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The Otago Peninsula is a hilly finger of land situated to the west of the city of Dunedin. Elm Wildlife Tours guide groups around wildlife hotspots on the Otago Peninsula, including the many bays and lagoons often inaccessible to others, to experience close encounters with many species of wildlife.
As Elm Wildlife operate a restricted wildlife sanctuary to both protect the animals and give great viewing opportunities, the creatures you will see, such as yellow-eyed penguins and Hooker's sea lions - two very rare species - are in their most natural, relatively undisturbed environments, providing genuine encounters with wild nature.
There are additional options that you can choose to include with the Peninsula Encounter and we would highly recommended a Monarch Wildlife Cruise.
The tour starts from Dunedin at mid-afternoon and your Elm Wildlife Cruises tour guide will drop you at Weller's Rock to board the boat, 'Monarch'. You will enjoy a cruise on the ocean to a point below the Albatross Colony where you will have a unique view of these birds from the water. You will also see many other seabirds along the journey.
An hour later you will rejoin the Elm Wildlife Tour for the highlight of the trip and the land based section. On land you will see yellow-eyed and blue penguins, royal albatross soaring overhead at Taiaroa Head, Hooker's sea lions and the breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals.
The animals are seen close-up from unobtrusive beach locations and strategically placed observation hides.
Conservation is important to Elm Wildlife and they offset the small environmental impact of the tours by planting trees, making each tour carbon neutral and keeping the overall impact to the natural habitats to a strict minimum (if there is any at all!).