Blue Penguin Colony
Friendly Bay Playground
Steampunk for kiddies: this unusual playground includes swings suspended from a giant penny farthing, a slippery pole accessed from an...
Rent a mountain bike (from $45 per day), or join guided mountain-biking trips, including the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail (seven days...
Scott's Brewing Co.
Drop into this old waterfront warehouse to sample the output of Oamaru's premier craft brewers. Slouch against the counter for a tasting...
Known to locals as the steampunk cafe, this rusty iron-clad eatery by the water serves crowdpleasers such as fish and chips, corn...
2 Waterfront Rd · interesting places nearby
Blue Penguin Colony information
Every evening the little tykes from the Oamaru little-penguin colony surf in and wade ashore, heading to their nests in an old stone quarry near the waterfront. Stands are set up on either side of the waddle route. General admission (adult/child $28/14) will give you a good view of the action but the premium stand ($40/20), accessed by a boardwalk through the nesting area, will get you closer.
You’ll see the most penguins (up to 250) in November and December. From March to August there may be only 10 to 50 birds. They arrive in clumps called rafts just before dark (around 5.30pm in midwinter and 9.30pm midsummer), and it takes them about an hour to all come ashore; nightly viewing times are posted at the i-SITE. Use of cameras is prohibited and you're advised to dress warmly.
To understand the centre’s conservation work and its success in increasing the penguin population, take the daytime, behind-the-scenes tour (adult/child self-guided $10/5 or guided $16/8); packages that combine night viewing and the daytime tour are available.
Do not under any circumstances wander around the rocks beside the sea here at night looking for penguins. It’s damaging to their environment and spoils studies into the human effects on the birds.