Curio Bay Penguin Watch

Curio Bay Penguin Watch



64 Rankers Reviews

60 Face-to-Face

20 Penguin Watching

6 Waikawa



Penguin - Curio Bay
Behold, the penguin has arrived!
Yellow eyed penguins waddling through the petrified forest


Watch penguins return to their nesting grounds.

At Curio Bay, watch Yellow Eyed Penguins return to their nesting grounds in a stunning coastal setting.

These are very rare birds so please respect and keep your distance.

Watching a penguin waddle home is a true life memory - Enjoy!


Feature Value Info


South IslandSouthlandWaikawa


  • Penguin Watching
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 57.

Justin White's avatar

Justin White

Ranking: 4/10

Oct 2020, started waiting at 5 pm. The penguin arrived at 8:40 pm and it was too dark and they were too far away to see them. It’s a pretty beach, and if you’re fine waiting there and not seeing a penguin then go ahead, but I really wanted to see a Yellow Eyed Penguin so I was very disappointed.

Reviewed 19 days ago

Melinda Pyke's avatar

Melinda Pyke


Ranking: 10/10

The petrified forest was absolutely incredible. Didn't manage to spot the penguin, despite waiting patiently from 4pm-6pm, but that's nature for you!

Reviewed about 2 years ago

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Patrick's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

Saw a penguin and the fossil forest was awesome.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Martina's avatar



Ranking: 9/10

Stunning place, penguins did not show up, probably because we went there too soon.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in January 2016

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Konstantin Bücheler's avatar

Konstantin Bücheler

Ranking: 10/10

Best place to see penguins. You can go down to the beach next to the penguins.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in December 2015

Sandra's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

Spot the endangered yellow-eyed penguin! It is for free! Be there at 7pm.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

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Each camping location is approved by a regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

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Lindsay Dell's avatar

Lindsay Dell

United States

Ranking: 10/10

On a petrified forest beach, magical! A must see in the South Island - worth the drive.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Sue Strebe's avatar

Sue Strebe

United States

Ranking: 9/10

Exceptionally near viewing of yellow eyed penguins, gorgeous site. Weather really bad, not much chance to see dolphins or hike in the area.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in February 2015

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Samuel Tohko's avatar

Samuel Tohko


Ranking: 10/10

Nice to see them in their natural habitat.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in December 2014

Regula Hammer's avatar

Regula Hammer


Ranking: 9/10

Nice camping nearby, 7pm to 10pm penguins come to land.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Award-1-24px Congratulations Curio Bay Penguin Watch

Top Ranked NZ Awards 2016 Penguin Watching Winner

Anouck Roudet's avatar

Anouck Roudet


Ranking: 10/10

Nice spot to see yellow-eyed penguins for free!! And you can be very close to the penguins, like 10 metres!!

Reviewed over 6 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Trine Ellegaard's avatar

Trine Ellegaard


Ranking: 10/10

Saw penguins - very nice!!

Reviewed over 6 years ago and experienced in March 2013

Hadar's avatar



Ranking: 9/10

We saw a lot of seals and penguins for free.

Reviewed over 6 years ago and experienced in February 2014