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Oamaru or Otago Peninsula for Penguins?

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Northern California
posts: 48
Oamaru or Otago Peninsula for Penguins?

As we get closer to our trip, I can see that we can't do it all. We do wish to see some of the penguin colonies on the South Island. Would this be best in Oamaru or the further drive to the Otago Peninsula? We will be there in late November and early December. It appears our timing is not the best for the Royal Albatross Colony. Any advice would be appreciated.

posts: 8
1. Re: Oamaru or Otago Peninsula for Penguins?

Hi NorcalPete: What part of Norcal are you from? I went to school in Davis. We've been to NZ several times now and can recommed the Oamaru Penguin site as worthwhile (you will see blue penguins there). It is not very costly and i"m pretty sure you will see penguins. Also, be careful driving back to your hotel afterwards because the llittle beggars seem to land all along that streatch of beach and some get squished on the road. If you pull over and wall around the dunes at the top of the beaches you can often hear their eeary ghostlike howls.

Mr. Frogdog

New Zealand
posts: 8,366
reviews: 8
2. Re: Oamaru or Otago Peninsula for Penguins?

Pete, you will see only Blue penguins in Oamaru (which are fine, just more common) but the bigger and extremely rare yellow eyed penguin are on the Otago Peninsula. IMO Otago would be my choice especially if you're heading through Oamaru as well- two birds with one stone! (no pun intended :)

New Zealand
posts: 8,366
reviews: 8
3. Re: Oamaru or Otago Peninsula for Penguins?

In fact I think I have that wrong, there are YEP around Oamaru but I have yet to see them on 2 trips there.

Bainbridge Island...
posts: 240
reviews: 29
4. Re: Oamaru or Otago Peninsula for Penguins?

NorcalPete - Early last Dec we saw the little blue-eyed penguins on the Otago Peninsula and two Royal Albatross in flight at the colony. We also could view nesting Albatross (on the tour). So don't rule it out as a bad time of year!

By chance, we also saw a few yellow-eyed penguins near Moreaki, after we wandered down a road just for the heck of it (heading to a lighthouse). There was a small preserve there with a viewing box and it was quite an unexpected treat.

It's true you can't do it all, but in our opinion the Otago Peninsula is very worthwhile and we enjoyed our 2 nights there, in a B&B just a few miles from the tip where the Albatross and penguins are.

5. Re: Oamaru or Otago Peninsula for Penguins?

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