Day trip to view Penguins

Walking with Penguins

1 day guided experience departs Queenstown

Walking with Penguins & Seals Heli Hike

Half Day trip - Penguins and Seals


Departs: Queenstown 8.30am or 1.30pm
Season: Year round
Grade: Easy
Duration: allow 4.5 hours
Walking distance: 1 hour





  • Scenic drive beside Lake Wakatipu to the head of the lake in Glenorchy
  • Stunning scenic flight over the Southen Alps and out to the Hollyford Valley
  • Viewing of Fiordland New Zealand Penguins, Seals, and other native species, e.g. Wood Pigeons (Kereru), Kakariki (Parakeets) &/or Fantails.
  • Opportunity to  upgrade with a scenic flight to Milford Sound &/or a Glacier Landing.


  • Transfers to heli pad
  • Photo opportunities
  • Scenic flight
  • Penguin viewing
  • Experienced guide
  • Snacks and refreshments


Detailed Itinerary

We depart Queenstown and travel along one of the most stunning roads in Queenstown to the head of the lake and Glenorhcy. This stretch of road from Queenstown to Glenorchy was recently voted by Lonely Planet as “one of the most beautiful drives in the world” and you’ll see why when we stop at the Bennett’s Bluff lookout.

Here we board a helicopter flight to Martins Bay and the head of the Hollyford track where we are able to encounter the native Fiordland Crested Penguins in their natural habitat. We should also encounter seals and other native species, e.g. Wood Pigeons, Kakariki &/or Fantails.

If time allows, we can also enjoy an eco-encounter walk through native bush. Once we arrive back in Glenorchy, we will stop to enjoy either morning tea or afternoon tea by the lake before returning to Queenstown.

The trip includes a stunning flight over the Southern Alps with the option to stop at Milford Sound or land on a glacier for an additional cost for the helicopter, often a high point for an amazing photo opportunity.

The best time of year to see the penguins is during the breeding season from July to November. They may also occasionally be seen during the moulting season from mid-January to early March.

Area Map of Hollyford Valley

Area Map of Hollyford Valley

Walking with penguins detailed map

Walking with penguins detailed map

What to wear and bring for a day hike

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS – Some items we may be able to provide it to you, other items can be hired in Queenstown, please contact us for more informations 

  • Jacket/Coat – wind and waterproof with hood
  • Boots – sturdy, good fit, protected with dressing/polish
  • Treking pants/trousers
  • Top/ shirt – quick drying sports or hiking tops are best.
    Avoid cotton as although cool in the summer, it can be cold when wet or sweaty
  • Walking socks
  • Warm hat, beanie or balaclava and gloves or mittens
    Even in summer the weather can turn cooler in the evenings
  • Mid layer pullover: fleece tops or polartec type are ideal (light and quick drying)
    Cotton hoodies are not as warm and heavy when wet
  • Shorts
  • Day pack – ideally with a waterproof liner
    Pack should be light, strong and comfortable approx. 20-40 litres to carry your water bottle, sunscreen, insect repellant, camera, snacks and extra clothing/ waterproof
  • Drink Bottle
    We can normally fill up along the way in streams so 1 litre is normally sufficient
  • Personal medication if required
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, lip balm and sunhatOPTIONAL SUGGESTIONS
  • Gaiters or Puttees – to keep out water and gravel
  • Thermals – long sleeved top and long johns (quick drying)
    The kiwi way is to wear them under shorts and t shirts
  • Over trousers – waterproof and windproof, essential if you get cold quickly
  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars
  • Blister plasters/band-aid or tape
    Although we do carry a first aid kit too
  • Camera, spare batteries and spare memory card
  • Small day pack for personal items
  • Camera
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Walking shoes
  • Warm clothes (layers are best)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Gaiters (optional)
Adventure Walks, Guided hikes in Fiordland, Te Anau and Queenstown (95)

Deaprting Queenstown by helicopter we fly over Lake Wakatipu and the head of the lake

Walking with Penguins

Adventure Walks, Guided hikes in Fiordland, Te Anau and Queenstown

Adventure Walks, Guided hikes in Fiordland, Te Anau and Queenstown (102)

Up close and personal with the local wildlife

Adventure Walks, Guided hikes in Fiordland, Te Anau and Queenstown (109)

Pptional extra to stop on a glacier on the way back to Queenstown

Adventure Walks, Guided hikes in Fiordland, Te Anau and Queenstown (127)

Seals at the West Coast

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