22 Feb 2016

Over The Mtn's & Thru The Woods - NZL by valeriepeltier


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Arriving in Oamaru, we were booked in at the empire backpackers just up the road from the bus stop. Once we were settled in and I was finally able to take my shower, we got some groceries and made dinner, before venturing out to try our luck with the Blue Penguin colony. We had been told that the best time to view them is just after 9pm, so just before at about 8:30 we walked down to the wharf (pier). Along the way we passed through the Victorian buildings lining Harbour street. The sun was past the horizon now and it was beginning to get dark. We quickly walked over to the spots that the owners of the hostel told us about along waterfront road.
When we found the spot there were already a group of people waiting anxiously for the Penguins to appear. We both wandered around the area in our own directions looking around, and I ended up talking to a gentleman from the area, who explained the whole process and where the best spots to stand. Within a half hour or so one penguin emerged, and shortly after there were a few others that were nesting under the sheds in the surrounding area. I attempted to take a few photos but the darkness had crept in by then, making it almost impossible to get a good photo.
We stuck around for a little while watching them and listening to their cries when people got I between them and the water. Lauren and I sat on a grassy patch for about an hour and during that time two of the Penguins that were nesting under one of the sheds and crossed the path right in front of me coming within 3 feet of where I was sitting.
They are adorable little creatures, and I was super excited that I was finally able to see them in the wild and not behind a sheet of glass.