MONARCH WILDLIFE CRUISES & TOURS

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The clas­sic ex-fish­ing boat Monarch has been tak­ing guests on won­der­ful wildlife cruises for 30 years. You’ll see the mas­sive, ma­jes­tic north­ern royal al­ba­trosses at Ta­iaroa Head - the only al­ba­trosses nest­ing on a main­land any­where in the world. At sea you spot other kinds of al­ba­tross plus other seabirds like gi­ant pe­trels, sooty shear­wa­ters and some­times even tiny hec­tor’s dol­phins or play­ful dusky dol­phins. NZ fur-seal pups play on the rocks un­der Ta­iaroa Head light­house and huge NZ sealion bulls sleep on sandy beaches. Three dif­fer­ent cor­morants nest here, and the har­bour shal­lows feed royal spoon­bills and god­wits which mi­grate from the Arc­tic. Monarch skip­pers give ex­cel­lent com­men­tary, and guests are loaned big wa­ter­proof coats, binoc­u­lars, fact sheets in ten lan­guages - and great ser­vice from the crew. You can choose a short wildlife cruise or longer tours com­bin­ing with other penin­sula at­trac­tions. It’s well worth mak­ing a big day out: Otago Penin­sula and the har­bour are beau­ti­ful, the coast­line is spec­tac­u­lar and the south­ern ocean wildlife is unique.

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