On our way to Dunedin we stopped off at Omaru for a chance to see the penguins. It turns out this will be one of many chances. We spied some little, blue, fairy penguins (why they don't decide on one name I don't know) inside their nests. A bit too dark to get good photos thugh. After we went for a nice cliff walk and saw some shags nesting. We then had another chance to walk around in a forest. After the walk we visited the information centre where Aaron was excited to ride a pennyfarthing. He didn't get very far though as it was fixed to the floor.
Next stop along the road was the Moeraki boulders. Close up they were pretty cool. Aaron didn't want me in the photos though as he didn't want me to ruin the natural beauty of them.
Along the road Aaron continues to wave at all the other camper vans but no way we will rival the hells angels as no one wants to wave back. This makes Aaron very sad and lately it has started to anger him!
At the end of a long day we arrived at Dunedin. It is still not a very big place no where is in New Zeasland. The next day we set off for a walk around Pine Creek resevoir. It was susposed to lead to a longer walk but not for us. All we did was walk around in circles on a walk that should of taken half an hour. In fact it took us two hours so defeated we headed back to camp. We however didn't give in that easily so we opted for the cheat option instead. We drove to the start of the walk instead. This was not that easy as we missed the turn off to the walk twice. When we eventually got to the track at the top we could see our camp site and the road that we kept popping out to on our earlier walk. So close.
In the evening we headed back into the woods to the resevoir to see the glow worms. We saw a few of them and then got spooked and legged it back to camp only to bump into a family camly heading for the darkeness. Think I have watched too many horror films about murders on canal tow paths.
The Otago peninsula didn't start off with great success. Parking wasn't easy and the boulder beach was shut off for penguin breeeding season. So abonded our origional plan of a morning walk. Instead we headed to the end of the peninsula first to the albatros centre. We saw one fly over our heads which was very impressive and then paid to see some nesting and hopfully flying again. Aaron was very disapointed as they were too far away to get a good photo. It would have been worth investing in a better camera with a better zoom for our travels. I still think they look like gulls you can only tell how huge they are if they are very close. So not that impresive sitting on a nest. But I am impressed that without any expereinec of flying or feeding themselves that the first time they leave the nest they do not set their feet on dry land for at least five years. Surprisingly we did see more penguins in their nests and this time we got a better photo. Feel a bit bad though as we got them a bit too much attention after we left.
Our walk that day ended up being at Sandfly bay. It was more of a trek than we expected. Heading down the many sand dunes was quite fun but not sure I can say the same about the return journey. It was worth the effort though as yes you guessed it we did see some penguins but this time the rare yellow eyed penguins. We were happy enough seeing ones from a distance from the hides but on our return journey across the beach on the opposite cliffs we saw even more. Aaron managed to clamber up to get some more closer up pics. Almost penguined out we made our way into the Catlins.
The end of our day was spent at roaring Bay penguin watching this time seeing them waddle out of the water it takes a long time. They would win every time at musical statues you never saw them move. We camped at the head near Nugget point as it was evening we didn't see the gold colour of the rocks they looked just like any others. It was a very windy night. We were in a very deserted place lacking any other company. At times it felt like we would end up being blown over the cliff. We did however survive the night unscathed.
In the morning we got up early to make the most of the day. As a reward we were treated to another early riser chasing the birds. It was strange to see a sealion on its own. We did some walks one up to Jacks Blow hole. It was a nice steep gravel path. The blow hole would have been more impresive at full tide. On the way back I slid on the path and couldn't stop myself running down. Aaron stood at the bottom to catch me but instead moved out of the way. Probably not someone to play the trust game with. He does argue that he was worried he would get knocked over and grabbed my hand instead!
Later we visited lots of waterfalls along the southern tourist route. Not too busy though so managed to get close to get some good photos. Petrol became an issue though so we had to head back the wrong way to find a petrol station. When we eventually came across one we had to knock the attendent up from his house who promised to come down after he had finished his sunday lunch. As we were waiting we got chatting to a local who suggested we should head back to Curio bay. This is where there is a petrified Jurrasic forest. We had fun as usual climbing all over them and wading out to sea, not sure it was a perfext place for swimming like the locals suggested though. Another RARE yellow eyed penguin didn't feel the same as us and prefered to laze on the rock and take in some rays.
Towards the end of the day we headed to Waipapa point. Aaron was in danger of taking no more photos untill he spotted a huge black sealion coming out of the sea for a rest. You are always warned not too get too close so you don't disturb them. Not too easy when one heads right for you. Instead everyone was panicking and moving away from it. It did look a bit menacing heading staright for our camera. After a long drive to Teanu we rested for the night only to find an answer to an email from Jen (friend of Aaron's) saying she lived near the bluff back the way we had just come from. Typical!