Penguin Underpass in Oamaru

Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2016 in Press Releases

It’s not quite DIY SOS, but it’s not far from it.  

A New Zealand community is coming together to build a special underpass to allow penguins to return safely to their nests.  Blue penguins are the smallest species of penguin, and a colony which has established itself at a disused quarry at Oamaru harbour has become a big tourist attraction. 

 The initiative will allow the birds to move freely and without interruption, and is the first of its kind in New Zealand.  “It sounds very cute” says Paul Carberry, a New Zealand travel expert from New Zealand In Depth “but these penguins live in an urban environment and that’s causing problems when they return from the sea to their nests.  Every evening they’re met by crowds of people trying to take photos and get close to them.  They also have to deal with the stress of traffic on the roads.” 

 The community is coming together to help the penguins, with a number of businesses and organisations offering free materials and labour to build the underpass.   Paul Carberry says it won’t stop visitors from enjoying the penguins altogether “there is a special viewing area at the harbour, where people can enjoy watching the penguins on their evening commute without disturbing them”.

 The underpass is expected to be completed by the end of next week.

 For more information and expert advice on travel to New Zealand visit, call +44 (0)1298 74040 or email [email protected].


New Zealand In Depth media contact:

Harriet Grubb

Tel: 01298 74040 Mob: 07930649424

Email: [email protected]


Notes to editor:

Oamaru is in North Otago on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.  It is famous for its Victorian architecture, blue penguins, yellow-eyed penguins and also for steampunk.

 About New Zealand in Depth

The New Zealand in Depth team has created personalised holiday experiences to New Zealand for 13 years and are committed to understanding their client’s needs, sharing their expert knowledge and experience of the country and planning trips that leave lasting memories.

New Zealand in Depth has built great relationships with local activities, accommodation and suppliers to offer their clients the chance to experience the real side of New Zealand and get off the beaten track to experiences that are often not available through other operators.

About Paul Carberry – founder of New Zealand in Depth

“I think it was inevitable that I would work in travel and focus on New Zealand in particular. My dad worked in the airline industry for many years for the likes of BOAC, British Airways and then Air New Zealand before he set up his own long haul travel business.

I had the excitement of growing up imagining travel to distant lands and, after completing a degree in geology and working in the family travel business for a couple of years, I left the UK and spent several months exploring New Zealand returning to set up my own New Zealand travel company in 2003.

Since then I have been fortunate to have been able to travel back to New Zealand many times, feeling that is more and more like home every time I go.”