Oamaru is a small fishing town on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s south island. It’s very similar to many of the small fishing towns that you would find on any coast of the Scottish mainland, or islands. However, Oamaru has one thing that sets it apart from all other fishing towns – a colony of wild, little blue penguins.
The Oamaru blue penguins are a fascinating bunch of little birds. They are wild penguins that have the rare luxury of being able to fish in the waters around Oamaru during the day, and then return to a man made, and protected colony at the end of their day.
We were privileged enough to be able to watch the colony return home, one raft at a time (A raft is the collective term for penguins, as we both discovered) after they had been away fishing for the day. It was a truly amazing sight seeing these little birds land themselves on the shore with each crash of a wave, work their way up a rocky beach, and then make their way back to their own, individual nesting boxes within the colony. It was like watching a David Attenborough documentary. A surreal experience!
Sadly, due to rules designed to protect them from human interference, we couldn’t take any photographs of the birds. However, please be assured it was a fantastic experience to have had. Sheena hasn’t stopped smiling about them yet.