Meeting Some Kiwi Locals with Elm Wildlife Tours

If you’re visiting New Zealand's South Island, there’s a great range of interesting things to do in Dunedin and the surrounding Otago Peninsula. Formed by volcanic action, this undulating indented peninsula stretches out into the ocean to provide a perfect feeding and breeding ground for a wide range of aquatic creatures. Elm wildlife tours offer several different tour opportunities to really enjoy these special Dunedin attractions.

keys on Omega keytag sml

Keytag Bonus:

Receive a 10% discount during the winter season upon presentation of your Omega keytag!  Valid until 30th September 2018. See notes below.

The Otago peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is home to some of the best New Zealand wildlife tours. One of these unmissable excursions is the Elm Peninsula Encounters tour, which offers the visitor a unique opportunity to observe and learn about the many different native creatures. This tour departs every afternoon, year round, from the Dunedin Visitor centre, or pickup from most Dunedin hotels can be arranged. Each small group is led by an experienced and knowledgeable local guide who leads the tour through their private conservation area. 

fur seal pups

New Zealand Fur Seal pups (photo credit Elm Wildlife Tours)

Within the conservation area, visitors get a privileged close-up look at the breeding grounds of Hookers Sea lions and New Zealand fur seals. The populations of these creatures declined dramatically due to hunting, but now thanks to conservation projects, educational programs and protected areas, such as those of Elm Wildlife tours, their populations are again increasing. Visitors can expect to see small Blue Penguins and possibly even Yellow-eyed Penguins (Hoiho), which are the world’s rarest penguin. From the Taiaroa head, you can enjoy watching the magnificent flight of the Royal Albatross, which is one of the 25-30 species of marine birds which can be observed in the area.

While this tour is really a fun thing to do in Dunedin for kids, parents should bear in mind that the paths are not suitable for strollers or baby carriages and that the tour lasts between 5 and 6 1/2-hours with a fair amount of walking to access the protected area. Mostly the paths run through hilly farmland and along sandy beaches but to reach some of the strategically placed observation hides it is necessary to go up and down stairways. Make sure that the whole family have walking shoes or boots with a good grip, and bring some waterproof clothing, as the area is renowned for its rapidly changing weather!

Another exciting New Zealand Ecotourism option is the Encounter Max tour which is an unforgettable 8-hour experience which runs from November to April. This tour includes a boat cruise to the Royal Albatross nesting area, and while cruising it is not uncommon for visitors to spot dolphins and whales. An interesting and educational one-hour visit to the Royal Albatross centre is then followed by the tour of the conservation area. For serious nature lovers this a great family activity in Dunedin.

Hoiho or yellow eyed penguin

Up close with New Zealand's native Hoiho or yellow-eyed penguin (photo credit Elm Wildlife Tours)

Elm Wildlife tours have received New Zealand's best leisure activity award, and they hold the Qualmark Enviro-gold award. Their work in conserving and increasing the natural vegetation of the breeding and feeding grounds plays an important part in preserving and increasing the population of many unique creatures.

All wildlife tours differ, depending upon the time of year and the varying natural activities of the different animals and birds, and no two tours are ever the same. The experienced guides of Elm Wildlife tours will increase your chance of enjoying a marvellous close-up experience of wild creatures in their native habitat, as well as giving you a privileged opportunity to learn about and support their important conservation work.

Visitors into Christchurch looking to enjoy a fantastic day shared with the abundant wildlife on one of the Elm’s tours can get their Christchurch hire car from one of Omega’s two conveniently located depots. The drive from Christchurch to Dunedin takes around four and half hours and is a spectacular adventure along the South Islands’ scenic East Coast.

keys on Omega keytag sml

Keytag Bonus:

Receive a 10% discount during the winter season upon presentation of your Omega keytag!  

  • Valid until 30th September 2018.
  • Discount applies to direct bookings only and is not able to be used in conjunction with any other offer.  
  • Please show your Omega key tag to the Elm Wildlife Tours guide on the day of the tour for validation.