Penguins On Parade In New Zealand

If you really want the complete penguin experience this Summer head on down to Oamaru, New Zealand.  For once there  you will soon realize it is all about penguins all the time.

Needless to say the towns souvenir shops are packed with penguin memorabilia. Penguin statues, coasters, T-shirts, postage stamps, wall plates … you name it. The bars sell penguin cocktails and the takeaway outlets purport to offer Penguin burgers.

But the Penguin Post has learned that the center of this penguin mania in Oamaru is a most enchanting colony of little blue penguins right on its front door.

Located on the foreshore, adjacent to the Harbour-Tyne Precinct, the eco-tourism attraction has been sympathetically developed in the past 15 years, not only to enhance the visitor experience but also to improve the care and protection of our flippered friends.

The colony has become a fully fledged international tourist drawcard and, every night, hundreds – if not thousands – of visitors flock to the foreshore to watch the nightly parade of penguins waddling home to their nests after spending all day at sea.

The numbers vary throughout the year, as does the parade timing.

As a general rule of thumb, the penguins will come ashore just before dark.

So through August and September, the nightly spectacle takes place about 6.30pm.

However, through December and January, the longer days push the nightly show back to about the 9.30pm mark.

The visitor center features a range of engaging exhibits and, during the day, you can arrange a behind-the-scenes conservation tour and see the chicks’ nesting boxes.

A typical intersection in downtown Oamaru


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