Do I need to book a tour? It’s strongly advised for a few reasons. Firstly, this is the only place in the world where albatross nest on a mainland, so you don’t want to miss out! The only way to get to the observatory to have the chance to see albatross is on a guided tour. Tours are limited to 18 people per tour, so space are limited.
Blue Penguins Pukekura: On the blue penguin tour there are steps and a 150 metre walk down to the viewing platform and back.
– In the event of a tour cancellation prior to the tour commencing (due to weather conditions), a full refund or tour re-scheduling will apply.
– In the event of your trip being affected or cancelled by COVID-19, a full refund will be issued or the option to re-schedule your visit.
– Child policy – children rates apply to school aged children 5 – 17 years of age, children 4 yrs and under are free of charge.
To the wildlife reserve/albatross colony, access is granted by booking on a guided tour. Bookings are essential to guarantee a place on a tour. No self-guided tour options.
We are COVID-19 Safety Ready and approved by the Tourism Export Council:
If you are feeling ill or presenting symptoms of a cough, a high temperature or shortness of breath, you MUST leave site immediately and seek advice from health line on 0800 358 5453.
Anyone obliged to be in self isolation will be unable to visit us. We ask all visitors to use the QR contact tracing code / app located at reception upon entering the centre or sign in. We are also now requiring all visitors to the centre to present their valid COVID-19 Vaccination Passport upon entry.
We take up to 18 visitors to our observatory and through Fort Taiaroa. We recommend wearing a face mask to feel more comfortable during your tour with us. If in Alert Level 2, we will reduce our capacity in accordance to the social distancing rule.
Our facilities are cleaned regularly throughout the day including high touch areas. Hand sanitisers are located in the centre and facilities. We advocate practicing good hygiene by using the washrooms to thoroughly wash your hands before entering our free information gallery and before joining our tours. All employees are required to stay home if they feel unwell.
We are entering a nature reserve, to keep our birds healthy and protected, we do ask parents to ensure children are quiet on tour so visitors and albatross are not disturbed. Our guides may ask parents to ensure children are quiet throughout the tour if required, and do reserve the right to ask parents with children to finish the tour early if they not adhering.
The closest public transport to the Centre terminates at Harington Point, 3.5kms from the Royal Albatross Centre. Public transport is not suitable as the bus does not stop or travel to the centre therefore requires a 30-40minute walk from Harington Point, which isn’t advised due to safety – there is no footpath.
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We offer Gold Card Holders and Ōtepoti Residents / Locals a 25% Discount off our Unique Taiaroa, Albatross Classic and Fort Taiaroa tours.