Suitable for Ages: Families

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Taiaroa Head is a headland, overlooking the mouth of the Otago Harbour. The headland is named after Te Matenga Taiaroa, a 19th century Māori chief. Pukekura, a significant Māori pā was located on the headland.

The Taiaroa Head is home to a colony of Northern Royal Albatrosses. It is the only mainland breeding colony for any albatross species found in the southern hemisphere. The colony is in a nature reserve managed by the NZ Department of Conservation.

Pilots Beach, a small beach located just to the south of the head, has many forms of marine life. Including the largest colony of little blue penguins on the Otago Peninsula and the threatened yellow-eyed penguin. The rare Hooker sea lion and the New Zealand fur seal can also often be seen here.

There are several viewing locations provided by the Department of Conservation along the coastline.

Other features include a lighthouse, built in 1864 and ruins of former coastal defences, notably a restored Armstrong disappearing gun emplacement built in 1886. The lighthouse is listed with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Register number: 2220.

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Map showing Taiaroa Head