Northern Royal albatross pair showing courting display.
A toroa in flight is an unforgettable spectacle. The toroa or royal albatross is a graceful giant with a wing span of over three metres. Renowned ocean wanderers, they travel vast distances from their breeding grounds to feed – as much as 190,000 kilometres a year. They breed mainly on remote islands and spend at least 85 percent of their lives at sea, landing on water to feed or sleep. Along with the wandering albatross, royal albatross are the largest seabirds in the world.
View the Royal albatross/toroa factsheet (PDF, 162K).
Learn where royal albatross/toroa breed, their lifespan and feeding habits, and find out other interesting facts such as the toroa's great spiritual significance to many iwi.
Their slow reproduction rates, changes in habitat and climate and some fishing practices make the royal albatross/toroa vulnerable.
Learn about DOC's work to protect royal albatross/toroa.
Find out some of the ways that you can help protect the royal albatross/toroa.
Located on the windswept end of the Otago Peninsula, Taiaroa Head or Pukekura is world renown as the only mainland colony of albatross in the Southern Hemisphere.
Watch a video about Taiaroa Head, where you'll find the one of world's largest seabirds, the Northern royal albatross.
Albatrosses are the world's largest seabirds. Find out about the different species and the research and action underway to tackle the threats facing these ocean wanderers.
New Zealand Birds Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand birds
DOC's 24 hour emergency hotline:
0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)
Call to report sick or injured wildlife, and whale or dolphin strandings.