Following a detailed assessment of sites near Christchurch, Boulder Bay was selected as having the best attributes for the establishment of a large colony of penguins and for the viewing of a penguin parade. This small bay has ideal landing conditions and with its central stream-bed (which is generally dry) a well-defined route along which penguins will move (after landing near dusk) further into the valley. The valley immediately behind the landing beach is a superb natural amphitheatre within which many nesting sites are available.
Already in Harris Bay, which abuts Boulder Bay on its western side, penguins are well established. Whereas access difficulty makes Harris Bay inappropriate for public viewing of a parade, penguins there will remain as a support / donor colony to the ultimately much larger colony of birds in Boulder Bay.
Predator proofing of the area will be relatively straightforward.
Persons viewing the parade will have a superb view of the penguins landing on the beach, assembling into groups, interacting with each other and then making their way up a natural 'runway' adjacent to the dry stream-bed. For viewers of a penguin parade this is an exhilarating and never to be forgotten experience. The Trust is confident the parade will become a major eco-tourism attraction in Canterbury drawing many local and international visitors.
The endangered status of the bird (Canterbury's own!) will be brought to the attention of viewers and of the importance of enhancing its habitat throughout its breeding range. It is considered that by providing people with the opportunity to view a parade their support will give the impetus to ensure the conservation of the species. Money generated from the parade will ultimately be used to support other conservation initiatives for the penguin.At the same time as ensuring the protection of the species Christchurch local businesses will benefit hugely from having another major tourist draw card that compliments attractions such as the Antarctic Centre, Orana Park, Willowbank.