Dunedin Wildlife Tours

Dec 2nd, 2005, 11:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3
Dunedin Wildlife Tours

We're going to be in Dunedin for just one night on our forthcoming trip to New Zealand and we're thinking of taking an organised wildlife tour with a company such as Elm Wildlife Tours or Twilight Wildlife Experience as we'd like to see as much of the wildlife as possible and are hoping that the experts will do a better job of finding it for us than we would on our own!

From their website info the Twilight Wildlife tour visits Penguin Place as well as a reserve at Pipikaretu beach and (it seems) another penguin reserve. Elm Wildlife Tours don't visit Penguin Place but have advised me that they visit a private conservation area with the best viewing available for the penguins. Does anyone have any experience or recommendations about these tours? We could easily visit the Albatross Centre and Penguin Place on our own, is the Twilight tour still worth taking? If we take the Elm tour and don't visit Penguin Place would we be missing out?

Thanks for any help you can give us!
LucieLockett is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2005, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 327
We went on our own and it worked out nicely for us. We booked the Penguin Place in advance and stopped by the Albatross center before that. We asked if we'd see many birds and they told us no so we didn't bother paying. It depends on the season and perhaps day-to-day what you'll see of both creatures.

Penguin Place WELL exceeded our expectations, I'd say don't miss it. There were times we were *very* close to penguins too.

The driving on Otago was an experience too, some nice coastline and views, and you can stop at the Happy Hens studio on the way.
pb_and_j is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2005, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,787
I also did it on my own and was satisfied. But I don't know what Elm exactly takes you on. I saw plenty of seals, penguins, and dolphins elsewhere. Especially the seals. I went on the Albatross visit, but to be honest, what I saw in the parking lot was better, the birds were flying overhead. You don't get close to them by going up to the observatory. Although I did not mind paying the entrance fee as it goes toward the facility.
mlgb is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2005, 05:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
I went on the Elm Wildlife tour and really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it. They did take us to a private area and we saw many penguins in their natural habitat.
I'm not sure if I have this correct, but I understood that Penguin Place was more like an arranged sort of place with penguins. Kind of like going to a zoo. I'm sorry if I have this wrong.
ANyway, it was because of this that I chose to go on Elm Wildlife tour.
They also were very very good at explaining all about the behaviour of the wildlife.
We also saw lots of sea lions at the nature reserve and were standing only metres away from them.
We took the boat ride to see the Albatross, and I enjoyed it, but , yes, you can see them from the shore.

Whatever you decide, have a great time.
kodi is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2005, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,787
Penguin Place is not a zoo. It's a farmer's property that has trenches and hides built so that you walk around undetected by the penguins and can get within a few feet of them. The farmer has built small wooden shelters that the penguins seem to prefer nests. It's quite funny to run about the property in the trenches trying to intercept a penguin on his/her way to the nest. And you do get very close, much closer than you can on the beaches.
mlgb is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2005, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
mlgb, thanks so much for explaining Penguin Place. I had heard that it wasn't a 'natural' habitat and so incorrectly assumed that Penguin Place interfered with the penguins natural way of life. It sounds like a great place. The trenches would be fun.

However, on Elm wildlife tours, we went to totally natural areas, and we did see the penguins up close ( although perhaps not as close as in the trenches.).
It was fun to watch them climbing up the hills to return to their families after a day at sea.

Lucie, have a great time, whichever you choose.
kodi is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2005, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 24
There's a public beach called Allan's Beach(Allen's Beach?) near Dunedin. When I was there in February two little penguins swan in and walked up into the bushes above the beach. They ask that you do not disturb them by approaching.
In_From_The_Cold is offline  
Dec 4th, 2005, 06:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3
Thanks all for your replies - I'm still not sure quite what we'll decide to do yet but I'm confident now that we should have a great experience whichever option we take!
LucieLockett is offline  
Dec 4th, 2005, 08:44 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,018
LucieL, we went to the Albatros colony and were absolutely fascinated. It's a bit of a trek up the hill but well worth the effort.

Bokhara is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
Hi Lucie,
We are going with Elm Wildlife Tours in January. We decided to go with them so we can get plenty of commentary about the various animals. We will also be taking the 1-hour cruise option. They are picking us up at our motel at 3:30pm.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
Tim and Liz, that's exactly what I did. They picked me up late in the afternoon and the whole tour was excellent. I highly recommend it and I hope you have a great time.
kodi is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
Thanks, kodi.
One of the reasons we chose Elm was your wonderful trip report!
I will be writing a trip report of my own when we return.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Africa & the Middle East
May 7th, 2012 01:56 PM
United States
May 31st, 2008 03:50 AM
Australia & the Pacific
Mar 17th, 2006 05:46 AM
Sep 10th, 2005 02:33 PM
United States
Sep 3rd, 2005 05:32 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:37 PM.