Alps to Ocean Cycle
Spectacular cycling from Mt Cook towards the vibrant coastal town of Oamaru
Door-to-door, 2½-hour tour taking in the blue and yellow-eyed colonies. Price includes admission to the blue penguin colony. Pick up...
Short ($20) and long ($30) tours of Oamaru highlights, and tours of Janet Frame literary sites. Tours range from 45 minutes to three...
Professional actors bring to life the ‘Secrets of the Old Town’ in 50-minute walking tours leaving nightly at 7pm from the i-SITE.
In an old limestone quarry near the waterfront, you can see the little tykes from Oamaru’s blue-penguin colony surfing in and wading ashore. The penguins arrive just before dark (around 5.30pm in midwinter and 9.30pm midsummer), and it takes them about an hour to all come ashore. You’ll see the most penguins (up to 150) in November and December. From March to August there may be only 30 to 50 birds. Nightly viewing times are posted at the i-SITE . Use of camera flashes is prohibited, and dress warmly.
To understand the centre’s conservation work, take the 30-minute, daytime, behind-the-scenes tour (self-guided adult/child/family $12/5/30 or guided $18/8/50). Forward bookings can be made on www.penguins.co.nz, and packages combining night viewing and the behind-the-scenes tour are also available. Drop some coins in the centre's donation box. Their conservation efforts have helped increase the bird population dramatically.
Do not under any circumstances wander around the rocks beside the sea here at night looking for penguins. It’s damaging to their environment as well as stuffing up studies on the effect of humans on the little birds.