One of the must-see natural attractions when visiting New Zealand are the Oamaru penguins. Not many people who travel to New Zealand are aware that there are actually blue penguins and yellow-eyed penguins in Oamaru.
The little blue penguins of Oamaru are the world’s smallest penguins and they are less than a foot high. This Oamaru penguin colony is quite large (between 50 and 200 birds depending on the time of year) and is actually within walking distance from the town centre. The birds nest around the harbour area on the cliff side. The best time to view them is during the night when they return to their nests on the shores.
The Yellow eyed penguins are one of the world’s rarest penguins. These rare birds leave their nests in the morning to feed and will only return ashore in the late afternoon. This penguin colony is a few minutes drive away from Oamaru’s tourist information center.
If you plan to spend your holidays in New Zealand driving along the East Coast, do sleep over in Oamaru and not in Timaru where there are only motels and no attractions.
Oamaru penguins are truly amazing animals, and watching them in their wild habitat during your New Zealand vacation is the ultimate wildlife experience.