Waiting For Penguins in Curio Bay

On the southern tip of the Southern Island of New Zealand there is Curio Bay.  This is a remote, not-so-frequently discussed location by design in order to keep the number of people coming to a manageable number.  Curio Bay offers some amazing views, interesting hikes, and even the ability to surf with the rare pink dolphins that live just off it’s coast.  As amazing as that is I’m going to discuss one of their more mellow wildlife interactions.  Each evening the rarest penguin in the world returns to its nest after a long day of fishing.    We waited for several hours and had to yell at some people to get away from the nest because the marshal wasn’t around that time but when they came it was very rewarding for some reason.


There’s something about experiences that you don’t think will work out but when they do it’s way better than it has any right to be.  Plus the scenery in the area is an old petrified forest which is beautiful in itself.


The penguins themselves are very shy and there is a reason you must stand so far back otherwise they won’t return to their nest.  This experience alone is the reason I now consider having a good zoom on my camera is necessary.

The beers we brought for warmth also helped.  A bit understated in this experience as well is the social camaraderie that comes from waiting in the weather with 6-12 other people looking for the penguins.  Everyone helps and listens to everyone else and if you bring extra beers you should share and you can make some new travel friends.

Overall, Curio bay is a place to easily spend a lot of time with nature and to just relax.  It is a peaceful, quiet place that offers some solemn experiences.  This place is constantly on my list of locations to return to and I will get back there someday.

Photos courtesy Meghan K. as she actually brought a more appropriate camera than a GoPro…


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