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Time Required : 1 - 3 Hours

TAIAROA HEAD, DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND, Dunedin Overview

Situated at the farthest end of the Otago Peninsula looking over the Otago Harbour, Taiaroa Head is a stunning landscape for you to visit. Located in Dunedin in New Zealand, it is an hour’s drive from Dunedin to reach the Taiaroa Head. The drive in itself promises to be a scenic one replete with the richness and beauty of the Otago Peninsula.

It is also a mainland colony to the Royal Albatross birds that flew into this area in the year 1938. The area has been developed into a wildlife conservatory exclusive for the Royal Albatross Centre. There is a small, secluded beach called the Pilots Beach which is houses rich marine life which is what Taiaroa is famous for. The beach is inhabited by the little blue penguins, the world’s smallest breed of penguins and also a rare breed of yellow-eyed penguins.

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Things to Do

  • Visit Pilots beach and get a visual treat of the rich marine it boasts of ranging from the little blue eyes Penguins, the yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals, sea lions, Dusky dolphins, Hector Dolphins, Orcas and various other migratory whales like Southern Rights and Humpbacks.
  • Abandonend military outposts- There are fragments of military embankments in the form of former coastal defenses, the ruins of which are located very nearby. You may go there and explore them up close. The most notable ruin is that of the Armstrong Disappearing Gun emplacement built in the year 1886 out of a military scare that New Zealand was to be attacked by the Russian army.
  • Visit the Royal Albatross Centre to observe the exotic Albatross birds naturally habituating in their mainland colony. To know further details about this center you may direct to our attraction page exclusively dedicated to brief you through the center’s information. It is a restricted guide tour, therefore, you may require prior booking, charges inclusive. The wildlife is at their most natural to avoid any hindrance to their states.
  • Driving through the Otago Peninsula right inside the lush and lull of its rich fauna is a recreational outdoor activity in itself. The one-hour scenic drive from the city of Dunedin reaches till the very end of the Otago Peninsula that is the Taiaroa Head promises you one of the wholesome experiences where you will be surrounded by the rocky terrain, varied fauna and the panoramic landscape.
  • Visit the Kiwi Guardian at Taiaroa Head (Pukekura) to explore the unique wildlife and history. The guides will brief you through the history of the Albatross birds any other forms of wildlife that you may come across.
  • Visit the Taiaroa Head Nature Reserve, located at the wind side of the Otago Peninsula renowned for being the mainland colony of Albatross in the southern hemisphere.
  • Visit the historic lighthouse nestled at the head of the Taiaroa head and ask your guide about its significance in the early days that used to stand as a very important tool in guiding the marine merchandise, ships, and sailors.

Wildlife

Geographically the Otago Peninsula is a house to a varied range of fauna. It is especially rich in its marine life. With around 10000 sea birds, including exotic and rare breeds, the Taiaroa Head is a go-to spot for you to interact with the fauna at a very personal space but not to an extent where you are to cause hindrance to their natural habitation state.

Some of the species of animals spotted  frequently near here are:

Royal albatross
Yellow-eyed penguins
Little blue penguins
Otago shags
Spotted shags
Royal spoonbills
Seagulls
Terns
Petrels
Shearwaters
Fur seals
Sea lions
Kekeno

History

Taiaroa Head is etymologically derived from an early local Maori chief of Ngai Tahu Iwi, Te Matenga Taiaroa. Pukekura, a significant Maori Pa was situated at the headland was occupied by the early tribal settlers, the Maori till the 1840s. The Head also has a historically significant lighthouse built back in the early 19th century.

How To Reach Taiaroa Head

  • It is approximately a 1-hour scenic drive along the entirety of the Otago Peninsula from the mainland of Dunedin.
  • You may take the Portobello Road along the Otago Harbour to the settlement of Portobello after which the road takes to the end of the Harrington Point road.
  • Once you reach the Harrington road, you will arrive at the Royal Albatross Centre.
  • If you need to halt, the carpark is available at abundance. Otherwise, you may take the Highcliff Road till the Taiaroa Head.

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