The blue penguin colony
Blue penguins come onto land mainly to breed and moult, but will also spend time ashore during non-breeding months. They are only active on land at night. They leave from the colony early in the morning before sun-rise, and return to the colony after dark. During the day, if the penguins decide not to go to sea, they will stay hidden inside their nests. The penguins will normally make their nests by digging a burrow into soil or sand or finding a crevice amongst the rocks. At the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony we have provided artificial nesting boxes for the penguins to use, as they are less prone to collapsing or flooding than natural nests.
Duration time :
Self guided daytime tours take 10-25 minutes depending on how much time you have to spend.
Guided tour takes 30-45 minutes.
Evening viewing takes 60-90 minutes.
Departure Location : 5 Minutes from the centre of Oamaru.
Departure Time :
October-March ( 10am until close of evening viewing which depends on when the sun sets and when the penguins come ashore. This is between 8.30pm - 11.30pm)
April -September (10.00am until close of evening viewing which depends on when the sun sets and when the penguins come ashore. This is between 7.00pm - 8.30pm.)
except Christmas Day, ANZAC day (25th April) and Easter Friday.Evening viewing is open every night. Departure dates : All the year (
Category : Wildwire.
Self Guided day tour
Take a casual stroll around part of the colony, seeing the natural habitat of the penguins.Information boards are placed around giving an insight into the life cycle of the penguins,and the monitoring programs we have here. If there are penguins resident in our daytime viewing facility, the 'Blue Wing', visitors will see penguins in their nest boxes. However penguins come and go naturally so we cannot guarantee birds will be seen during the day. Penguin walks run throughout the day starting at 10am, ending approximately 60 minutes before dusk.
Guided day tour
This is a 20 minute commentary, followed by an extended guided tour of the breeding colony. The longer track, further insight into the establishment of the colony, the anatomy of the penguins, and direct interaction with our staff makes this a more comprehensive tour. Following the tour, you are then allowed to walk the self-guided track as well.
Evening Viewing tour
You have two options, the general entry :You are seated in an outdoor viewing grandstand where you listen to a commentary about our blue penguins. The birds return home from their days fishing, make their way onto the beach, up a stony ramp, and cross into the Colony. or the Premium tour : you are a lot closer to the penguins sitting only 2-3 metres from where they arrive and cross into the colony. You have individual seating which makes the experience more comfortable. You will also get to listen to an informative commentary that is given by one of our staff members. When you make your way out to the grandstand you will enter into the breeding colony on a boardwalk and walk amongst their nesting burrows.
Dress warmly no matter what time of year it is.
A Guide (depends of the tour).