Yellow eye penguin Curio Bay

Curio Bay New Zealand – Yellow Eyed Penguins

Day Trip To Curio Bay

Back in 2008 when we were travelling through New Zealand, over what i can only imagine was a few beers and and a game of beer pong. In a hostel was said to be on New Zealand steepest Road (thats another story). A fellow traveler brought to my attention a little find of there’s they had recently been on called Curio Bay and the adjoining Porpoise Bay. Curio bay was known for the very rare yellow eyed penguin colony.

Intrigued we set of the next day from Dunedin to the far south of the south island in search of these rare penguins.

Location Of Curio Bay

2 hr 30 minutes drive from the South Islands second largest city Dunedin. A city known for its beautiful wildlife and rugged coastline

1 hr 10 mins drive from the small city of Invercargill. A city which is one of the southernly cities in the world.

As you can see below the bustling Town center of Curio Bay one street and surrounding woodland. Peace and quiet and a real sense of being in the wild.

Curio Bay center

Yellow Eye Penguins History

These penguins also known as Hoiho the moari term for yellow eyed penguin. Meaning “noise shouter” referring to there calls. This colony of penguins are endangered with around 6000 and 1700 breading pairs. They are largely found on the southern shores of the south island of New Zealand and very popular in Curio Bay.

Our Trip To Curio Bay

So where was I ?

Porpoise Bay

We got up at sunrise and headed down early. We had booked in at the hostel on the adjoining Porpoise Bay. The hostel was also a surf school (cant seem to find on maps assuming not there anymore). As the penguins only came in at night we arranged some surf lessons to keep us occupied during the day.

Curio Bay Dolphins

Surfing here was great fun and little did we know here on Porpoise Bay was another rare bread the hector dolphins. A dolphin known for only swimming in shallow shores and was delighted to catch this shot below with the dolphins playing in the surf and riding the waves.

They were not one bit afraid of us, when we were out they would swim up close and follow you through the waves.

These special Curio Bay dolphins were another rare endangered breed we were delighted to see these here in this relatively untouched area of beauty and in the own habitat.

Yellow Eyed Penguin Spotting

We settled back in after after our fun in the surf and were told to head down to the Curio Bay side as the penguins would come in an hour or so before sunset.

We got a place perched up on the rocks and waited patiently for any sign of these rare penguins.

It wasn’t long before we caught a glimpse, waddling along and hopping up the rocks. It was a slow process for these poor penguins going through this every night. A waddle a jump a waddle a jump almost like myself at 4am on a sunday morning.

The Penguins

I remember the distinct yellow colouring on them that stood out most. They seemed to keep there distance from any of us and of course we stood well back and respected there area and land.

We spent a good hour or so watching them come in, there would of been 100s waddling in for the night. We just sat back and soaked it all up and watched these beautiful creatures in the wild. Just doing what they do every day.

Below is a great photo of these beautiful penguins. Unfortunately we couldn’t get to close up and back in 2008 the camera wasn’t great. We did however get permission to use this.

Courtesy of Caitlins photography

Accommodation Tip

A stay at the Curio Bay Salthouse is a must with it’s self catering apartments, studios and sea views make it a restful and relaxing stay.

With its great hosts helping you on your way to a great stay with there fantastic local knowledge a real sense of this little community is felt here.

The apartments are clean, modern and well maintained, what more could you ask for.

Final Thought

My main tips are simple bring a camera, relax, enjoy the beauty of these species and dont forget to respect there space and land.

Ahhhhh memory lane i do really need to get back to these shores one day.

Apologies for the lack of quality photos this was some while ago.

Fancy learning a bit more about us check out our About page

As always thanks for stopping by

Richard & Michelle

Outstanding Blogger Award Nomination

Our Nomination

On a wet, windy and reasonably dull hump day I opened my lap top to find a message from one of our favourite travel bloggers Leighton from Leighton Travels . With the news he had put us forward as one of nominations for the Outstanding Blog Award.

Humbled and delighted especially in these times where writing a travel blog is particularly hard, with the world on hold. This was certainly a lift we needed.

You can read Leighon’s nomination list and post here The Outstanding Blog Award! – Leighton Travels!.

As part of the nomination we have to answer 7 of Leighton’s questions and nominate our list of nominations for the Outstanding Blogger award.

