and Activities to Experience Penguin Place

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Dunedin City and Otago Peninsula Small-Group Tour

Dunedin City and Otago Peninsula Small-Group Tour

star-5
39
Travel with a small group to explore the city of Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula. Get personalized attention from your guide and enjoy an intimate atmosphere with your fellow travelers as you hit all the highlights, such as Larnach Castle, Penguin Place, the Octagon, the Dunedin Rail Station, the University of Otago, and more. Along the way, listen to engaging commentary from your guide and enjoy the opportunity to ask questions.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$155.59
From
US$155.59
Taking safety measures

Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula Wildlife Tour

Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula Wildlife Tour

star-4.5
69
Peer at rare yellow-eyed penguins and visit nesting grounds of the northern royal albatross during a full-day tour of the Otago Peninsula and Dunedin. Spend your morning sightseeing in Dunedin’s city center, including highlights of the Octagon, followed by a visit to the gardens of Larnach Castle, with the option to go inside and buy lunch. In the afternoon, immerse in the natural beauty of the Otago Peninsula and the scenic coast along Taiaroa Head. Numbers are limited to 19 people to allow for personalized attention from your informative guide.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$151.70
From
US$151.70
Taking safety measures

Wildlife Tour of Dunedin and Otago Peninsula

Wildlife Tour of Dunedin and Otago Peninsula

star-4.5
20
Observe yellow-eyed penguins in their nesting habitat on a small-group tour from Dunedin to the Otago Peninsula. Hear informative narration about this wildlife sanctuary and enjoy great photo ops from various lookouts. First, take a sightseeing tour of Dunedin’s main landmarks including the University of Otago and Dunedin Botanic Garden. Upgrade your experience with a 1-hour stop at the Royal Albatross Center for a look at a royal albatross colony nesting area with a specialist guide. Includes pickup and drop-off from your hotel or cruise port.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$148.00
From
US$148.00

Dunedin City Highlights, Otago Peninsula Scenery & a Guided Penguin Reserve Tour

Dunedin City Highlights, Otago Peninsula Scenery & a Guided Penguin Reserve Tour

star-5
2
You will be joining a small group tour and go to places that bigger buses cannot go. You will have personalised attention and will see the most special parts of Dunedin and Otago peninsula.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$181.30
From
US$181.30

Private Guided Tour of Dunedin City Heritage and Unique Wildlife and Scenery

Private Guided Tour of Dunedin City Heritage and Unique Wildlife and Scenery

star-5
10
Travel from Port Chalmers or Dunedin on a privately guided tour that introduces you to city attractions as well as points of interest on the Otago Peninsula. With a flexible itinerary you can spend as much time as you like at each site, including a stop at the Royal Albatross Centre. Drive past Baldwin Street, Signal Hill, Otago University, Dunedin Railway Station, and more.
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  • 5 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$721.02
per group
From
US$721.02
per group

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Penguin Place?

Things to do near Dunedin & The Otago Peninsula


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