The Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head, on the tip of the Otago Peninsula, New Zealand, is the only mainland breeding colony for any albatross species found in the southern hemisphere. The first Taiaroa-reared albatross chick flew in 1938 and this now protected nature reserve has grown into an established colony with a population of around 140 birds.
The sight of a soaring albatross is unforgettable - held aloft on slim wings up to 3 metres (9'6") across, the great Albatross is capable of swooping speeds of more than 115kph. Viewing these majestic seabirds in their natural environment is not to be missed.
Visitors to the Royal Albatross Centre can view the interpretative wildlife displays, learn of the historical use of the area and experience the famous Unique Taiaroa guided tours, call +64 3 478-0499 to reserve you place now.
Beneath the peaceful nature reserve lie the tunnels of Fort Taiaroa, established over 100 years ago to counter the anticipated threat of invasion from Tsarist Russia. Visitors here are very fortunate to be able to view the only working-order Armstrong Disappearing Gun (1886).
Taiaroa Head, unique in the world for the variety and richness of the bird and marine life found here. Blue penguins, fur seals, sea lions, and the rare Stewart Island Shag are amongst the amazing array of other birdlife found here.