About

Royal Albatross Centre, Dunedin

The Royal Albatross Centre is nestled at the foot of Taiaroa Head, at one with its environment. Step into the foyer dominated by Poutokomanawa, a carved pole telling the history of the Maori people of the headland. Settle back for an introduction to the Royal Albatross narrated by Natural History New Zealand. Your guide will take you through the bird’s fascinating story.

From the Dunedin Royal Albatross Centre, it’s a short walk to the Observatory for the privilege of seeing the greatest of all seabirds. Wander through the McMillan Gallery and learn more of the history and wildlife of the area. Enjoy a snack or meal at the Royal Albatross Café and look out for a memento – you’ll want to remember the day you met the Royals of Taiaroa!

Experience a tour of the diverse features of Otago Peninsula and Taiaroa Head, an area unique in the world for the variety and richness of the bird and marine life found there, together with its human heritage of settlement and use from the days of Maori fortification to the present.

Taiaroa Head and Dunedin’s Royal Albatross Centre can be experience either as part one of our peninsula package tours combining many great attractions of the Otago Peninsula

The Centre

In 1967 the Otago Peninsula Trust, a charitable trust, was established for the purpose of protecting and enhancing peninsula flora and fauna. The first albatross observatory was built on the headland and a converted Otago Harbour Board cottage was used as the visitor centre.

In 1983 The Richdale Albatross Observatory was opened for albatross viewing. By 1986 a new access tunnel was built across the top of the headland from outside the colony to allow access into the underground tunnels and gun pit. Displays were set up in the underground magazine areas and the new facility opened to guided groups in 1987. In 1989 HRH Princess Anne opened the Royal Albatross Centre.

Today Pukekura Taiaroa Head is a successful Wildlife Reserve, managed by the Department of Conservation and Te Poari a Pukekura Management Group. In addition to approximately 250 albatross, it is also home to over 20 other wildlife species, including some 4,000 red-billed gulls and colonies of Spotted Shag, the rare Otago Shag, Royal Spoonbills and hundreds of Southern Fur Seals.

Find out more about Otago Peninsula Trust attractions Royal Albatross Centre – Blue Penguins Pukekura – Otago Peninsula Brochure-2019

Otago Peninsula Trust

New Zealand’s first private charitable conservation trust, registered in 1967 has an impressive record of achievement. It’s managed by a voluntary Board of Trustees.

Trust Objectives

  • The stimulation of public interest in and care of the beauty, history and character of the Otago Peninsula.
  • The preservation of the natural attractions of the area and the protection of the flora and fauna of the area.
  • The development of tourist attractions, public and recreational services so that the public may obtain maximum use and enjoyment of the area in a way that will not detract from or destroy its beauty or character.
  • The promotion of knowledge of and interest in the objects of the Trust by meetings, exhibitions, educational courses and all other forms of instruction and publicity.

To enable its objectives, the Otago Peninsula Trust operates the following properties and businesses:

Help us and Support our work:
  • Visit – Plan your day Peninsula Day out here.
  • Get involved – Become a member here
  • Book a meeting or function at the Royal Albatross Centre or Glenfalloch.
  • Donate via Givealittle Fundraising

Otago Albatross