Unfortunately it was nearly time to say goodbye to my good acquaintances Chris and Jenny and to move on to Sydney to Meet Tim, his family and play some cricket! My last few days in New Zealand involved a visit to the Oamaru Blue Penguins Sanctuary, going out in Oamaru on my last evening and a great deal of last minute packing.
Watching the penguins walk up the rocky shoreline into the sanctuary was brilliant! Although I had seen the odd penguin before on the roadside, while we drove near the harbour, it was even better to see lots of them at once. Before the penguins landed on the shore line we were educated by a woman about the Blue Penguin Colony. She explained that the penguins would arrive in groups, called rafts, and seek shelter where they would sleep for the night. However, some of the penguins would sleep while floating on the tops of the water as they were yet to finish hunting fish or would just prefer not to come inland. The penguins have an average height of 30cm, although many seemed much smaller. On average each penguin weighs around 1.5kg, they have a slate-blue plumage and a white tummy.
Having paid for premium seats, we were able to enjoy the views of a number of rafts waddle up into their small wooden homes from merely feet away. The sight of up to 25 penguins tumbling around in the waves as they broke on the beach was hilarious. After, they found their feet and began to head inland. They continued to walk up the rocky shore in their raft with the bravest at the front and the younger more anxious at the back. Eventually they reached the enclosure and queued at the narrow entrance, which soon ended up in a mass hustle and bustle - commencing a chase to enter and seek their favourite sheltered spot, away from any dangerous noises they may have heard as people watched on. It was a very humorous sight. Unfortunately photos were not permitted, however this will not mean the images of penguins waddling along, bumping into one another and occasionally falling on their tummies will soon leave my memory. They whole evening was awesome, with the only down side being I wasn't able to steal one and take it home with me!
On my last night the three of us went out for a lovely meal in the local pub, where we reminisced about some of the fantastic and unforgettable highlights of our trip. Afterwards, I continued to do some last minute packing, before Chris and I indulged in an epic road trip through the night, to Christchurch airport.
It was then time to give my thanks, say goodbye and depart to Australia!