An unlikely visitor stopped a plane on the tarmac at Wellington Airport earlier this month.

A pilot was preparing to take off when they spotted a little kororā/blue penguin on January 12, Wellington Airport said on social media today.

“The pilot and passengers patiently waited while Wellington Airport staff raced out to collect and help the visitor.

“Our runway sensors were reading 50 degrees at the time, so it’s no wonder they weren’t particularly happy!”

A Wellington Airport staffer with a little kororā / blue penguin.

The penguin has been taken to Wellington Zoo to recover from their ordeal.

“We’ve done some penguin proofing to our fences to keep our flippered friends out of trouble in future,” the airport said.