Royal Albatross Center and Fort Taiaroa Tour

1.5 Hours
Group Activity
Shore Excursion with Guaranteed Return to Ship

From (USD) $40 Per Adult

Royal Albatross Center and Fort Taiaroa Tour

1.5 Hours
Group Activity
Shore Excursion with Guaranteed Return to Ship

From (USD) $40 Per Adult

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Adult (Ages 15+)

Child (Ages 4-14)

    For Groups of 20 or more, please contact our GoTo Crew.


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      Royal Albatross Center and Fort Taiaroa Tour

      Dunedin, New Zealand
      From (USD) $40 Per Adult
      • Royal Albatross Center: This little-known seabird with the huge wingspan is revealed in a short film narrated by naturalist Sir David Attenborough, and in viewing areas by their habitat – their only mainland breeding colony.
      • Fort Taiaroa: Learn how the tip of the peninsula went from Maori fortified settlement (pa) to an underground fort in the 1880s, then guarded against Japanese invasion in WWII.
      • Disappearing gun: Walk through barracks, underground tunnels and ammo spaces to the world's only fully restored Armstrong disappearing gun, still in its original strategic position.
      About This Dunedin Tour

      The tip of Otago Peninsula, known as Taiaroa Head, is home to centuries-old myths and legends, outdated military technology, and a timeless wonder of nature that no one can explain.

      The Maori believe this part of their world was discovered by the explorer they call Maui, who used it as a resting spot. In time, Maori settled on the peninsula and established the fortified settlement (pa) of Pukekura under famous chief Taiaroa, after whom the headland is now named.

      It was at this pa that the local tribe signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, New Zealand's founding document. It was also here that New Zealanders built Fort Taiaroa in 1885, fearing the possibility of a Russian invasion.

      The fort still has its Armstrong Disappearing Gun, designed to use its recoil to sink back into its loading pit, out of sight of the enemy. It was the most advanced artillery technology of 1886.

      Today, the fort's old observation post overlooks part of the Royal Albatross breeding colony. No one knows why the species chose to breed there – all its other colonies are on islands. Maybe, like Maui, they thought it looked like a good place to rest. But they stayed. And since the first Taiaroa albatross chick took flight there in 1938, over 500 chicks have followed it.

      Mystery, history, and artillery. All packed into an hour and a half.

      The Russians aren't coming

      When Fort Taiaroa was built in the mid-1880s, it didn't follow traditional fort design of the era. Rather than create an imposing structure in the classic stone fort style, Taiaroa's designers hid gun emplacements within earth parapets. Advances in optics had improved the aim of naval gunners by bringing the sharp outline of stone forts into focus; blending into the surrounding landscape made Fort Taiaroa and its guns harder to spot. But the Russians never attacked, and the guns were never fired in anger.

      Getting prepared
      Tour Participation Requirements
      Great photo opportunities Great photo opportunities
      Bring money Bring money
      Wear sunscreen Wear sunscreen
      Bring water Bring water
      Wear comfortable shoes Wear comfortable shoes
      Wear Hat Wear Hat
      Wear Sunglasses Wear Sunglasses
      Cancellation policy

      Non-refundable if canceled within 24 hours of requested services.

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      Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.

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