Sat 13th and Sun 14th October: Penguin sightings
This is just a very quick (but very amazing!) update while we have very limited internet in a tiny cafe in Owaka in the Catlins – to say we have seen yellow-eyed penguins (three in total!) in the wild here at the Petrified forest (in Curio Bay) in the Catlins. It is THE most incredible thing! Especially because my husband is a huge penguin fan and absolutely loves them. The penguins that we saw are amongst the rarest in the world and there are only about 5,000 of them left in the whole of New Zealand.
On Saturday night after local advice from the man who runs the camping ground shop we headed to the petrified forest and after waiting for about 25 minutes, at about 6pm, one amazing yellow-eyed penguin appeared out of the water. He seemed very aware of his surroundings and took his time sussing everything out. As the signs told us everyone kept at least 10 metres from him to give him space. He then took his time to slowly waddle up the beach and into the bushes behind – he was there for about 50 minutes which was amazing!
Then on Sunday night we headed back to the same spot and this time at about 6.20pm we saw two yellow-eyed penguins again almost in the same spot. The weather this time was INSANELY windy (we actually struggled to stand up/walk) so the penguins were much quicker at coming ashore and heading up into the bushes.
It really was an incredible sight and one we will never forget.
As I am sure you can imagine we took loads of photos – see a few more below in my gallery. John also did some amazing videoing so we have edited a few highlights together of the first yellow-eyed penguin we saw on Saturday night and posted the video below. Take a look!
I will post separately about the Catlins area – as it is really incredible and full of such amazing and varied scenery (and weather!).