The Night of the Penguins

After dinner, Marge and I headed over to the nearby Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. Looked around the reception area for a few and then went outside with the rest of the visitors to take a seat in a small grandstand to hear some information (in English and Mandarin) and to await the return of the penguins from their daily trip out to sea.

Every night the little blue penguins return to land after traveling about 25 km in search of food. The colony now monitors them and provides them a safer environment, having protection against predators and small nest boxes built into small hills around the grounds.

Sure enough, the first “raft” arrived and what a sight it was – about 38 little blue penguins all close together, all in similar posture, all headed to the same spot. They did look like a raft, all having the same idea: to find their little home on land for the night, maybe tending to their eggs and chicks.

No photography or recording is allowed so as not to frighten the penguins but I’m so glad we went. Last time we met penguins in a different sanctuary but to see so many arriving all together was fantastic!

We gave up the idea last night because it was so cold and rainy and it was a good choice. Tonight was clear and cool but not too windy. Marge found a blanket in the car and an extra jacket to keep her warm, I wore my painting hat and we were good.

Now we’re both warmed up and had some refreshments and it’s about time to hit the sack again. Tomorrow we’re on the road to our next stop.

Wednesday in Oamaru NZ

On the way back from our walking tour of shops with interesting things including Adventure Books, we found a bakery and, needing bread, went on in. We left with a loaf of bread and two speculaas cookies, one each with and without almonds. Gotta love a baker who is more than eager to tell you that the rye bread is 70% rye flour — my kinda bloke!

After trekking back up the hill we sat down and enjoyed some tea and the cookies. Then we were treated by some fabulous blue skies and clouds including a patch of rain which moved across the view before moving back out to sea. Best of all, while it bumped into the land we got to see a beautiful rainbow above the streams of rain.

See downtown Oamaru and more in the slideshow below: