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New Zealand: Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s

Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Shark Shuttle

After visiting Devonport, on the ferry back to Auckland, we had to choose between a whale and dolphin watching cruise and Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s. The wind was aggressive and cold enough to encourage us to opt for Sea Life. Plus, Tarlton’s has the world’s largest display colony of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic penguins. It was time to see penguins, even if they are in captivity. They also have one of the coolest vehicles in the world. I just wished it would have played a selection of shark music. (You know, the “Jaws” soundtrack, Mack the Knife, Baby Shark, Fins… Am I missing any shark songs? (affiliate links) Let me know in the comments.)

The first part of the exhibit explores the history of Scott Base in Antarctica and allows you to dunk your hand in cold sea water. Why did I do this? It was as cold as I expected. There are other activities that you can try as well. We were in a hurry to get to the penguins, especially knowing that we needed to catch the last shuttle back to Auckland.

The polar plunge: Dip your hands in icy Antarctic water.
No, I did not last 30 seconds. (Don’t @ me with your jokes.)

After watching a few penguins swim through their water area, we proceeded up the ramp and were greeted by the glorious sight of King penguins just standing around. What else does royalty do? One was sleeping on an incline with only one foot to keep traction, the other was tucked into its body. There were other penguins that seemed to be sleeping as well. Some looked up to the sky and stretched their necks.

King penguins at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's
King penguins at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s

Then a trio of Gentoos decided to enter the picture. Their wings were spread out as they waddled into the frame. One decided to go diving. The others stopped to look at all the humans looking at them. Penguins in the background decided to shout out for some reason. One of the Gentoos took an active interest in Patch Penguin; we think the Gentoo was wondering how Patch got to the other side of the glass.

Several of the Gentoos were incubating eggs. One was carrying a rock in its beak. It ran a few circles before I lost track of it and couldn’t see what it did with the rock. The penguin nodded their heads and then shook them. This was a highlight of the trip so far. We will probably never be able to see these particular penguins in the wild (unless we get a lot more people interested in our Patreon page, buying my books, or reading this blog [shameless plug]).

Pro Tip: If you wait long enough the horde of people will pass, and you can have one on one time enjoying the penguins. Second Pro Tip: Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s offers a Penguin Experience; it’ll set you back a pretty penny, but you’ll get so close to the penguins you can smell them.

Tarlton was an underwater enthusiast who wanted everyone to experience seeing life under the sea, the way that divers do. The underwater tunnels do just that for visitors as sharks, rays, and other fish glide overhead. They even have an automatic walkway that moves you slowly through the exhibit, so you can feel like you’re a part of the current. The rays are much larger than I expected them to be.

There are a lot of different kinds of fish to see and a lot of educational areas, including one about sea turtles and another about sea horses. The building itself goes under the road, so that the waves in the harbor are allowed to beat on the glass at the café. Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s was definitely worth the stop. We probably could have watched the fish and the penguins a lot longer.

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Penguinate now on Etsy

Pear Penguin in sweater

The Penguinate shop can now be found on Etsy! We decided to open up our Etsy shop to give people an opportunity to find us. Currently, we have Pear Penguin available for adoption there, we have 2020 calendars for digital download, and our Flat Friends: Penguins are waiting for new homes.

While you can also get Pear Penguin and our downloadable 2020 calendars from us at, our Flat Friends: Penguins are available exclusively at Etsy. So, if you need an ornament, gift card accompaniment, tag addition to your present, champagne or wine bottle friend, or book mark, check out our Flat Friends. They come in two sizes!

Thank you so much for being a part of our penguin community. We hope to have some exciting news in the next year. It’ll come a lot sooner of we get more people on our Patreon.

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New Zealand: A Short Survey of Auckland

Hobbiton in New Zealand

Auckland is the transport hub of New Zealand. Most people will start their journey here. As the most populous city, Auckland has lots to do. The most often featured attraction is the Sky Tower. Its revolving restaurant is probably the most attractive part of the tower for me. It would certainly remind us of our trip to Top of Waikiki. Maungawhau, the dormant volcano that is also the highest natural point in the region, would also provide a call back to our Hawaiian vacation and its Diamond Head walk.

