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To see Penguins - Self Drive or Join Tour?

Kuala Lumpur...
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443 posts
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To see Penguins - Self Drive or Join Tour?

Hi. Main reason for us going to Dunedin for first time is to see the penguins in it's natural habitat, and not just like visiting a zoo. With 3 young children (6 months baby, 6 & 9 yo), should we self drive to the Penguin place or any other suggested sites or should we join a tour that picks us up and drop off at city hotel? Am worried that by being on a tour it may limit our stops along the peninsular and also be a bit difficult on the children. On the other hand if we self drive, are we able to maximise what we can see?

Thank you.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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1. Re: To see Penguins - Self Drive or Join Tour?

You would be very lucky to see penguins on a self drive. Many of the best sites are across private farmland and the tour groups gain permission. A local may be able to guide you, there are some beaches which are accessible.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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2. Re: To see Penguins - Self Drive or Join Tour?

If you decide to self drive you can still pick up the penguin place tour or go to Natures Wonders.

They are both based out on the end of the peninsula so are local operations. Might pay to ring first and check out how the season is going with the number of nests on view.

Self driving does maximize the other options for your children such as the marine lab at Portobello where they have a hands on pool. there are also lots of little sheltered beaches on the drive out to the end of the peninsula.

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3. Re: To see Penguins - Self Drive or Join Tour?

If you can make it to Curio Bay in the Catlins, you'll get a chance to see penguins during "Hoppy Hour" every night from about 6 - 8 PM. The penguins come out the water and walk/hop to their nests. As an added bonus, you're watching all this while standing on the remains of a petrified prehistoric forest. As an even bigger bonus, adjacent to the bay is a nice beach (also bay) with dolphins that swim close to shore. You may even be lucky enough to have some swim next to you if you can brave the coldish waters (or rent a wet suit from the surf school next to the beach).

You can camp/campervan in the campsite that sits between the bays, or you can stay at one of the properties on the dolphin side of things.

4. Re: To see Penguins - Self Drive or Join Tour?

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