The Little Penguin is the smallest and perhaps the cutest species of penguin in the world. It grows to an average of 33 cm (13 in) in height and 43 cm (17 in) in length, though specific measurements vary by subspecies. It is found on the coastlines of southern Australia and New Zealand, with possible records from Chile. In Australia, they are often called fairy penguins because of their small size. In New Zealand, they are more commonly known as little blue penguins or blue penguins owing to their slate-blue plumage. They are also known by their Māori name: kororā.
South of Perth, Western Australia, visitors to Penguin Island are able to view penguins in a natural environment. Less than one hour from the centre of the city, it is possible to see little penguins in all months, including visiting sensitive areas where they remain on land for extended periods for the purposes of moulting.
At Phillip Island, Victoria, a viewing area has been established at the Phillip Island Nature Park to allow visitors to view the nightly "penguin parade". Lights and concrete stands have been erected to allow visitors to see but not photograph or film the birds (this is because it can blind or scare them) interacting in their colony.
In Otago, New Zealand town of Oamaru, where visitors may view the birds returning to their colony at dusk. In Oamaru it is not uncommon for penguins to nest within the cellars and foundations of local shorefront properties, especially in the old historic precinct of the town. More recently, little penguin viewing facilities have been established at Pilots Beach, Otago Peninsula and Dunedin in New Zealand. Here visitors are guided by volunteer wardens to watch penguins returning to their burrows at dusk.
Visitors to Kangaroo Island, South Australia, have nightly opportunities to observe penguins at the Kangaroo Island Marine Centre in Kingscote and at the Penneshaw Penguin Centre. Granite Island at Victor Harbor, South Australia continues to offer guided tours at dusk, despite its colony dropping from thousands in the 1990s to dozens in 2014. There is also a Penguin Centre located on the island where the penguins can be viewed in captivity.
In Bicheno, Tasmania, evening penguin viewing tours are offered by a local tour operator at a rookery on private land.
Feeding time for the little blues at the Melbourne Zoo