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Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony

Features Animals
Oamaru, New Zealand
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About Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony
The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony provides visitors with an opportunity to see little penguins in their natural environment. In the evening, visitors are captivated by watching the nightly arrival of penguins from their days fishing at sea. The Colony is a tourism operation with a strong research and conservation focus. At the core of the operation is a long-term conservation programme that ensures the penguins are protected and that the population achieves long-term stability. An important and unique part of that conservation programme is the Colony's Research Scientist who is now one of New Zealand’s leading little penguin experts. PLEASE NOTE: We have a strict arrangement for bookings. To ensure we can manage the viewing safely, if you wish to come to the colony you must pre-book at least 24 hours in advance. As we do not know the potential number of visitors per night in the coming months, we will not open if we do not have customers, so you must pre-book. Thank you.
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Hours Today: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony
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Hurd wrote a review 10 Jan
Dunedin, New Zealand4 contributions
Wrapped up nice and warm and went to see the penguins. Booked a premium seat as they were discounted and it was well worth the extra few dollars. Was amazing to see them all waddle ashore and then start screaming matches with each other when they got to their nesting boxes. I highly recommend this if you're in Oamaru for a night
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Date of experience: January 2022
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Lathkill wrote a review 1 Jan
Auckland Central, New Zealand1070 contributions164 helpful votes
Thoroughly recommend booking in advance a Premium ticket for the night you want. For a few more bucks you get a far superior view & close up experience.
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Date of experience: December 2021
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Evy Coke wrote a review Dec 2021
Wellington, New Zealand70 contributions11 helpful votes
I’ve seen penguins coming to shore in Dunedin & Port Philip but it was not as exciting as this. It started with the anticipation of spotting a raft of penguins at sea and continued well after these plucky little sailors made landfall. Having arrived, some took time to preen their feathers; whereas others scrabbled up the bank immediately to rush to their nesting boxes, even pushing their compatriots out of the way to get through the tunnel. Not to mention the rebel group who broke away to travel via the other stand, or the penguins forced to queue as others took a rest in the tunnel. My heart was in my mouth as I watched 1 penguin be washed back to sea and struggle to finally got onto land. The guest star was a lone yellow-eyed penguin. He slowly made his way into a group of Little Blues and looked around in a manner reminiscent of Sid Barrett during his unannounced visit to a Pink Floyd recording session. And the entertainment continued even as we made our way back along the boardwalk and saw various dramas playing out at the nesting boxes. Our guide was wonderful - very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We were definitely pleased we opted for premium seating as we got a great view of all the action, including seals - up close but still at a safe distance. We rate this attraction very highly - as good as a night at any movie. Be sure to take warm clothes though - even if the day is warm, it can turn very cold when you’re quite high up and so close to the sea!
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Date of experience: December 2021
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Fiona M wrote a review Nov 2021
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand156 contributions69 helpful votes
We did the premium tour as offered a discount and it was a great experience. We watched the penguins come ashore in their ‘rafts’ (groups) and hustle off to their nesting boxes. Had a really good view of them coming ashore and enjoyed the informative commentary. Also saw lots of seals up close. The penguins are super cute - we loved it and so would kids.
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Date of experience: November 2021
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Comtois2570 wrote a review Nov 2021
Besancon, France48 contributions20 helpful votes
Awesome experience with a friendly staff. And a Very good guide. I advise you to pay 15$ extra to be a premium visitor and to be closely watching all penguins. Help this place to keep going and protect penguins. Thanks for that!
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Date of experience: November 2021
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