Elm Wildlife Tours Dunedin: See Penguins, Fur Seals and Sea Lions Closeup (Review)

I’m a keen amateur photographer and love to see wildlife in it’s native environment so doing an Elm Wildlife Tour of the Otago Peninsula near Dunedin was one of the highlights of my recent whirlwind week exploring New Zealand South Island via Dunedin.

Halo Effect
Otago Peninsula, New Zealand photo credit: Neerav Bhatt

The tour guides including Elm Wildlife Tours co-owner Brian Templeton and his staff clearly knew all about the landscape and wildlife we saw during the tour as well as keeping the wildlife #1 priority by warning members of the group to stay far enough from the animals so they wouldn’t be disturbed.

Yawning Hooker's Sea Lion
Yawning Hooker’s Sea Lion photo credit: Neerav Bhatt


Luckily I was using a media loan Canon EOS 7D digital SLR that day with a huge 400m lens zoom lens so I could take closeup photos from many metres away (note for the photo below: when photos are taken with a lens that has a really big zoom it makes all the parts of the photo look much closer to each other than they are)

Neerav Bhatt - Photographing Sea Lions
Neerav Bhatt – Photographing Sea Lions photo credit: Clive Copeman

My goal for this trip to NZ was to take a really great photo of a Penguin which I managed to do lying down on the ground so that I could photograph the penguin from it’s own height with the waving grass in front and behind the penguin blurring nicely.

Moulting Juvenile Yellow Eyed Penguin
Moulting Juvenile “Yellow Eyed Penguin” photo credit: Neerav Bhatt

I also managed to capture a great bonus sequence of photos of a yawning sea lion thanks to the Canon EOS 7D’s phenomenally fast machine gun like ability to take 8 high resolution photos/second.

For me the penguins and sea lions were the stars of the show but you will also get the chance to see other wildlife including New Zealand Fur Seals.

New Zealand Fur Seal and Pup
New Zealand Fur Seal and Pup photo credit: Neerav Bhatt

DISCLAIMER: I was not paid for the NZ trip and have sole control over what I write and say about it. All expenses for the trip were covered by Tourism New Zealand and regional subsidiaries. Camera gear was loaned by Canon (except for my own personally owned Canon S90 camera). Some clothing was sponsored by Goretex


5 responses to “Elm Wildlife Tours Dunedin: See Penguins, Fur Seals and Sea Lions Closeup (Review)”

  1. David Hussey

    Very good photos of wildlife in NZ. I am now more eager to have a tour with our club members.

  2. Brook Mitchell

    Hi – nice photos Neerav. It’s certainly a great part of the world!

  3. jsmith01

    Good photos you’ve got there sir..i don’t think that you are a amateur photographer

  4. Nice Photography of new Zealand Wild Life

  5. Good photos you’ve got there sir..i don’t think you are a amateur photographer.

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