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Yellow-Eyed Penguin Colony

Dunedin & Otago

Larger and much rarer than their little blue cousins, yellow-eyed penguins waddle ashore at Bushy Beach in the late afternoon from a day of fishing. In order to protect these endangered birds, the beach is closed to people from 3pm onwards, but there are hides set up on the cliffs (you'll need binoculars for a decent view). The best time to see them is two hours before sunset.

Only a handful come ashore and in spring you'll see only half as, in a demonstration of penguin equal opportunity, parents take turns to stay with the nest while the other does a day of fishing. Despite their Māori name, hoiho, meaning 'noisy shouter', they’re extremely shy critters; if they see or hear you they’ll head back into the water and the chicks will go hungry.

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