After having a cold for the last two or three days i wanted to spend my first day in Dunedin doing nothing, but when the weather was so nice on Tuesday morning I decided I had to make the most of the day. So i went for a walk around the town to have a look at some of the old buildings, including the Railway station which is allegedly the most photographed building in NZ (although I was told that about a building in Rotorua too!) and the Cadbury's chocolate factory. I then decided to book my tour of the nearby Larnach Castle for this afternoon too. It's New Zealand's only castle, and I don't really think it's much of a castle. It's more like a big house with a tower to make it look like a castle. It was still nice to have a tour around it though and hear the history of the guy who built it and his family that lived there. It is also up on a hill overlooking the Otago Peninsula, so there were awesome views all around. Sadly it had clouded over in the time it took to actually go on the tour, so it wasn't as nice as the morning - but the views were still good and at least it didn't rain (which it proceeded to do for the rest of that night after i got back to my hostel).
As we were leaving Dunedin, we stopped at Baldwin Street, which is apparently in the Guinness book of records as the world's steepest residential street. It was way too early in the morning to be getting off the bus and walking up a really steep hill, but i did it anyway!
From Dunedin we started heading up the East coast of the south island to a place called Oamaru. First though, we stopped at Moeraki which is basically a beach which has a load of boulders on it. They are a bit random, just strewn in the middle of the beach, but I'm not sure why they are such a tourist attraction. Still did the tourist thing though and took a load of photos!
Then we went on to Oamaru. I wasn't sure if I should bother stopping here, cos a lot of people on the bus don't as it's quite a small town, but the main reason for doing so was penguins. They have a colony of Little Blue Penguins here which you can go to see at night when they come back home from swimming out at sea all day. I went to see them last night and I was so glad I stopped here because it was brilliant. Apparently we saw 152 and they were so cute. They'd walk up the slope and stop for a while and then suddenly a bunch of them would decide to carry on and run up into their nesting boxes (it's a protected colony). They are soooo cute! And seeing 152 of them was brilliant. And then as I was walking back to my hostel, outside the viewing area we saw a few more coming up onto the road. You weren't allowed to take pictures in the colony but I tried to take pics of these ones (quite unsuccessfully as I couldn't use a flash).
(picture above is Dunedin Railway station - once again, not one of mine!)