Friday, June 29, 2012

Oamaru New Zealand (Part 3)

Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony
Next, after checking-in our hostel, we went to the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony to have a look before we decided whether want to join the tour or not. The colony is a standalone building which located at the conner of the town, near to the sea. In the building, definitely selling some souvenirs related to blue penguin and others.

There is a corridor attached to the building to link to the penguin colony platform where you can see the penguin coming back in night. The place is the home place of penguins, clean and well-maintained. Of course, the corridor was closed as the time we visited was yet the show time. We could see that the distance from the platform to the penguin track is quite a distance, is not close enough to see the penguin.

For the entrance fee, for the night show, is NZ$25 for adult and NZ$10 for children. Depend on your needs and fun, if you are bringing children and want to have 100% guarantee able to see penguins, this is worth. As I got some information from my friend who was having working holiday visa in New Zealand for 6 months, she told me actually we could see penguin with close-up situation and free-of-charge. The location is just at the front of Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. Time is about 10pm in summer. However, there is a risk to miss out the chance to see penguin, as I have another group of friend been there at 10pm but could not see even one penguin, sad.

After we visited the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, we decided not to have this tour in night and quite expensive to us. We were willing take a risk to come back here at 9pm and see penguin with close distance. 

Dinner in Oamaru
Next, we planned to have our dinner first, go back to hostel to have a pretty bath, then go out again at 9pm to see penguin. The town of Oamaru is not big, however we were unable to find a good dinner place to have our dinner, there are really not much choices. We spent about half and hour to drive around the town. We turned, turned and turned..... Eeeee!!! Finally, my wife saw a restaurant which she was interested to try. 

Is a Japanese restaurant!!! This restaurant is located just behind of the main road and which is facing the sea, is at the corner of the terrace shop. Both of us like Japanese food, was very happy when we saw this restaurant after spending quite a long time searching dinner restaurant. There was polite waiters serving the delighted food, both of us love it.

To see wild blue penguin (free-of-charge)
The main reason why we planned to visit Oamaru, is to see wild cute blue penguin. My wife insisted to see~~~~  =_=||| , so no choice, I must follow her wish, otherwise....you know~~~ :)

After dinner and bathing, we reached the outside of Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony at 9pm. When we almost reached the place, we drove very slowly towards to place as we were worried to crash the penguin as there were quite dark and unable to see the road clearly.

When we left about 200m to reach the Colony, we saw the first penguin which was coming home from sea. We were so surprised and happy we could see wild penguin, we slowed down our car, switched off the light and parked beside the road.

Not so many people were waiting there, this was good as no much disturbance to penguin actually. After that, we saw many small little penguins were coming back from sea when we walked toward the Colony, so cute and awesome!!! I found one cute thing, as their home across the road, they (penguins) must cross the road in order to reach home. However, before crossing the road, they will always gather together at a point then cross the road at same time leading by one leader.

Things I have to remind my readers here:
1. DO NOT use flash when shooting penguin as this terrible action will make it blind. 
2. DO NOT touch them.
3. DO NOT scare them.

One of the unpleasant matter I found in Oamaru when seeing penguin there in night, as I saw a western guy (age of 30++) who was shooting photo with flash, so advised him gently not to use flash but he debated back say "how to shoot without flash, too dark!!! Why human do not get blind by being shot with flash, penguin is the same"....upset man!!!! Sometime, please don't show your foolish when you are not knowledgeable enough.....

Camera to be applied
In fact, as the environment is very dark, you will not be able to take picture if you are using normal compact digital camera as the ISO setting is not high enough, so the shutter speed is not fast enough causing the shake on camera, the picture will end up with blur. If you are using DSLR with higher ISO setting, then the problem will be solved.


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