Nugget Point / Tokata

Nugget Point / Tokata - Roaring Bay Penguin Hide and Walk

Nugget Point / Tokata

Roaring Bay Penguin Hide and Walk


5 Rankers Reviews

1 Face-to-Face

11 Penguin Watching

13 Owaka

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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500 m return | 20 minutes return

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.


Feature Value Info


DOC Southland

Central government organisation


South IslandSouthlandOwaka


  • Penguin Watching
  • Walking
  • Free


Pete G's avatar

Pete G

Ranking: 8/10

Arrived about 16.00hrs
Saw two Yellow Eyed Penguins
Emerge from sea and settled on beach. Info from regular watchers who reported that -
No chicks on site as removed to foster unit. Poor fish stocks causing problems for adults in finding sufficient food

Reviewed over 3 years ago

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Max Brunner's avatar

Max Brunner

Ranking: 10/10

Cool. Watch penguins from a distance. Come in the late afternoon to evening for most penguins.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

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Florent Peytavy's avatar

Florent Peytavy

Ranking: 7/10

We saw 3 penguins late in the afternoon. We only can see them far away to be sure we don't disturb them.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

B D's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

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.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

DOC Managed

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 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick