New Zealand: A Short Survey of New Zealand Penguins

Penguins are funny creatures. As my wife says they often look like they are running to hug you. My second favorite penguins are from the movie “Mary Poppins, and that’s where I got the idea as a penguin for my creativity mascot. Those penguins deliver fun, service and a dance-off with Dick Van Dyke before it was a thing. (Who would win in a dance off: the Mary Poppins penguins or Starlord?) From there, it was a short step to our stuffed penguins.

There is only a small group of penguins in the Galapagos Islands that live north of the equator in the wild. All of the other wild penguins in the world live south of the equator. Of the 18 or 19 species penguins in the world, New Zealand is home to three: the korora, the hoiho, and the tawaki. Knowing that, we, of course, are going to schedule some time to try to find some penguins in the wild. (We hear they are smelly, but we don’t care. They just look like fun to hang around near!)

Korora: Little Blue Penguin

These penguins are the smallest in the world. According to, these penguins are found at the Marlborough Sounds, Akaroa Harbour, Oamaru, Dunedin and Stewart Island when they come ashore at night.

Hoiho: Yellow-Eyed Penguin

These penguins are rare and can be found on the Otago Peninsula, just south of Dunedin and round the Catlins region. They have a yellow eye band giving them their name and “are the least social of all penguins!”

Tawaki: Fiordland Crested Penguin

Tawaki, like the Hoiho, is a rare bird. They can be found on the South Island and in the areas of Haast, Lake Moeraki, Stewart Island and Fiordland.

We don’t know what penguins we’ll get to see – if any. But we know we want to, and some of the cheekiest birds have tried to make their nest at a sushi restaurant. Smart! Even if they didn’t listen to the police when they were told not to come back.

If you’re a business in New Zealand, send us a message via our contact form, and we’ll do what we can to stop by.

Want to sponsor our trip to New Zealand? Check out our Patreon. We’ll send you a postcard at the right level and add you to our Penguinators thank you on any videos we make!