It is a marvelous experience; to see penguins in small groups arriving ashore, walking and jumping up the rocks to their burrows.
To spot a higher number of Fairy Penguins or Little Blue Penguins the main breeding season in November and December is the best time of the year. September, October, and January around 100 and less arrive after sunset at the shore. Usually, you spot a higher number of penguins at high tide, because the little blue have to walk less distance to their nests. It's pretty tricky where they get out of the water and walk over the huge boulders. You can watch them in the evening without a tour but please don't disturb them, don't block their way, don't use a torch just a red light, and don't pet them! If they get disturbed they may disappear in Bicheno.
You may see blue penguins throughout the year in Bicheno and Tasmania but a few only in winter. During summer, you spot plenty of them. However, wildlife is not predictable. Especially in winter, it can happen that none of them come ashore.
Seasonal Penguin Activities
- Building their nest from April/May to August
- Laying eggs from August to December
- Chick raising from August until January
- Moulting from February to April/May
It's busier with a lot more visitors in summer from December to February, but not extremely crowded. Tip: Book your hotel ahead of time (read more below). There are less visitors in winter and spring but also fewer penguins to spot.
Accommodation Tips (With Penguins in the Garden)
You will love to stay here at least two nights to increase your chance to spot them. IMPORTANT: Book well in advance if you visit in the high season. Otherwise you'll risk fully booked accommodations! However, even in low season you'll save money if you book in advance! Hiking Tip: Our favorite hike nearby is the Apsley River Gorge Trail which is not much crowded. Stay in one of the very view private properties where the little blue nest in the gardens. One of these vacation homes is the Cod Rock Poin (via booking.com with price guarantee), perfectly situated. However, don't get to close, no camera flashlight or torch, only red light for obvious reasons! Another highlight in Bicheno is the Bicheno Blowhole at high tide:
Are you getting to Tasmania from Melbourne or Sydney? If it's Melbourne stay there for a night close to St. Kilda and watch their huge penguin colony at day and night. For Bicheno, you'll find more deals below (Tip: Click 'See all deals' and then bookmark the results):
About 2.000 Korora (in Maori language) better known little blue penguin and some yellow-eyed penguins breed at this largest little penguin colony on the mainland of New Zealand the protected Pohatu
The Pohatu Marine Reserve is an incredible place to watch these cute little penguins up close with all needed protection. They come ashore in the evening before and after sunset to feed their chicks. Usually, there isn't any little penguin in the bay from mid-February to the end of April. It's mother nature and not hundred percent predictable. The details shall give you just an idea if it's worth to try or not.
- The first penguins arrive here end of April or May and more in June.
- Breeding season from late August until the end of December and moulting penguins until mid-February.
End of February the little blue penguins have already left Flea Bay.
The summer from December to March has pleasant temps around 20 °C and up to 30 °C. January and February are the warmest while February and September are the driest months. The wettest months are during winter from June to August. However, be prepared for four seasons in one day.
It is a marvelous experience; to see penguins arriving on the beach and walking up the hill to their burrows.
Every evening guided tours are offered at Low Head. You spot a higher number of Penguins during the main breeding season from November to February: At this time of the year, you may see 100-200 penguins at high tide and on the new moon. The little blue penguins have to walk smaller distances to their nests at high tide. From March to October considerably less than 100 penguins come ashore.
More visitors during summer from December to February. The people get separated in smaller groups on the tours. Fewer tourists in winter and spring but fewer penguins to spot.