Dunedin Little Blue Penguin Viewing Tours
Discover Kororā, the Little Blue Penguin, the world's smallest penguin. At dusk, enjoy close up viewing of penguins returning from a day at sea to the Takiharuru/Pilots Beach nature reserve. Watch from a purpose built observation deck as kororā scurry up the beach to reach their burrows. Be fascinated by their natural behaviour as the penguins interact with each other at their nest sites. Viewing of the Little Blue Penguins is guaranteed and this is an attraction not to be missed when visiting Dunedin, NZ's wildlife capital.
The tour starts from within the royal albatross centre situated at the end of the Otago Peninsula at Taiaroa Head. Hear local stories and understand how the plentiful resources, the shape and position of this headland led to the area's use by different iwi (tribes) over many centuries.
The beach we visit to view the penguins is owned by local Maori, we spend time learning about their dedication to the preservation of the area and the wildlife inhabitants throughout this one and a half hour guided tour. This small beach (Takiharuru) has a population of over 200 breeding pairs of kororā/little penguins. It is now the largest blue penguin colony on the Otago Peninsula.
Weather permitting, we will take a quick, ''behind the scenes'' look at the reserve. Be guided to areas not available to the general public. See where the birds live, understand the habits of the penguins and admire the efforts of the whanau (local families) in their care of the land and the wildlife inhabitants. This is a new opportunity for 2022, added into the tours so guests get a better understanding of the penguins' habitat and the significance of the area to local Maori.
Then just before sunset, we move back onto our purpose built platform to watch and wait for the first birds to return from sea. Penguin arrival time does vary from night to night and we highly recommend our guests come prepared by wearing extra layers of clothing. It often gets cold when the sun goes down and we can't stress this enough, for your enjoyment, wearing extra layers of clothes will go a long way to making this one of your most memorable experiences.
Blue Penguins Pukekura is a joint venture between the Korako Karetai Trust and the Otago Peninsula Trust who agreed to establish an accord to manage the environmental, historical and amenity values of the area known as Takiharuru/Pilots Beach at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head.
Tours run every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings throughout Jan, Feb and March 2022.
- Adult – $45
- Children – $20
- Families – $120 (2 adults, up to 3 children)