We had been told that we might see penguins at a spot a few hundred metres down the road...between 7 and 9 pm. It seemed amazing and a bit strange to us that the penguins could be so regimented, but we took the walk to the appointed spot, the petrified forest (an area where fossils of trees have been exposed by wave action). To our great surprise and delight...and precisely at 7:00...a large penguin came out of the sea and walked and hopped her way up the rocks towards bushes at the perimeter of the fossils. She/he (apparently the sex cannot be determined by sight alone) stood a mere 10 metres away from us for a good 40 minutes...resting and cooling down after a 30 km swim to get and bring back food.
We waited patiently and eventually two chicks appeared from the bushes clamoring to be fed. It was wonderful to watch them feed and be force them to follow their parent around the rocks...the local conservation officer explained that the chicks need to exercise to be ready to depart three weeks hence.
After about 30 minutes the chicks made their way back into the bushes to settle in for the night and the parent went back to the water's edge to wait for the return of his/her mate.
It was very special to see, especially as this type of penguin (yellow-eyed) is notoriously shy.