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“If I could give more than 5 stars, I would!”
Review of Elm Wildlife Tours

Elm Wildlife Tours
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Elm Wildlife Tours are the ultimate award winning New Zealand wildlife adventure. We guide small tour groups onto the Otago Peninsula, one of the world’s unique wildlife areas to experience a close encounter with some of the world’s rarest wildlife. Royal Albatross, Hookers Sea-lions, Blue Penguins, NZ fur-seals, Yellow-eyed penguins and some15-20 species of marine/wading birds can be seen around a tidal lagoon.Our private conservation area is the highlight of our tour.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

I could not have been a happier or more excited person after participating in their Peninsula Encounters Lite tour (imagine a 6-year old who has just eaten an entire block of chocolate). I had initially booked the normal peninsula encounters tour, however I was in an accident which resulted in myself being placed in a moon boot. I called up before the tour and advised them of my situation and I was able to switch to the lite tour, which required less walking. After meeting them at Larnach Castle (we had a previous tour that dropped us off there) we first went for a drive around this inlet/ reserve area on the way to the albatross, where we saw many different species of birds. We then went to the peninsula where we could see seals, sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins. Although I did the lite version with less walking, it still requires a decent amount of walking and while I did manage in a moon boot, it was a bit of a struggle. However, my determination to see the animals got me through it! Where this tour goes is on private land so the only other people around you is the people on this tour and the animals, but still without invading their habitat. Our tour guide, Donna, was super knowledgeable and had all the answers to my many tricky questions, and she also went out of her way by letting me use her tramping pole, which you could tell was not just for customer service but was genuine and reflected who she is as a person :) we got to see many albatross, hundreds of seals (most of them pups, as the adults were out getting dinner), over 10 roaring sea lions, and 4 yellow-eyed penguins (which is a great result as they are quite rare), with our group also being able to witness a penguin coming out of the water to waddle its way up the beach and onto the hillside to its home. I would recommend to bring many warm clothes as because it is along the coast, it was quite cold and windy. I was astounded at how smoothly and amazingly this tour went; it was the highlight of my entire South Island trip and I will be recommending it to everyone I know!

Thank g_lucy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"sea lions"
in 307 reviews
"fur seals"
in 189 reviews
"private beach"
in 43 reviews
"albatross center"
in 52 reviews
"exclusive access"
in 14 reviews
"otago peninsula"
in 115 reviews
"private farm"
in 16 reviews
"new zealand"
in 101 reviews
"conservation area"
in 22 reviews
"great tour"
in 56 reviews
"small group"
in 40 reviews
"private reserve"
in 11 reviews
"knowledgeable guides"
in 14 reviews
"yellow eyed and blue penguins"
in 9 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 27 reviews
"seal colony"
in 15 reviews
"within feet"
in 9 reviews
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20 - 24 of 792 reviews

Reviewed 3 April 2018

We thoroughly enjoyed our wildlife tour of the Otago Peninsula. We were picked up from our accommodation on time and driven out with a small group of like-minded people to the peninsula where we visited an albatross centre. We were then taken to a private reserve to observe yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals and New Zealand Sea lions close up away from all the crowds. En route we stopped several times to observe some of the birdlife. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the wildlife and supplied us with guides and binoculars for the trip. Be aware the trip includes walking up and down steep cliff paths to reach the beach but I am 60 with a bad knee and managed to do it! Worth it for the great photos we got of the penguins coming out of the sea and waddling across the beach!

Thank 387Sue_Dave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2018

I read the other peoples reviews and it is hard to add on. The guides are extremely nice, professional, patient, and well informed-- you can see it is a passion with them not just a job. They managed to share so much with us, The scenery is stunning, the animals close by, -- I just think it was a very AWESOME tour-- well worth the money and one of our most special experiences in New Zealand. Felt like David Attenborough!

Thank AndyPerlow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2018

Excellent tour. Small groups. No over crowding. You truly get up close to the animals. The staff is knowledgeable and accommodating. I had injured my foot the day before during a hike and the company was able to change my tour to the "lite" version (which I highly recommend - less time trekking and more time viewing the animals).

Thank XdomenicaX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 March 2018

Just got back from our tour with Shaun. First of all, we totally lucked out and ended up with only me and my daughter. We also were prepared with the correct clothing for the day. Shaun was so enthusiastic and you could tell he loved all of the animals. We started off with the Albatross and we got to see so many. What an interesting bird. Then it was off to the seals, fur seals and sea lions. We really got to see them up close. So cool. The penguins are molting so we only really saw one up close. We did get to see The Little Penguins in Melbourne before we set out on our cruise. All-in-all, a GREAT day!!

Tip:
Make sure to bring waterproof boots and windproof jackets and pants. I had on merino wool long johns, merino wool socks, jeans and rain pants. A shirt, a fleece, a hooded sweater and a raincoat. Gloves and scarf were helpful as well. It was EXTREMELY windy. There are some steep inclines which for everyone else was fine but I have asthma and that together with the cold wind it really affected me going up to the Albatross Center.

Thank ALM913
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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