Pilots Beach

Pilots Beach

Tairoa Head - Little Blue Penguin Viewing



6 Rankers Reviews

5 Face-to-Face

11 Penguin Watching

1 Portobello




Watch little blue penguins come ashore at dusk

Pilot beach is a small cove on the western side of Tairoa Head. Home to the largest Blue Penguin colony on the Tairoa Peninsula. You may also see Yellow Eyed Penguins, seals and sea lions too. $20 per adult, $10 per child.


Feature Value Info


South IslandCoastal OtagoPortobello


  • Penguin Watching




Lisa's avatar



Ranking: 9/10

Not ten out of ten unfortunately because too touristic, although you still see the penguins in their natural environment. They are absolutely adorable, you can get really close and hear them squeaking all the time. Lovely!

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 78 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Richard's avatar


United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Great to see the penguins.
But we got really, really cold waiting for them. I suggest you go, but wrap up warm if in winter.

Reviewed about 6 years ago

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Cervenka Jaroslav's avatar

Cervenka Jaroslav

Czech Republic

Ranking: 10/10

Watching penguins on the beach, a really nice experience.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Avoid Camping Fines!

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

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Barbara Berkhout's avatar

Barbara Berkhout


Ranking: 9/10

You can see some sea lions by yourself. It is a magic instant! Just beautiful with children.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in March 2012

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Pete & Pat Etheridge's avatar

Pete & Pat Etheridge


Ranking: 10/10

We had to wait in a biting wind until dark dusk, volunteers explained and had red torches so as not to harm their eyes, little penguins rafted in and walked companionably home to their young, through our feet as we held our breath!!

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in February 2012

Villa's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Nice beach and sunset if lucky with albatross, sea gulls and sea lions. But arrive just before sunset to see the blu penguins coming up from the sea.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in February 2012