The Ultimate Penguin-spotting Guide to New Zealand

Teeming with exotic animal species and wonderful opportunities for wildlife sightseeing across the map, New Zealand is a true save haven for nature enthusiasts and mindful travellers of the world. Among the country’s rich and diverse wildlife scene, the “impeccably dressed” penguins can be found in abundance, frolicking on the sun-laden beaches and swimming the crystal-clear waters beyond. However, New Zealand is a vast country, so if you want to reach all of the following destinations with ease, it’s best you find a free transfer car or campervan to ensure an adventure to remember.

The Marlborough Sounds

Located in at the north end of the South Island, Marlborough Sounds is comprised of an extensive network of sea-drowned valleys too beautiful not to be visited at least once in a lifetime. But what this magnificent region has to offer is not solely confined to riveting vistas, as it’s also the home of little blue penguins, as well as dolphins, seals, and even whales. Taking a boat cruise through the natural maze is the best way to experience it all.


The city of Dunedin is not only the home of a thriving community of student’s, nomads, and global backpackers, but it is also the place you want to visit on your penguin sightseeing tour around the country. Located in the southeast end of the South Island, the town offers numerous wildlife exploration tours where you are bound to see yellow-eyed penguins enjoying a warm afternoon.

The Banks Peninsula

image3 (1)Located just outside of Christchurch in the Southern Island, the Banks Peninsula is home to the largest colony of little blue penguins. The region of Canterbury is also the only place you can find the white-flippered penguins as well, so this destination is a double must! The Banks Peninsula has plenty of sightseeing spots from which you will be to admire the little blue penguins in their natural habitat.

Munro Beach

Munro Beach is situated some 30 kilometres from Haast in the South Island, and is by far the best place to find the world’s second rarest penguin species, the Fiordland-crested penguin also known as Tawaki. Although the chances of actually spotting one are not that great, the sheer beauty of the region and the possibility of witnessing this remarkable species makes the trip worthwhile.


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Popularly named “Penguintown”, Oamaru is the largest town in the North Otago region, and is a great place to see blue and yellow-eyed penguins nestling along the coastline just before sunset. Be sure to keep your distance though, so as not to disturb their peace.


The Catlins

Travelling further south and we find ourselves at the shores of the Catlins Coast, home to the yellow-eyed penguin as well as numerous other marine species. The best spot to see the beautiful creatures in their natural habitat is at Curio Bay at dawn or dusk when the parents are feeding their younglings. No matter how inspiring the scenery might feel, be sure to adhere to the distance rules pointed out at Curio Bay in order to avoid disturbing the penguins.

Stewart Island

Rakiura, or Stewart Island, is the third-largest island in New Zealand, located 30 kilometres south of the South Island. It’s also home to numerous exotic bird species and is the place you should absolutely visit on your exploration tour in hopes of seeing the yellow-eyed penguins as well as the little blue penguins on its shores. If you want to improve your chances of spotting these beautiful creatures, head over to Oban located in Halfmoon Bay on the eastern fringe of the island.


New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to revel in the beauty of thousands of exotic animal species and penguins are just the cherry on the cake. In order to reach every destination safely and quickly, you can get a free transfer car that will help you experience an adventure of a lifetime.






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