Guided Tour of Penguin Conservation Reserve
Dunedin, New Zealand
- Penguin Place: Hear the captivating story of the yellow-eyed penguin – thought to be the world's rarest penguin species – and the reserve's efforts to help these New Zealand natives.
- Guided walking tour: After a briefing on the penguins' lifecycle and challenges, you'll follow your guide on foot through covered trenches and into viewing hides.
- Photo ops: Observe and photograph the undisturbed activity of the penguins at close range. You'll have a clear view of their living areas and breeding grounds.
About This Dunedin Tour
If you marveled at the pure tenacity of the emperor penguin in March of the Penguins or delighted in the madcap adventures of the gentoo penguin in Mr. Popper's Penguins, there's a rare chance to view penguins going about their activities of daily living. And "rare" is the operative word, as your guided tour allows you to get close to the rarest of the 17 penguin species: the yellow-eyed penguin or hoiho (Maori for "noise shouter").
But first you'll take a drive along the coast of the Otago Peninsula, the "wildlife capital of New Zealand." Now this isn't a party scene, This rather stunning natural landscape is abundantly populated by sea lions, fur seals, albatross, and, of course, our raucous penguin friends. Soak up dramatic views of the harbor's bright blue waters as you wind through quaint villages to the working sheep farm that is also the home of Penguin Place.
While their mating calls can be shrill, these penguins need cozy, private nests for the serious work of breeding. You'll creep navigate strategically placed trenches, along with your tour guide, where you can watch the penguins without disturbing them. Hear their stories (each has a name and a unique personality) as you snap away – and enjoy that feel-good moment knowing that guided tours like yours entirely fund this conservation effort.
Til death do us part – penguin style
Like many penguins, the yellow-eyed penguin mates for life, sticking with the same partner through thick and thin. After going through a period of courtship, preening, and socializing, the happy couple seeks out a secluded spot for their love nest. Both the male and female build the nest and share in the chores of incubating the eggs and caring for the chicks – a behavior not seen in many other animals. Maybe this is why the female stands by her man.
Please exit the gangway area or go to the end of the tender pier drop-off to meet your guide. Look for our displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
Penguin sightings cannot be guaranteed as these are wild animals. At Penguin Place there are 80 stairs leading to the penguin blinds. Limited binoculars are provided on a share basis; bring along your binoculars to enhance your views.
Must be able to walk approximately 0.3 mile over varying terrain with inclines, 80 steps at the Penguin blinds and undulating surfaces. Due to nature of this tour, not recommended for travelers with walkers and wheelchairs.
Family Friendly, Wilderness/Wildlife, Scenic
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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