Dunedin, Edinburgh of NZ

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
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Trip End Sep 01, 2007


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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Decided to spend 2 nights in Dunedin rather than continuing on the Magic Bus to Lake Takepo, where I believed there would be a beautiful lake and not much else. I find I love scenery but also need my fix of Museums and Art Galleries.... Dunedin is Gaelic for Edinburgh apparently. Since I had yet to see a penquin, I decided to take the 1/2 day wildlife tour.  I did get close to sea lions, fur seals and yellow eyed penquins, which are very rare and only nest in NZ apparently. It was a wonderful hot day and part of the journey was tramping through a farmer's field to get down to the water where the wildlife is (Elm Tours pays farmer for access) and to a 'blind' from which we could watch penquins come in  late afternoon after a hard day of hunting in the water. My shoes are still muddy from the climb down and up. The penquins looked 'bushed' - like tired surfers coming in from the water.  At first all I could see was their heads as the guide pointed themout - I thought they were just seagulls swimming up to shore but then they stood up and they were indeed penquins. They walked from side to side as penquins do and then hopped up on the rocks with both feet at once.  I thought they were amazing and through a pair of binoculars, got to see them quite closely.  Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me at the time as i thought we were going to just get out for a look and then get back into the vehicle, so here's a pic from the Dunedin website. Also the Otaga Peninsula is famous for its albatross colony, the only one attached to land. (vs an island). Found on the Otago Peninsula are colonies of the world's shyest penguin, the Yellow-eyed Penguin, sharing secluded beaches with New Zealand Fur Seals.

The sea lions were very friendly and they will chase if they want to play with you. They are not afraid of people, unlike the penquins.
By the way. for the record, NZ and Australia, India, Saudi Arabia etc. were part of Gondwanaland before shifting of teutonic plates and severing the land.  Only the silver and red beeches remain from that time.  There were no kangaroos that made it to NZ before the drifting of the land, nor did they have any land animals at all - only fish and birds which the Maoris lived on.
From Dunedin I will take InterCity bus to Christchurch from where I fly to Auckland Aug 14 and then back to Canada.
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