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Elm Wildlife Tours

» iSee
»» Tours
»» Wildlife encounters

Qualmark Quality Assured Bartercard Must See

Business Type: Wildlife Tour

Price: From $95-00


Find out why overseas visitors have described our wildlife experience as the highlight of their visit to New Zealand. Absolutely unrivalled, up close viewing of Royal albatross, Yellow-eyed and Blue Penguins, NZ Sea-lions and NZ fur seals.

Address: 22 Princes street, Dunedin, New Zealand Dunedin & Otago

Phone: view phone+64 3 4544121

Free Phone: view phone0800356563

Contact Name: Shaun


E-mail: send an e-mail

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Join us to experience absolutely unrivaled close-up viewing of rare yellow eyed penguins, Hooker's sea lions, NZ fur seals and little blue penguins within our restricted wildlife conservation sanctuary, see albatross at Taiaroa headland and other wildlife around Otago peninsula bay's and lagoons. 'Video introduction'

Our tours are the highlight of many visitors trip to 'middle earth' New Zealand. Accompany our enthusiastic and expert guides to some of the most spectacular wildlife spots, inaccessible to others, to ensure an absolutely special wildlife experience of a lifetime.

Our tours.
Peninsula Encounters.
This is our most popular and multi-award winning tour, departing daily from Dunedin city in the afternoon to visit the beautiful Otago Peninsula and its wildlife 'hotspots'. The tour caters for small groups providing a glimpse into the world of tourism and conservation working in a symbiotic relationship for the benefit of the wildlife providing absolutely unrivalled viewing of estuarine and marine wildlife. READ MORE>>

Catlins Encounters
Isolated beaches, lakes, waterfalls and fossilised forests combined with some of New Zealand's most amazing native forest, birdlife and scenery. Connections can be arranged with the 'Foveaux Express' Stewart Island ferry.

Organise a group and take time to experience the beauty and tranquility of this rugged and pristine coastal wilderness. The area abounds with interesting native flora and fauna. It is the location of the only place where Fur Seals, Hookers Sealions and Elephant Seals coexist. READ MORE>>

Cruise Ship Shore Excursion (for Cruiseship passengers only)
Port Chalmers - Dunedin - New Zealand
This exclusive single day shore excursion presents DUNEDIN, New Zealands most beautiful city, and the grandeur of the Otago Peninsula with it's unique wildlife and spectacular scenery. This tour departs from Port Chalmers at 9.30am and is restricted to a maximum of eighteen persons in two guided groups of nine persons. Our exclusive private penguin conservation area allows you to go where others have no access, to appreciate the animals, the solitude and the beautiful coastline. READ MORE>>

We are a multi-award winning family owned and operated business with over twenty years experience in wildlife conservation and tours. We are based in Dunedin city on the South Island of New Zealand, and pride ourselves on our conservation and the superb quality of our sustainable nature and wildlife experiences.

Dunedin city , the wildlife capital of New Zealand and the Otago peninsula extending into the ocean from the city, are close to the food supply that supports the huge range of unique animals that this area is famous for.
We provide many tour choices

'Peninsula encounters' is our well known and popular daily 'wildlife packed' tour to the Otago peninsula with five seasonal options. See our website for more details.

We have received many awards including six times winning a prestigious New Zealand Tourism Award, and have been benchmarked by the Green Globe Earthcheck system, to the highest environmental standard of operation based on agenda 21 of the Rio earth conference. We operate in a sustainable environment friendly manner which was acknowledged when we received the environmental award at New Zealand's tourism awards 2005. We have also attained qualmark green (Gold level).

We have benefited from a positive carbon footprint since 1997 as our companies self planted forest absorbs much more carbon than our tour operation creates .   We are particularly active in conservation our main focus, predominantly benefits yellow-eyed penguins. This is our principle endeavour with a long term project to increase this species available breeding area through replanting native habitat within our wildlife sanctuary.

We are fortunate to work with local landowners who see the future benefit of doing so, and congratulate them on their efforts, particularly the predator control and additional planting of native species which has been carried out. We have also provided many nest boxes for little blue penguins which are also seen on our tours.

Tour Requirements
Peninsula Encounters
Walking is required to access the private conservation area where Hookers Sea lions,  a New Zealand Fur seal breeding colony and Yellow eyed Penguins are located. The walk requires a reasonable standard of fitness as the terrain is hilly farm land and sandy beaches.Generally the two separate return sectors (down & up) each require approximately 15 minutes walking time.

All tour options are an outdoor activity in a land where maritime weather prevails, the weather can change very quickly on the Southern coast at any time of the year. Always take warm and waterproof clothes.

Walking shoes or boots with heavy tread are recommended and necessary if conditions are wet or muddy.

Food and Medicines
Peninsula encounters
Although food and drink is available through a small store in Portobello township during the Peninsula Encounters tour, we reccomend that participants bring their own snack and drink.  Personal medicines etc. should be carried if required on all tours. Any medical condition which could potentially be a problem should be conveyed to the guide at the commencement of a tour.

Cruise ship exclusive tour
Although we provide 4x4 assistance in the normally dry conditions, if it is wet, walking on coastal hillside is required to access the private conservation area where Sea lions, a Fur seal breeding colony and Penguins are located . The walk requires a reasonable level of fitness as the terrain is hilly farm land and sandy beaches.Generally the two separate return sectors (down & up) each require approximately 15 minutes walking time.   A boxed lunch is provided during the tour.

Flash - we do not allow close flash photography of penguins as this startles them, however we recommend  that clients carry a range of film speeds to allow for the varied light encountered, 200 ASA up to 1600 ASA for dusk.  Click here for information regarding flash photography of birds and animals.  

Modern digital cameras and camcorders are well suited to the low light encountered in the evenings on our tours.

Hours of work

Our office hours are from 9am till late
Our tours depart daily from 1pm (winter) or from 3pm (summer)


Pick ups can be from your central city accommodation or the Dunedin Visitor Centre (26 Princes street).
Pick-ups can take up to 15 minutes from the stated pick-up time.
No private residence pick ups.

Photo Gallery

Sealion viewing

Sealion viewing

  • Yellow Eyed Penguin
  • Yellow Eyed Penguin
  • Yellow Eyed Penguin

Click here for Slideshow. You can also click on any of the photos to start slideshow.


Map Location


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