Roaring Bay is so named because it faces due south and is exposed to large swells and fierce winds. The sandy enclave is a haven for yellow-eyed penguins, who breed here.
Yellow-eyed penguins/hōiho can be viewed from the hide when they come ashore in the late afternoon. To avoid disturbing these endangered penguins, please do not go down to the beach after 3pm. Sea lions/pakake are also sometimes on the beach.
Do not go down to the beach after 3pm. It disturbs the penguins. There’s not many of these guys left and they are shy to the point of being antisocial. Get in their face and they get stressed.
In Ahuriri Flat turn right into Ahuriri Flat Road, which merges with Karoro Creek Road then with Molyneaux Bay Road. Turn right into Nugget Road, which leads 7 km along the coast to enter the Scientific Reserve. Roaring Bay is signposted shortly after on the right, 800 m before the carpark to Nugget Point Lighthouse.
The metalled track descends to a yellow-eyed penguin colony viewing hide above Roaring Bay. The beach is a restricted area.
The hide has been specially constructed to allow viewing of the birds, who are solitary creatures and not particularly sociable.
Yellow-eyed penguins weigh around 5 kg and stand around 70 centimetres tall. They breed in southern parts of New Zealand and Sub-Antarctic Islands in spring. Chicks are reared during the summer in nests constructed of flax.
South Island ▷ Southland ▷ Owaka
Cool. Watch penguins from a distance. Come in the late afternoon to evening for most penguins.
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We saw 3 penguins late in the afternoon. We only can see them far away to be sure we don't disturb them.
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Super hide out. Saw several yellow pinguens camping though the surf. By coincidence we saw the ranger get a sick pinguen from the Beach, so we Got to ser it Close up.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