So without further ado here it is

Drum Roll!!!!

Our Questions

1: What’s the best accommodation you’ve ever stayed in? Did you have to pay an arm and a leg for it?

Now this is tough one but I think it would have to be Ilala Lodge in Victoria Falls. The hotel is the closest to the falls and the constant sound of the falls and spray in the background made you feel so relaxed.

From the moment you walk in the door it was service of the highest quality. Attention to detail was one of up most important.

The food was of highest quality, with a buffet breakfast to die for, featuring homemade granolas, cereals, fresh fruits, fresh baked pastries and a aroma wafting from the fresh barista grade coffee. At night the Palms restaurant turned into a tropical candlelit outdoor seating area with a fine dining menu to rival anywhere

The rooms were purpose built with comfort in mind. Spacious, with all your normal amenities coffee machine and tv etc. A large full 4 poster beds looking out over to the spray of the falls and balcony where you can sit and see worthogs and monkeys roaming the grounds.

And finally a bathroom which would be the size of a basic hotel room fully equipped toiletries and and his and her sinks.

Price was certainly on the higher side but for us you get what you pay for and it was certainly worth every penny.

2: What’s the worst joint you’ve ever stayed in? All the grimy details please.

I took a trip around Bali i decided to go for what they call “The Real Experience” for a week. The place was i think $2 a night.

Now to be fair it was a spacious hut but that’s where any positives ended. The bed felt to what can only be described as greasy. Liked it had been washed in dirty water. Maybe it was left out in a Balinese monsoon.

Then there was bathroom, well quite frankly reminded me of a of something you would see in a horror movie. And again the greasy feel from the water persuaded me to a quick wash of each day in a neighboring hotels pool.

3: Which of your articles holds the most special place in your heart? Why?

Anything from our South Africa and Zimbabwe trip.

This trip was a trip we had both had always wanted to do and we decided to do it for our honeymoon.

I won’t say no more but here are a few links to tantalise the taste buds over it.

Here we go Johannesburg Our First Stop

Victoria Falls Adventure – nature’s true wonder

Safari Sabi Sands South Africa

Cape Town Where Africa meets Europe

Franschhoek Wine District

4: If you could share a secluded desert island beach with just one person, dead or alive, who would it be? And why?

Now this is a good but tough one. Id say between 2. David Attenborough would be one just hear the stories and adventures he has been on.

But ultimately my choice and being a chef myself and a love for travel. I would have to say the late Anthony Bourdain.

He inspired the travel journey for me with his love food and taking that to places around the world to explore and try new and exciting things. His sense of adventure and wanting to find new avenues is exactly what Chalk and Cheese Travels is all about.

5: If you won the lottery tomorrow and could build your dream house anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I think New Zealand’s south island. We loved New Zealand its just a beautiful i could really picture a cabin on the side of the hill in Queenstown looking out onto the bay sipping on red wine. Even as i write this it puts a smile on my face.

6: What does the WordPress blogging community mean to you?

WordPress has given us the platform to share our adventures and for people to follow our journey.

The community within it is just amazing. A group of like minded people who have the same goal to deliver and produce exciting content. They continually push us to keep going even through these hard times.

7: What are your personal hopes and plans for 2021? Any blogging goals?

To make the most of whats on our doorstep. Explore what in the past we have shrugged off and make the most of local beauty while the world battles this pandemic.

I wouldn’t say we will get to much travel so a second goal would be to take the time to write more. We have past trips to places like Bali and New Zealand we have never found time to write about, so now is the time.

Here Is Our Nomination List

Rebecca Goes Rendezvous

I’ve Bean Travelling

P e d r o L


The A to Z of Travel

For those who are up for participating, here are the Rules:

  1. Provide a link to the creator’s original award post.
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate up to 10 bloggers.
  5. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination.

Our Questions

1.What is your number one destination you have ever been to? And why?

2.What is your most useful accessory you take when travelling and couldn’t do without?

3.When travelling do you prefer a hotel stay or airbnb style holiday?

4.Who is your favourite blogger you follow and why?

5.Who inspires you the most?

6.What goals have you set yourself this year? do you feel you can achieve them

7.Do you have a set routine when planning out blog posts?

Look forward to seeing everybody’s answers. Enjoy your nominations to the Outstanding Blogger Award.

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