The yellow-eyed penguin – one of the world’s rarest breeds – is found around the south-east coast of the South Island, on Banks Peninsula, on Stewart Island and in the sub-Antarctic Auckland and Campbell islands.
Read more here: Yellow-Eyed Penguins in New Zealand
A yellow-eyed penguin colony on the Otago Peninsula is one of the main tourist attractions for visitors to the southern city of Dunedin. There is another colony on Banks Peninsula, in Canterbury.
Little blue penguins – the world’s smallest penguin – are found on the Otago Peninsula, at Oamaru, and in many other places throughout New Zealand.
The other New Zealand native penguins include the Fiordland crested penguin; the erect-crested penguin which makes up the breeding population on the Antipodes and Bounty islands; the ‘rockhopper’ found on Campbell, Auckland and the Antipodes islands; and the Snares crested penguin which is usually only seen on the tiny Snares Islands, 200km south of the South Island.
As well as being able to view penguins in the wild, visitors can see them in the heart of Auckland city – at Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World where an 80-strong colony of king and gentoo penguins is billed as the popular tourist attraction’s “coolest” experience.
The International Antarctic Centre, on the outskirts of Christchurch, has rare white-flippered penguins. And, on Wellington’s inner-city waterfront, visitors sometimes spot little blue penguins coming into roost under the boardwalk.