Oamaru Travel Blog› entry 20 of 25 › view all entries
Oamaru was a really excellent stop-over. Our first impressions were that it was a fairly pleasant but non-descript place, but we hadn't visited the excellent historic quarter at that point!
We primarily stopped here because of the Blue Penguin Colony that is right in the town. The Blue Penguins (the smallest penguins weighing between 1 and 2 kg) were considered a pest by many people dwelling near the waterfront because they busily made their burrows under people's houses and would "talk" to each other much of the night - and they are not quiet!
We had read a review on a website saying what a "staged" and tacky event the penguin landings at dusk were and initially we weren't sure about going along. After 2 hours being sat on a deserted road by a deserted beach and seing absolutely nothing (other than a pair of the Yellow Eyed penguins, but we moved-on straight away because they are easily disturbed and they are very timid creatures), we decided to go to the penguin colony the next night.
There is a "grandstand" that holds up to 300 people that overlooks the rocks where the Little Blue Penguins scramble-up in groups of about 25 to their nests and family. The low glow of the sodium lighting isn't visible to the penguins, but is great for people to see the penguins.
After about an hour, the first started to arrive in the very rough waves that broke right on their walkway - I think we thought we might see a hirrible display of nature! However, the little birds are used to it and gathered in their groups at the top of the walkway, then suddenly ran towards their nests - it was a fantastic sight. It happend about 3 times and although we weren't allowed to take photos, we will surely never forget the specticle.
**Photos to be updated soon!**