Logo Otago Peninsula

Penguin Place, Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand

Welcome to Penguin Place, home of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Conservation Reserve,
New Zealand's multi-Award Winner.

This conservation project is entirely financed through guided tours and we would like to thank you for your interest. In the following text you will find information about the Yellow-eyed Penguin and the reserve.
This conservation project was established in 1985 by Howard McGrouther when there were only 8 breeding pairs of Yellow Eyed Penguins. In the summer of 2006, we have had 19 pairs breeding in the colony making this a medium sized breeding colony on the South Island. We will take you on a guided tour through the colony for some close-up viewing of the birds. Covered trenches and observation huts will hide us so the penguins will not be frightened and we can observe them going about their daily business unperturbed by our presence.


Tour Duration is 90 minutes
All tours are guided in small groups of up to 15 people
Large groups can be accommodated by pre-booking
Summer (October - March)
Tours depart every 30  minutes from 10:15am
until 90 minutes prior to sunset

Winter (April - September)
Tours depart every 30 minutes from 3:15pm until 4:45
Reservations are essential

Contact Information:

Telephone: +64 3 478 0286
Fax: +64 3 478 0257
Postal address: Harington Point Road, RD 2, Otago Peninsula.


You are invited to take as many photographs as you like unless your tour guide asks you not too. Please do not use flash under any circumstances as they may harm the light sensitive eyes of the penguins and can scare them away.
We recommend the use of 400 ISO/ ASA film available in our souvenir shop.
Please stay with your guide at all times and talk as little and as quietly as you can so that you don't frighten the birds. But most importantly, enjoy the penguins!

Yellow-eyed Penguins (Megadyptes antipodes) were called Hoiho ("noise-shouter") by the Maori. They are 65 - 70cm tall, the third tallest penguin and weigh between 5 and 6 kg. They can reach the age of 20 - 25 years (oldest known penguin was 32 years) but average life expectancy is closer to 12 - 15 years. Yellow-eyed Penguins gain their names from their yellow iris and the characteristic yellow head band. They only live in New Zealand and they are one of the rarest penguins in the world with a total population of about 4000-5000 individuals. About one-quarter of these live on the east coast of the South Island and Stewart Island. Most of them live on Campbell and Auckland Islands, about 600 km to the south. The Yellow-eyed Penguin is different from other penguins in many aspects of its biology and it is the only penguin species that does not become tame. They originally nested in the coastal forest, but their distribution is now restricted to forest remnants and coastal shrubs after extensive logging during the last 150 years.


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