Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony

Penguins in Otago
Price range:


See the world’s smallest penguins, in their natural environment.

Our Blue Penguins nest close to town under the cliff along the historic harbour foreshore. The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony is just beyond the Victorian Heritage Precinct and you are within walking distance of the town centre, close to shops, restaurants and accommodation.

During the day penguins are not active on land; they are either out at sea fishing or hiding away in their nesting burrows. Our day tours take you behind the scenes, into the penguins breeding area, where you may see the penguins up close in their nesting burrows. Our day time viewing facility, the ‘blue wing’, makes this eaiser as you look down into the top of 10 nesting boxes through viewing tunnels. Our penguin numbers vary from day to day, so just ask one of our friendly staff how many they can guarantee you will see.

Evening viewing is when you will get to see the penguins arrive home from their days fishing, in groups that we call ‘rafts’; they will walk up the stony ramp in front of you and cross into the breeding colony back to their nesting burrows.

We have tours running from 10am to late, so stop by and visit Oamaru’s most unique residents.


#1 - Evening Viewing

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. You are seated in a grandstand that seats 350 people, bookings are advised in the summer months.

Please Note: Photography or Filming is not permitted during evening viewing

During the summer months Evening Viewing is as late as 9:00 pm while during the winter our birds are arriving home as early as 5:30 pm. Arrival numbers vary from up over 200 in Summer down to under 30 in Winter.

Running time : 1-2 hours

Evenings in Oamaru can be cool so warm clothing is advised.



If a cancellation is made within 24 hours of arrival day, loss of 100% of the total booking price.