Day 202 on the Road
Where to See Penguins in Timaru!
Today we’re hitting Timaru in the South Island to see some little blue penguins. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities, then waddle over to our epic YouTube Channel!
Today we’re going to watch the little blue penguins of Timaru. We also get a hair cut today.
This morning we’re waking up at the beautiful Fairlie Holiday Park and we find a tonne of quail chicks all around our campervan we take the time to clean our campervan today but that’s pretty boring so let’s get back to those beautiful quail chicks.
Quails are not a native bird of New Zealand but they are everywhere in the country and they are so cute and easily recognizable from their random feather right on top of their head. Anyway they’re super cute but we are now hitting the road toward the little township of Timaru we are checking in at the 1873 Wanderer Hostel and as soon as we check in the hostel owner is taking us on a bit of a trip.
Greg is super keen to show us his secret spot for spear fishing. And hunting and fishing is a huge part of the Kiwi culture and many times after we have visited New Zealanders we always leave with a fridge full of fish or meat and it looks like it’s about to happen again as Greg is going off into this river to do some spear fishing for flounder.
Because the current is really strong at this estuary and the fact that we don’t have any wet suits or snorkelling gear we are pretty happy to just sit on the side of the river and watch Greg do his thing. However we have done a couple of fishing trips in New Zealand before which have been really awesome. Not actually getting into the water like Greg does but some fishing on boats which is pretty cool.
But after a while Greg gets a catch on the end of his spear he’s caught a flounder which means we are eating tonight.
We’re pretty impressed by his catch but he considers this a bad spear fishing session.
Nevertheless we’re gonna be heading back into Timaru now but on the way we can’t help but notice this random tree absolutely full of shoes. This is just too weird to drive straight past.
The Temuka shoe tree is a bit of an oddity around Timaru but that showcases how creative the locals are.
And we are meeting another creative local oh wait, that’s still our host from the hostel. He wants to take us on another tour and that’s a blue penguin tour because yes Timaru has its own blue penguin colony.
this is actually a free tour that Greg is offering to anyone that stays in this hostel. It’s really cool how he loves to share the place where he lives.
The blue penguin colony of Timaru is much smaller than the two other blue penguin colonies that we’ve visited in the last two weeks. Check out the card up there to check out those episodes.
But the blue penguin colony of Timaru is really cool to visit because by just staying behind the barriers we are still super close to the blue penguins themselves and because it’s a much smaller colony we get to see them behave as couples all the way from the water to their nest. It’s really awesome.
You can see the Timaru penguins at Caroline Bay which is one of the main beaches of Timaru and it’s actually an ideal location to watch the penguins they are just dimly lit by the street lights but it is important to remember that you should not shine any torches at the penguins cos they really don’t like that.
What we do see however is really awesome they are all doing their individual behaviors some of them are just cleaning their feathers while others are trying to find their partners because blue penguins are actually monogamous meaning that they usually just have one partner for life. Other penguins are penguins are gate crashing other penguins burrows some are screaming at each other and we even get a chance to see a mother feeding her chicks.
We’re actually quite surprised about how many penguins we’ve seen around New Zealand now and that’s because the little blue penguins are one of the few species of penguins that can produce more than one clutch of eggs per season.
We learn that fact and much more through all the signs which are around the area which is really cool because we basically can do a self guided tour it’s pretty nice.
We also learn that they are actually ruffling their feathers before coming back to their nest this is helping them cool down from the water because they actually overheat when swimming that much. The ocean is currently super cold though so it’s quite an impressive fact that such a small bird can overheat by swimming that much.
Because this area is so easy to access there are quite a lot of people coming to check out those blue penguins throughout the whole night but Laura and I seem to be the only bird nerds that stay here for that long and it’s well past midnight we are the last in and we are about to go home but not before listening to a good night lullaby by our friend penguins.
We started this tour about 9.30 and Robin and I are the only ones left at the end of the night past midnight watching these little blue penguins. I think it’s safe to say that we are complete bird nerd but they are so cute the way their so small. they’re the world’s smallest penguins and they’re waddling around like just like tiny little cuteness.