VISITING THE ROYAL ALBATROSS CENTRE
Access into the Royal Albatross Centre is free of charge, with galleries, a giftshop, café and accessible bathrooms. Inside the centre is open plan and level ground making for easier movement. We have designated mobility parks close to the entrance to the centre and you are welcome to bring wheelchairs and/or walking frames inside with you. Our live streaming Royal Cam which faces one of the albatross nests is also available for viewing inside our centre.
Nesting albatross are viewed from our observatory by guided tour only. This is accessed via a short but steep walk up a paved pathway. For those with limited mobility, we have a self-driven mobility cart that can be taken up to the observatory with prior arrangement – advance notice is required so we can ensure sufficient staffing. Subject to availability – we will try our best to accommodate the use of the cart where possible. The cart is easy to drive, and the extra staff member is assigned to go along with you and show you how to drive it. We ask you to contact us and advise of any special requirements you may have during your visit.
The self-driven mobility carts can take visitors as far as the door to the observatory, but not inside. We have a designated chair that sits up higher for visitors with limited mobility to use while in the observatory as the windows are at more of a standing height. As such, a small number of steps across flat ground are required to enter the observatory once out of the mobility cart.
FORT TAIAROA & DISAPPEARING GUN
Access into Fort Taiaroa is via an underground tunnel system at the very top of Taiaroa Head. The disappearing gun is housed in its original gun pit down a flight of steep stairs leading to the underground tunnels. As such, our mobility cart is unable to take visitors directly to the disappearing gun and can only go as far as the tunnel entrance. Any further access through the fort would need to be on foot. For those unable to visit Fort Taiaroa in person, we have a 3D Virtual Fort Tour option available on our website.
VISUAL AND HEARING IMPAIRMENTS
Our guided tours include a short film detailing the lifecycle of the Royal Albatross and the human history in the area. We also have written information about the area available in many different languages, please ask us at reception.