New Zealand: Royal Tiki Tour Ride to the Royal Albatross Center

We loved seeing the little blue penguins at the Royal Albatross Centre, but before we got there, we took a trip down the peninsula as part of the travel package. If you’re interested in helping the Royal Albatross Centre, consider adopting our Franklin Penguin or Persimmon Penguin – $5 from the adoption fees go to support the work of the RAC.

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New Zealand: Monarch Cruises and Penguin Place Combo Offer Penguins, Dolphins, Albatrosses

The Monarch Cruises and Penguin Place combination tour in Dunedin, New Zealand, was one of our favorite experiences. The cruise gave us another view of the albatrosses we had seen at the Royal Albatross Center the evening before. Here we could see them glide just above the water on the ocean. It also brought us close to gulls nesting on buoys and boats, which apparently hadn’t been used in a while. However, the two best sightings were the dusky dolphins that swam along with our boat, and a lone blue penguin floating on the water.

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New Zealand: Royal Tiki Tour with Royal Albatross Centre Delivers All the Birds

Taking the Royal Tiki Tour with the Royal Albatross Centre is one of the best decisions we made for our trip to New Zealand. The Royal Albatross Centre allows visitors to see the only mainland colony of nesting royal albatross in the world while also providing the opportunity to learn about the equally endangered red-billed gulls and see little blue penguins returning home in the evening.

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New Zealand: The Dunedin Railways’ Taieri Gorge Train Trip

We went to the iSite in town to make sure that we hadn’t missed any penguin experiences. In Dunedin, there is the Royal Albatross Center and its nightly return of the little blue penguins, and there’s the Penguin Place with the rarest of penguins: the yellow-eyed penguins. We were told that we had pretty much done everything penguin related, so we needed to find something else to do. We chose the Taieri Gorge train trip with Dunedin Railways.

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New Zealand: Dunedin’s Hungry Hobos Goes Easy on the Wallet without Sacrificing Flavor or Fun

When we arrived in Dunedin, we were hungry. Usually, we have to look at a few restaurants for food options and cost before we can agree on a place.  We didn’t have to even discuss where we were going to eat in Dunedin. On just the sign alone, we were both in agreement: Hungry Hobos was the place we should go. And their toasties were just the right salve for our hunger.

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New Zealand: A Short Survey of New Zealand Destinations – On First Look

At roughly 1600 km long (990 miles), New Zealand’s two islands are about the length of a third of the continental United States. That’s a nice drive in America of about 18 hours depending on which states you go through and the maximum speed limit. I have been told that’s not the case in New Zealand. The roads aren’t highways. They tend to wind and have lower speed limits. The other impediment to drive time is the ferry. It may not run in inclement weather, and of course, it only departs at certain times of the day. The cost is also something to consider. I was told around $200 NZ for a car and two passengers.

With all of this in mind, choosing destinations for New Zealand is going to depend on what we really want to see – not the road or the inside of a car – and what we can get to comfortably. Personally, I don’t necessarily want to spend my time driving at all. On the other hand, my second hand knowledge has said that public transportation doesn’t exist, and the buses that go between towns take even longer than cars.

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