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New Zealand: A Short Survey of New Zealand Penguins

marching 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!)

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Pear Penguin comes to Penguinate!

If you haven’t met Pear Penguin, yet, be ready for a dose of cuteness. Pear Penguin loves fall weather, colored leaves, and fresh fruit – (and fish!) Pear made me type that last part. Pear’s puffy belly always looks full, but it’s really Pear’s heart that is full of love for you.

Pear is looking for a forever family. As one of the few plush black and white penguins available for adoption, Pear is sure to add joy and friendship to your life or the life of someone you care about. Once the adoption fees are taken care of, Pear can be shipped worldwide.

Pear has been listening to Patch and taking Patch’s advice to heart. At about 6 and ¾ inches, Pear is the perfect size to take with you wherever you go.

Pear may be our newest penguin, but we have plenty of other penguins waiting for adoption. For every penguin adopted, $1 goes to the Global Penguin Society. Order your penguin today and have it in time for the holidays. (Only good through October 15 and while supplies last.)

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‘Polly Penguin Wants to Fly’ available now!

Polly Penguin Wants to Fly

We’re so excited because “Polly Penguin Wants to Fly” is available on Amazon, right now! You can get it in paperback or on Kindle! This is my 10th book.

When Polly hatches, she sees her father first and then she looks up into the sky and sees the terns. She’s immediately fascinated. Polly Penguin wants to fly, but she’s a penguin. Penguins can’t fly, can they?

I wrote this for parents to read to their older children ages four and above. It’s also for children who are beginning to read. If your child loves penguins, Polly Penguin is a good introduction to reading without pictures. The pictures are formed in your mind.

Check out “Polly Penguin Wants to Fly” now.

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Matured Penguins and Their First Swim

When I was doing research for “Polly Penguin Wants to Fly,” the above video from National Geographic played its part. This video talks about the black tips on the wings, the down washing off during the penguin’s first swim, and swimming to the north for three or four years.

All of these concepts play a part in book, which is written for four- to seven-year olds. Parents can read it to their younger children. It is fiction, and is scheduled to be released in September. “Polly Penguin Wants to Fly,” but penguins can’t fly, can they?

If you want your name in “Polly Penguin Wants to Fly,” sign up for our Patreon at any level before August 30, 2019. You’ll get a mention in the acknowledgements.

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Five for Five! Join Our Patreon today and get more Creative!

There are just five days left to get in on our five people equals one additional creativity article for Patreon Penguinators only. In other words, for every five people that join our Patreon by July 31, 2019, I will write an additional article on creativity.

In the past, we’ve had secrets of creativity revealed, steps to greater creativity illuminated, and analysis of movies and TV shows and how they relate to creativity. Many of these articles are supplemented by free content on In August, we’ve already scheduled our first article about the 1980 film “Popeye,” criticism and creativity.

Creativity isn’t the only thing you get when you join our Patreon. As a member of our team, you’ll also get a Penguin photo of the month. Last month featured Penny Penguin on a fire engine at Toon Town. She didn’t even have to fight anyone to get on! If you want more creativity in your life, join our team and we’ll build our creative lives together. Thanks!

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Warning: 6 Days Left to Join Our Patreon for Penguins and Creativity

For every 5 people that join our Patreon by July 31, I will write an extra creativity article. These articles are written to illuminate principles of creativity and to give you something to do so become more creative.

Creativity is at the heart of who we are as people. It’s the reason why humanity has survived, why it has advanced, and why we have the Internet. Creativity has taken us to the moon and is driving us to Mars. Creativity is involved in every discovery and every invention ever created by man. No matter where you go, figuratively or literally, you’ll see acts of creativity.

Unfortunately, too many people believe they aren’t creative. In truth, they’ve lived in a society that hasn’t valued their creativity. It’s time to take back your creative self and harness your creativity for a better life and world.

Our Patreon Penguinators at every level have access to articles about creativity that aren’t available elsewhere. You’ll also get discounts at our event, and penguins, or at least photos of penguins.

Life is a journey. We hope that you will decide to join ours, so that we can move forward together.

For more on positive creativity, check out “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.”