Little blue penguins near Wellington

Aug 30th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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Little blue penguins near Wellington

One of the highlights of my last NZ trip was a tour from Dunedin to the beach to watch the yellow eyed penguins come ashore. I am reading that the little blue penguins are found around the NI's south shore and Wellington (reading the stories from July of how many were killed crossing the roads--so sad). C

an someone advise places with highest likelihood of seeing in late January? I have seen references to some islands, harbors, etc. but am unsure of where are odd/chance sitings and where are good destinations to plan an outing to wait for them.
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Aug 30th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Hi Kay -

You'll find some specific viewing areas mentioned here, just scroll down to "Where to Spot Penguins":

http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/docume...fact-sheet.pdf
Melnq8 is online now  
Aug 30th, 2009, 05:32 PM
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Thanks. I am starting to recognize some of those names from my research.
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Aug 30th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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You piqued my interest, so I did some searching myself...Kapiti Island seems to come up alot, but not much else.

http://www.kapitiislandalive.co.nz/

Good luck.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 04:59 AM
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Thanks, I had looked at Kapiti Island too. Seems a likely place to see kiwi in the wild without having to go to Stewart Island. Last visit I settled for kiwi in enclosure in Rotorua. Would require an overnight, so I will email the lodge to see what the cost is. I imagine it exceeds my normal budget approach, but may be worth it.

If I go here overnight, it would be after my meeting rather than upon arrival in NZ.
My other option is to take ferry to SI+bus or fly to Christchurch, then bus on to Arthur's Pass for an overnight.

My top priorities are unique flora, fauna, natural beauty, and culture of NZ. I am more of a mountain/forest than beach/water person. Last trip I made it to Auckland, Rotorua (thermals, kiwi, Maori), Dunedin (penguins), Te Anau (glowworms), and Milford Sound. Only saw the mountains from the plane and they looked gorgeous.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 12:08 PM
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Hi Kay2, I'm not sure what parts of NZ you are going to this time. I found some excellent bird-spotting on the south part of the Routeburn from Glenorchy, which can be done as a day trip... parakeets, S.Island Robins as well as others that I had not seen elswwhere.

The only little blues I've seen were at Oamaru.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 12:10 PM
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Oh, and the gannet rookery at Muriwai Beach is very easy to see without much hiking. Babies were there in December, maybe there are still some in January?
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Aug 31st, 2009, 02:59 PM
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Thanks for further suggestions. I do like to see the unique or special flora, fauna, and culture.

I'm not sure what parts of NZ I am going to this time either, but I'd better make up my mind as airfare is $100-200 lower than planned at this point and I can fly out of other places for same price as WLG roundtrip, so trying to decide if want to open jaw with CHC or similar. Queenstown flights seem relatively more expensive than last time.

This time I will be in Wellington for a few days, then....either more places on NI or head to new places on SI, which could include Oamaru.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 03:43 PM
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If looking for penguins on the SI, you might consider Pohatu Marine Reserve near Akarora (about an hour or so from Christchurch, white flippered penguins). We took this tour a few years back and really enjoyed it. Can't compare it to the Otago tour as I've not taken that one (yet).

http://www.pohatu.co.nz/

If looking for penguins on your own, there's an area near Golden Bay between Takaka and Pohara (Tarakohe Harbor) where little blue penguins come to shore, but I've never had any luck there.

http://www.goldenbaynz.co.nz/vg_tarakohe.html
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Sep 3rd, 2009, 01:29 PM
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I've been piecing together these locations, checking transport, etc.

Kapiti Island may have opening if I can get permit. I would stay overnight and go on the nocturnal kiwi hunt, spend evening and morning on my own looking for birds. She said they sometimes get the little penguins under their porch like others along the coast, but seeing them is uncertain, I think. I don't quite understand how much area/trails are available with permit staying at lodge and whether need/want to get permit for other part of island, taking ferry there in morning and on to lodge in afternoon. But I feel confident another email or phone call to Minnie there will clear that up.
I can get to the ferry to go to the island via Metlink (I think the train is called) then bus or taxi at reasonable cost. Ferry is $55 and overnight cabin (central bathhouse) with 3 meals and kiwi walk is $280.

I like the looks of Pohatu Marine Reserve near Akarora as well, but the logistics of that look more difficult with the flight to CHC on Thursday, but may not be with proper timing to get a bus on to Akarora until Friday--where the tour picks up. Back to Akarora on Saturday and on to CHC for flight on Sunday.

If I go to Kapiti on Thursday morning, I will be back on the mainland either Friday morning or afternoon and have until Sunday. I will have already seen the Wellington sights before my meetings, so I filling in at least Saturday.
Any other nature or culture suggestions that would be an overnight trip from Wellington?

I could fly somewhere on Friday, spend Saturday, and then depart from there with change in AKL heading home. I am looking at CHC and spending Saturday somewhere down there, even taking a bus up to Arthurs Pass in the morning and back down in the afternoon, giving me about 5-6 hours up there. Then fly out of CHC Sunday afternoon.

I need to decide on whether I want a RT WLG or an open jaw. During the time it took me to exchange emails, look up timetables on the internet, check maps, etc., the airfare I had found that was $100 below my budget disappeared and the new price is $300 more from most sources. Today I found a discounter site that has a ticket for just $150 more than the other day, so $50 over budget.

If I dally too long, island permits will be gone and the island will not be an option. I looked a taking the ferry to Picton, but most sailings on Friday are already sold out.
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