Oamaru and Dunnedin--March 16-20, 2006

Wildlife, Beer, and Chocolate

My next stop was a city on the east coast called Oamaru. This city is known for its wildlife viewing, especially the penguins. It is home to two different species. The very rare blue penguins and the yellow eyed penguins. I went to a penguin reserve the night I was there and saw the blue penguins come into shore. They swim all day and then come home in the evening to their nest. Unfortunately for me but I guess fortunately for the penguins they do not allow photos in the reserve so I was unable to get a shot of them but I did see 17 come back to their home that night.

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Moeraki Boulders

When I left Oamaru I continued south and stopped at a city called Moeraki and had a side pit stop to see the Moeraki Boulders. They are large (about 6+ feet or so in diameter) spherical boulders that have been "placed" on the sand by the water thousands of years ago. The Maori's (local indigenous people) feel it is a special site for them.

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Sea Lions

My next stop was Dunedin. A large port city on the east coast. I went out to the Dunedin peninsula one afternoon to see more wildlife. I did see the graceful Royal Albatross (wingspan of 8 meters or more) and some sea lions playing on the beach. I really went out there in search of the yellow eyed penguin that nest there (hoping to get that great photo). After walking 30 minutes over a big sand dune I found where they come to shore but there was only one and he was too far away to take a picture. The search continues.....

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Beer tour

When in Dunedin, there are a couple of must do tours. One was of the Speights Beer factory where I had a chance to sample the local brews.

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Then the second must do tour is the Cadbury chocolate factory. I have to say no other factory smells or tastes as good as a chocolate factory!

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