5 December - Went to Akoroa to swim with Hectors Dolphins which are the smallest and rarest in the world and native to New Zealand. On arrival we were kitted out with wet suits, boots, masks and snorkels and set off on the boat out to sea. After about 15 mins the dolphins were spotted and once the crew had established they were not feeding or didn't have any young we were allowed into the water with them. It was a fantastic experience as they are very inquisitive and swim up very close to you. It was an unbelievable experience and one that we'll never forget.
6 December - Left Christchurch to travel down South. Stopped in Waitaki to set up camp for our first night under the stars. It was a bit windy that night but the camp site was lovely and we were looked after by a lovely old NZ chap called Bruce.
7 December - Went into Oamaru to see the Blue Penquins but they were all at sea as they don't come ashore until dusk so we'll have to catch up with them somewhere else in NZ. Pat fished in the Waitaki River in the afternoon and as you can see from the photos he caught a trout. It lived to see another day as it was too big to go in our frying pan!!! It was a lovely sunny day but VERY windy on the beach which is where the river estuary was.
8 & 9 December - Left Waitaki Camp Site and headed to Mount Cook. The scenery along the way was spectacular and the colour of the water in the lakes was unreal. We took loads of photos but we don't want to bore you with them all. Set up camp in a town called Twizel next to Lake Ruataniwha. The next day we walked around the lake and relaxed - it was a really beautiful day and very hot. Pat fished in the lake in the evening and caught another trout and lost a few.
10 December - Travelled down to Dunedin - Pat fished a canal on the way hoping to catch a salmon but no luck. The weather changed - a bit drizzly so we're staying in accommodation for 2 nights.
11 December - Got up early and headed to the end of the Otago Peninsula. Saw fur seals, lots of seabirds nesting and albatrosses in flight - an amazing sight. We're now in Dunedin City updating the blog and the weather is improving so we're going to explore. Heading further South tomorrow.