We left Te Anau and headed south to drive along the 'Southern Scenic Route'. The first stop was at a place called Tautapere for lunch, apparently the place has world famous sausages so Ben put in a request for an early lunch. These turned out to be ok but we were a bit disappointed as they are nowhere near as good as the Jones farm sausages! We continued on to Bluff and did a long walk along the peninsular in the hope of seeing some more brown seals but they must have been hiding as we didn't see anything! We found a campsite with cabins in Invarcargil nearby and had some famous Bluff oysters and blue cod for tea and an early night in preparation for a long hike in the Catlins the next day. Unfortunately there was a huge storm in the night and the morning was quite rainy so we ended up having a late start and only going for the shorter walks. This turned out for the best though as at our first stop at Waipapa Point lighthouse we managed to see the very rare NZ sea lion basking in the sun and stretching his flippers. These have only just started returning to the mainland after being hunted to near extinction and was really amazing to see. We continued to 'Slope Point' which is the southernmost part of the south island, this was particularly windswept and cold, being closer to the south pole than the equator. Our next stop was Curio bay where there are hundreds of fossilised trees in the rocks of the seabed. This was incredibly interesting as there was literally a forest of 180 million year old stone like stumps and trunks across the bay formed by an ancient mud slide, which then preserved the forest until the sea washed the mud/rock away. We were having a good investigation of these stumps when two yellow headed penguins popped out of the sea and started sunning themselves in front of us! These are apparently even rarer than the sea lions and the rarest penguins in the world so we were really lucky to see them in the wild and were really impressed! We then drove to see Parakanui Falls and did a long walk to Jack's Blowhole as it started getting dark. The gravel roads were a bit much for the Mazda and it took forever to get anywhere so we didn't manage to get as far as planned and ended up staying in a tiny little town called Pounawea in a cabin overlooking the bay. The next morning we rose early to for a walk along Surat Bay where we had heard that some sea lions live. We encountered a group of 4males sleeping just as a female came out of the sea and all the males started to roar and flex their muscles! They ended up chasing each other across the bay and eventually settling down for some sun, a very memorable event. After this we headed towards Dunedin, stopping only at a very dark hand carved train tunnel and for a coffee at a strange little town called Milton. At Dunedin we had a quick lunch before heading over to the Otago peninsula. The first stop was at Sandfly Bay, then on along the winding gravel roads for a walk down to 'lovers leap' and amazing views of the peninsula, cliffs and sea. As it was starting to get dark we decided to go to Pilot Beach where we hoped to see the common blue penguin return from the sea after a days fishing. On our way down to the shore we spotted a nesting box with a mum and baby peering out at the world. We stood at the shore for 2 hours waiting for the rest of the penguins to return, at which point it was pitch black and we couldn't see anything so we gave up and headed back to look for accommodation. We just thought that it was typical that we had seen so many rare animals but hardly any of the common ones! Our time waiting wasn't completely wasted though as we saw a few huge albatrosses sailing overhead (the beach is next door to an albatross centre) and we saw lots of brown seals basking in the last light and frolicking in the sea. By the time we started looking for somewhere to stay we could hardly see anything on the winding roads and though we planned to stay on the peninsula we ended up back in Dunedin having missed the accommodation. We found a great hostel up on a hill (apparently haunted) and made up for the frustrating evening with a few glasses of wine over dinner.