Penguin Place : Dunedin, New Zealand

Penguin Place is located in Dunedin, and is not easy to get to, but was one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand.  Dunedin lies on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, and is covered with beaches and wide open spaces. It’s a massive open space of land where the weather can change in a minute.rainbow in dunedin new zealand heading to penguins place picture of sheep and penguin at penguins place in dunedin new zealand cliff walk The drive from Dunedin to the Otago Peninsula, was incredibly scenic, and we were wowed with each twist and turn, until we finally arrived at Penguin Place.drive to otago peninsula to see penguinsWe were able to hike to the top of the cliffs and enjoy the fascinating seascapes of numerous beaches. Its rich, lush, landscape is home to some of the most exotic birds and wildlife on the planet. drive from dunedin to penguins place on the beach in dunedinfamily visit to penguins place in dunedin sheep at penguins place in dunedin

Penguin Place is a private conservation reserve that dedicates itself to help save the world’s most endangered penguin, the Yellow Eyed Penguin. Tourism is the major source of funds for the reserve, which they use for habitat restoration, on-site rehabilitation of the penguins, research programs and predator control.Penguin Place is just one of several locations you can visit to experience nature, in a wild and natural environment. It is home to a small breeding colony of Yellow Eyed Penguins. Sitting close to an endangered species and watching it waddle by, felt like we were starring in our own private nature show.Penguin Place is just one of several locations you can visit to experience nature, in a wild and natural environment. It is home to a small breeding colony of Yellow Eyed Penguins.

The number of visitors are carefully controlled each day, since you are able to get up close and personal with the wildlife, so I’d recommend making a reservation.  Guests are taken on guided walking tours through a unique system of man-made trenches to view the penguins undisturbed at close range. We were able to mingle with the penguins at very close range and could see how they they live and breed. The rangers were in radio contact, so they knew how many penguins were on the reserve and where they were located.viewing penguins in dunedin

We also were able to walk along the beach, and spotted some sea lions basking on the rocks with babies.

the blue penguin is the smallest penguin in the world... and is also endangered...
The blue penguin is the smallest penguin in the world… and is also endangered.

We were able to see a few nesting blue penguins in their burrows too.walking on the beach on the otago peninsula walking on the beach momma and baby sealion on the otago peninsula

Seeing the adult penguins waddle onto the sand from the sea to feed their chicks was a magical experience!  penguin place in Dunedin newzealandpenguins at penguin place otago peninsula family visit to penguins at penguin place otago peninsulaWe observed the penguins in a network of covered trenches on the local beach, to see them close up. observing penguins in new zealand so close to the penguins at penguin place

Walking onto the beach to observe seals resting in their natural habitat was simply incredible. resting seal at Penguins Place

The land is also populated with a vast open sheep pasture, and Dunedin is one of the few places in the world where you can take a photograph of a sheep and a penguin in the same picture!picture of sheep and penguin at penguins place in dunedin new zealand picture of sheep and penguin at penguins place in dunedin new zealand

This is not an adventure for the unfit. There is a lot of walking up and down hills and steep paths, and along the “tunnels” from which you observe the penguins.penguin place penguins at penguin place otago peninsula with kids penguin place penguins at penguin place otago peninsula with kids

Sunset at Penguin Place

I’d recommend you visit during the late afternoon, as the animals are more active and are usually feeding.  We were also able to watch the sky explode with color, and experience the most breathtaking sunset.

sunset dunedin new zealand family at sunset dunedin new zealand sunset dunedin new zealand at Penguins place

Penguin Place is a unique and special place, and one we will never forget.

Have you been to Penguin Place?  Leave your thoughts below.

 

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