New Zealand has three species of penguin. You cannot help but be charmed by these amazing birds that have a character all of their own.
On the land penguins have an ungainly waddle, marching upright like self-important little people. But in the water they take on a new grace, diving and swooping with acrobatic agility.
Of New Zealand’s species, the korora, or little blue penguin, is the world’s smallest penguin. You’ll find these little birds, usually when they come ashore at night, in the Marlborough Sounds, Akaroa Harbour, Oamaru, Dunedin and Stewart Island.
The rare hoiho, or yellow-eyed penguin, is distinguished by its vivid yellow eye band. You’ll find them on the Otago Peninsula, just south of Dunedin and round the Catlinsregion. Dunedin is where you can find some of the best wildlife tours, giving you an incredible close up view of the penguins, sea lions and fur seals in their natural habitat.
And last, but not least, there’s the Fiordland Crested Penguin (Tawaki). One of the world’s rarest, this beautiful bird lives in the South Island and is found in rainforested areas of Haast, Lake Moeraki, Stewart Island and Fiordland.