Penguins | International Antarctic Centre

We are open 9am – 5.30 everyday over Easter Weekend and Anzac Day



Big happiness with our little blues

The kororā (or little blue penguin) is New Zealand’s smallest penguin and, in our expert opinion, it’s the cutest. Be it scuttling over rocks or diving for food these incredible birds are small in stature but big on entertaining. 

As New Zealand’s first combined indoor and outdoor penguin viewing area we are proud of the environment we’ve created for our littlest team members.

Humans, dogs and other pests are all responsible for a negative impact on the survival rates of the little blue penguin. Their number in the wild is in decline and their conservation status is ‘at risk’.

That’s why we only house rescue penguins here. These are birds that have got into trouble in the big wide world or may be suffering from physical disabilities. Expert veterinarians assess each bird and those that don’t have the ability to defend themselves will find themselves amongst feathered friends at penguin sanctuaries like ours.

Penguin watching is one of those must-do things in life. However as the Little Blue Penguin is generally nocturnal there’s less chance to see them in action.

The Penguin Encounter is New Zealand’s first combined indoor/outdoor Penguin viewing area with capacity to hold up to 26 Little Blue Penguins and allows visitors to view Little Blue Penguins in a Banks Peninsula natural-themed environment that can be accessed on two levels.

Each day at 10.30am and 3.30 pm it’s feeding time. The best place to watch the feeding is from the outdoor viewing area or downstairs in the pool auditorium. At both spots you’ll get a good view of the table manners (or lack thereof) of these cute little birds – it’s the littlest biggest fun you’ll have here. At 1pm daily we also have our Penguin Talk.

Lines in the ice: How the ‘bergs gain their stripes

No, this isn’t photoshop. These icebergs really are crossed with all types of weird and wonderful lines.

These beautiful ‘artworks’ occur for a number of reasons, with different colours appearing due to different circumstances.

Blue stripes are the most common.…

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Breakfast with the penguins?

Looking for a delicious and unique breakfast experience for your group? We’ve got just the place.
The menu’s great, the view’s spectacular and the service is backed by our little friends in feathered tuxedos. Trust us… everything will go swimmingly.