Timaru Penguins

So you want to watch Timarus Little Blue Penguins. KORORA. Please give them space 🙂

The Penguins live around the Timaru Port and rock areas. At 40cm they are the smallest penguins in the world.

Marine Parade is 1st left at the bottom of the Loop road and is lit by the Port security lights, travel along the road past the skating rink and camper van park and look for a “penguin crossing” road sign.

It’s a good place to watch. Just remember it is beside the road to the end of the western extension (called the North Mole) so be aware of traffic movement after dark and other penguin watchers.

Now, we have a sign board beside the footpath telling you all about the Penguins. They nest amongst the rocks and come ashore after sunset, so dress warmly and wait quietly on the footpath.

Please do not try to get close to the Penguins or stop them coming ashore.

If you arrive after dark and some have already arrived, you may hear them before you see them as they make a lot of noise. They can be little chatterboxes. Walk, look and talk quietly.

NOTE: Penguins are upset by “Flash” photography.

The little Blue Penguins need your help. Their numbers are declining. You can help by

*Keeping your dog at home during chick raising season.

*Keeping your dog under effective control at all times.

*Staying of the rocks where penguins nest.

*Staying on the footpath, keeping clear of penguins, allowing them to return home for the night.

*Give them space on the sand to land on the beach and walk up to their nests.




January to Mid July

Feeding & Resting

They hang around Caroline Bay nightly, but during the day can swim up to 25km from the coast.

Mid July to Mid August

Setting up home / nest

The male arrives early to get the nest burrow ready and attract his mate

August to Mid December

Bringing up the kids

Two eggs are laid. They take 5 weeks to hatch.Both parents take turns to sit on the eggs and then feed the babies. Adults swap duties after sunset.

December to Mid March

Makeover time

Adults eat lots to gain weight before moulting. (Losing their feathers). They cannot go to sea without their waterproof feathers. So they stay on land and don’t feed and look very scruffy. They are vulnerable at this stage.

We expect you to enjoy your time with the Penguins and have lots of fun watching them.

Timaru Penguin Group

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  9 comments for “Timaru Penguins

  1. Beth King
    January 10, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Good Evening Peter, I have not heard from you, the possibility of my giving you an incorrect email address crossed my mind.
    I am indeed most grateful of your visit on Friday. I would do it again if I had to but use words instead of actions. The more we can learn about these precious little sea birds the better.
    I look forward to hearing from you and assisting in the future whenever I am able.
    Beth King

    • January 29, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Oh. Hi Beth. I will recheck your email entry. Apologies, just thought you got top in letterbox and been popping down whatever night suits you. I will be down Friday night if you want to catch up. Cheers Peter

  2. Elva
    June 15, 2015 at 12:43 am

    Good afternoon, we are planning to take the kids to visit the timaru penguins in second week of July, do you know what the Penguins will come on shore during July? And usually what are the best time to visit so we have higher chance of seeing the cute penguins. Thanks heaps elva

    • August 8, 2015 at 9:05 am

      Hi. Apologies for the delay in replying. Penguins are due this month August to build nest and bring mate. As yet I am unaware of any here yet. Cheers Peter

  3. Justine Lee
    November 9, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Hi, I going to Timaru on 2nd week of December, do you know Penguins will come at before noon?
    When is best to see them?
    thank you.

    • November 17, 2015 at 8:50 am

      Hi. Not out in daytime. After dark best time. 9.30pm onwards.decenber you prob looking 10.15pm onwards. Cheers Peter

  4. Davina
    January 10, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Hi Peter. I am visiting Timaru until Jan 15 and just heard about the Penguins. My young daughters & I would love to see them. What is the best time to go down to see them (I understand it’s after sunset but was wondering if there was a bit narrower time frame as my daughters are quite young.) Cheers

    • January 24, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Hi Davina. My apologies for not getting back earlier. Hopefully you did get down and see some. Unfortunately it is always on dark so time for young ones not soo easy.Cheers Peter

  5. Krida
    February 17, 2018 at 5:12 am

    Hi, we are planning to take the kids to visit the Timaru penguins in third week of April, generally, would the Penguins come on shore in late April? And usually what are the best time to visit so we have higher chance of seeing the cute penguins. Thanks alot. Krida

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