one of the Earth's eight biogeographic realms
Travel topics > Natural attractions > Wildlife of the Southern Ocean

In and around the Southern Pacific Ocean lives an ecosystem of plant and animal life including penguins, seals, and whales.

Major wildlife regions
North AmericaCentral & South AmericaAfricaEurasiaSouth & Southeast AsiaAustralasiaSouthern Ocean



All species of penguins are native to the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Antarctica. The best place to see penguins, but also remote and expensive.
  • Tierra del Fuego. This region is part of Argentina and Chile, at the southern tip of South America. There are penguin colonies within 30 km of Ushuaia and Punta Arenas, as well as other locations that are further or require ferries to reach. See this site for a full list.
  • Falkland Islands.
  • Phillip Island, Australia. Here you can see dozens of little fairy penguins waddle up from the sea to their nests at sunset. Within two hours' drive of Melbourne.
  • Penguin Island, Rockingham, Australia. Home to a colony of little penguins, though few wild penguins are visible during the day. Located close to Perth.
  • New Zealand. Penguins can be seen in places like Oamaru and Akaroa.
  • South Africa. Home to African penguins. They can be seen at Boulders Beach, and at Betty's Bay in Overberg. Both are within a 90-minute drive of Cape Town.
  • Galapagos Islands. The archipelago is the home of the endemic Galapagos penguin and is the northernmost habitat of any penguin species. Indeed, a small part of the Isabela Island, one of the islands on which the penguins thrive, extends across the Equator, making this the only place in the Northern Hemisphere with a wild penguin population.

Penguins can be found in zoos and aquariums throughout the world.

Sea lionsEdit

  • Kangaroo Island. Popular spot for sea lions and only two hours and a ferry from Adelaide.

See alsoEdit

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