A rare site has been enjoyed by visitors in Queenstown as one of New Zealand's premier tourism companies brought a taste of Fiordland to the resort.
Joining in the community spirit of the Queenstown Winter Festival and the festival parade, Southern Discoveries showed off its 'family' of 'Fiordland Crested Penguins', of the paper mache variety, on its Milford Sound Cruise & Kayak float.
The penguins which are always a huge hit with adults and children first made an appearance in 2010 and have proved popular as Southern Discoveries window feature for Winter Festival ever since.
Southern Discoveries Queenstown Marketing Manager Anita Golden said the time and effort put into creating the float and penguins for the parade was well worth it.
"We won the business section in the parade, although granted we were joint winners alongside Shotover Jet but we're absolutely thrilled for the recognition and so are the penguins," said Ms Golden.
Ms Golden said the Southern Discoveries team had become quite attached to their new penguin family but decided they really did need to go to a good home. Now's the time to donate them to Queenstown Primary School we're they'll be in really good hands.
"Following their win and hard work we've spoilt and pampered the penguins and we've got them all ready for their arrival at Queenstown Primary School.
"We're really looking forward to introducing the penguins to all the students at their school assembly this week.
"Of course there is no better company to travel with if you'd like to see Fiordland Crested Penguins in Milford Sound in real life."
The best time of year to do so is from August to November when it's possible that visitors will also spot their babies. They are also occasionally seen during the moulting season from mid-January to early March.
Ms Golden said she is looking forward to more penguins 'hatching' next year and suggests people keep a look out for them in 2013 at the Southern Discoveries Information Centre on Shotover Street, Queenstown.
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