The area where the penguin colony is located was once a quarry where rock was taken for the development of the Oamaru Harbour. The quarry ceased operating in the 1970s and the site was abandoned. After this, the penguins began coming ashore and nesting in the old quarry.
After much debate about what to do about the penguins and the quarry, it was decided to clean the area out and set it aside as breeding habitat for the penguins to use.
The colony was managed by a team of volunteers.
Two people were employed as full time guides and for penguin welfare monitoring.
The colony received the Otago Regional Council’s Environmental Award.
The Waitaki Development Board took over administration of the colony and a Penguin Protection Advisory Committee was formed.
The Visitors’ Centre was opened
A 350 seat grandstand was completed
The Visitors Centre was extended to provide an interpretation area for daytime visitors along with the opening of our day tour out to the Blue Wing
The day track area was extended to allow day tours into larger areas of the colony
Day track area upgraded and a new supreme evening viewing grandstand opened July 2012