Are the Penguins Worth It?

What penguins am I referring to?

The awesome little blue ones (the smallest species of penguins in the world) that you can find in a few different locations on the South Island of New Zealand (and Southern Australia). So, is it worth it to take a road trip detour?

Why yes, yes it is.

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If you have a soft spot in your heart for penguins (or obsession, like me), then you might find a detour to visit one of the spots where you can witness hundreds of them waddling ashore as the sun sets behind them well worth the trip.

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If you don’t have a soft spot in your heart for little penguins, then you may not be human? (just kidding!) But really, how can you not think these little ones are adorable?

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These little guys reside on the Otago Peninsula – just about a 30 minute drive from Dunedin, which also happens to have the most photographed building in all of New Zealand:

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In order to see the penguins and satisfy my obsession, we went to the Royal Albatross Centre in the evening after a pretty delicious dinner at Velvet Burger in Dunedin. If you are interested, there are more than just the penguins to see. They also have the only mainland breeding colony of the Royal Albatross (a large sea bird) and interesting historical and educational exhibits. Plus, the beauty of the peninsula is not so tough on the eyes.

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My favorite part about the center is how close you can get to the penguins. They literally waddle right by you to get to their nests. Some of them even waddle around under the platform, and if you lie down you can get inches away from them (resist the temptation to touch them though). It took all of my willpower not to take one home…

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Not to mention, while the little ones are making their way to their nests, the sun is setting and creating an incredibly beautiful backdrop.

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We debated for quite awhile if we should take the time to drive to Dunedin, but in the end, I thought it was well worth the detour. We had an amazing time and seeing the penguins turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip for us.

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Dunedin itself looks is modeled off of Scottish towns and is also home to NZ’s Speight’s brewery.

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Not to mention, we stayed in a cozy hostel in Dunedin called Hogwartz, complete with room 9 3/4, reading loft, and awesome outdoor space.

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Clearly, Dunedin and the penguins brought my childlike enthusiasm to an entirely different level…

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: New Zealand: North & South Island Itineraries | Fit To Wander

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