An Adélie penguin, which is usually found in the Antarctic, has been found 3,000km away from home on the coast of New Zealand.

The penguin was first spotted by locals on Wednesday evening looking a little lost.

The Department of Conservation in New Zealand said the penguin was underweight and a bit dehydrated when he was first picked up by rescuers.

The bird was fed before its release back into the wild at Magnet Bay at southern Banks Peninsula today.

This is the third recorded instance of an Adélie penguin discovered ashore in New Zealand.

The Adélie penguins are named after Adélie Land in turn named for Adèle Dumont d'Urville, the wife of French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville who discovered the species of penguin in 1840.

Adélie penguins live on a diet of mainly krill and fish.