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Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony

Features Animals
Oamaru, New Zealand
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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Popular mentions
Elena C wrote a review 22 Jun
1 contribution
Amazing experience seeing the penguins, totally recommend. BUT. Talking about the company itself - very poor service. Guide didn’t tell us anything. Literally nothing about the penguins or the colony and their work in general or what exactly they do for penguins. 55$ just to see the penguins in their natural habitad. Not any ZOO have the price any close to this. And the zoos take care about many species, feeding, breeding and keeping the population as well. I’ve been to so many animal places around the country and never have I ever complained about any of them. And I do feel uncomfortable complaining now, because I did enjoy the penguins, I’m just disappointed about the company providing this experience.
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Date of experience: June 2021
Kylie M wrote a review May 2021
Otorohanga, Waikato, New Zealand57 contributions13 helpful votes
Incredible experience for us and the kids! We only paid for general seating and I’m so pleased we did - it’s definitely the best place to see the penguins come into the shore and watching the raft from out at sea is amazing. We were also lucky enough to have half a dozen penguins waddle under the fence and right to our grandstand seating to find their nesting box out the other side so they were 1-2 metres from us! We loved the suspense of waiting for the penguins, and the whole evening experience was the perfect length for the boys (aged 6yrs, 5yrs and 3yrs).
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Date of experience: May 2021
Grant N wrote a review Apr 2021
Hastings, New Zealand1225 contributions186 helpful votes
Have been to similar event in Australia but think this may be better - Australia didn't have seals and pups included in the whole experience. The whole thing was well explained and the penguins seemed to be happy to do their thing despite the people around. A few had a panic attack when a shag on one of the rocks decided to flap its wings - but they got over it. The seals didn't seem to bother them. Highlight of the night was when we were walking back afterwards - a penguin stepped off a rock onto the path right next to my foot and toddled off allowing me to follow close behind. When it reached home it just stepped back off the path, looked around (I'd like to think it was saying Bye) and disappeared into the brush. We were in the premium seating and I think it would be well worth doing that. The seal pups were right next to that seating and were within a few feet of us - a couple rushed off to meet their mums when they arrived on shore so we had a grandstand view of that too. Highly recommend - we'd do it again
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Date of experience: April 2021
Emma wrote a review Apr 2021
2 contributions
Such a cool experience, would go back again for sure. Recommend paying for Premium seating, arrive early and wrap up warm. Binoculars can come in handy too.
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Date of experience: January 2021
CollRr wrote a review Mar 2021
Auckland, New Zealand312 contributions74 helpful votes
For a close up view of the little blue penguins, do visit the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. Be aware it is fair distance to walk to the colony. We walked there and caught a taxi back to town. It is best to get premium tickets to see the penguins as they then come up within a metre or two of you. No photos are allowed. Our evening was highlighted by a large NZ seal, clambering up the rocks and creating some theatre - although NZ seals do not eat penguins. The penguins nest just under the cliffs in the Historic Harbour foreshore. The arrival of the penguins start at sunset and includes commentary by a trained guide.
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Date of experience: January 2021
1 Helpful vote