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Dunedin Wildlife Care Code

Dunedin is home to rare and special wildlife. Help us protect our penguins, sea lions and birds for future generations.

Wildlife icons

Wildlife Distance

Wildlife Care: Help protect Dunedin’s rare wildlife. Do not disturb, touch, feed or go too close to penguins, sea lions and seals. Keep dogs away as they can harm wildlife and prevent them from breeding.

Sea lions and other seals: New Zealand sea lions are rare and endangered, please view from a safe distance of at least 20m and do not disturb them. If you must pass them on the beach, keep as much distance as possible and do not loiter. They can move quickly, so back off if they react and do not block their path to water. They can bite!

Penguins: Yellow-eyed penguins are endangered and rare. Stay at least 50m away from yellow-eyed penguins as they are shy and easily stressed. Ensure penguins can’t see you. Don’t block penguins’ entry and exit from the water and never approach a nest. No flash photography or dogs.

Red-billed gulls. Do not feed or chase the seagulls as they are endangered and human food can kill them.

Drones: Use of drones is prohibited in many sensitive areas and can require a permit elsewhere. The important wildlife site of Taiaroa Head/Pukekura has a permanent restricted airspace.

Any DOC reserve requires a permit, and it is an offence to fly drones within 150m of marine mammals (or 300m vertically above). For more information check the Dunedin City Council or DOC website.

Freedom Camping: There are designated freedom camping sites and holiday parks in Dunedin, please use them as

$200 fines will apply for illegal camping.

Public amenities: Please keep Dunedin beautiful and clean by using public toilets and rubbish bins where provided or taking your refuse with you. Smoking and fires are not advisable and often banned under seasonal restrictions - check seasonal restrictions

Walking Tracks: Stay on the marked track as many cross private land. Keep yourself safe, within barriers and avoid damage to plants and breeding wildlife. Leave sheep alone.

Please report any sick or injured wildlife by calling: 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)

Poaching is illegal, please report marine poaching by calling: 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224)

Thank you for helping us to look after our precious wildlife.

Leave nothing but footprints…..take nothing but memories.

More Information

For more information on wildlife tours, freedom camping, public toilets or walking tracks please visit or contact:

Dunedin iSITE
50 The Octagon
03 474 3300

For local drone use guidelines and permits, go to and/or

The Dunedin Care Code was developed in recognition of the Tiaki Promise

Volunteer or Donate to Dunedin Wildlife and Conservations Charities

How you can help: Many wildlife charities including the Wildlife Hospital do great work in Dunedin to protect the unique and endangered local wildlife and habitats. You can aid them in many ways including with donations, volunteering and signing petitions to protect the environment.

Find out more at