When you consider that every yellow-eyed penguin has 200 feathers per square inch, you realize there's likely to be a whole lot of preening going on in the heart of this excellent conservation project. The 1 1/2-hour tour begins with an informative talk and slide presentation; you're then driven 5 minutes across farmland to an extensive network of tunnels and hides that took 8 years to build. Here you'll be able to watch the world's rarest penguins at close quarters without disturbing them. Fifteen years ago, there were 8 breeding pairs; today, there are over 35 pairs in the colony, which represents 20% of New Zealand'??s mainland yellow-eyed population. You'll need sensible walking shoes, as there's at least 500m (1,600 ft.) of walking involved, much of it uphill and steep. But you'll be rewarded with fabulous coastal views, colonies of fur seals, possibly Hooker sea lions if you're lucky, and incredible, swirling tangles of sea kelp—all fantastic photographic opportunities, but no flashes are allowed near the penguins.