The Royal Albatross Centre, at Taiaroa head is the only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross in the world.
Albatross are the world’s largest seabirds. They normally breed on remote islands and spend about 85% of their lives at sea, well away from land and humans. They travel vast distances from their breeding grounds to feed. With a massive 3 metre wingspan, they fly an estimated 190,000 kilometres a year.
The breeding birds arrive at Taiaroa Head on Otago Peninsula in September. They nest during early November and within the following three weeks an egg is laid, one only per pair, every two years.
The young Royal Albatross will spend the next 3 to 5 years at sea, never touching land during that time. Many then return to this unique headland to start another generation of Royals.
See them fly by with their huge 3-metre wingspan… a sight you’ll always remember.