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The Otago Peninsula and The Catlins

NEW ZEALAND | Saturday, 19 January 2008 | Views [3781] | Comments [1]

Shane that steepest steet is that way, dum dum

Shane that steepest steet is that way, dum dum

I know my sense of direction isn't that good, so I'm not surprised i couldn't find the steepest street or my way to the Otago peninsula. I remember I'm in the southern hemisphere, rotate my head around and it all eventually works out... the peninsula sure is beautiful.

Little sandy bays, Harrier Hawks and yellow heads galore, a royal albatross centre, a yellow eyes penguin sanctuary, beaches full of seals, gorgeous greenery - I REALLY like this place. Visiting the albatross centre is a scary experience because there are so many birds flying around - I unfortunately have a history of being target practice. They really are awesome birds - the largest wingspan in the world (a true record breaker for once), they can fly a 1000km in a day, they are voracious plastic eaters (judging by the photo) and they spend most of their time on the wing. I was once told they can't land unless on a hill or cliff as they'd never be able to take off again - i don't think that's true. To see these birds has been on my list for quite a while - so I'm excited.

I have a magical day: car, music, wildlife and scenery.

The next day i explore the coast south of Dunedin; an area known as the Catlins. It would have made more sense to have done it from Invercargill, but the cost of car hire was too much, and besides i like Dunedin. It's along day of driving, exploring little bays and blowholes, being unimpressed by waterfalls (i really have been spoilt), stopping at quaint towns full of murderers (see the local press and you'd know what i mean), Hookers sea lions, yellow eyes penguins, petrified forests, sandy beaches and rainforest that meets the sea. Did i mention yellow eyed penguins? wow, i was so lucky. It was the early afternoon, I'd stopped at a bay to see the petrified forest not even knowing there was a chance of seeing penguins - especially at that time of day, and there it was. It was much bigger than i expected, and there were probably a dozen of us spectators. This is a very rare bird, and without a doubt even our considerate viewing affected it. DOC (Department of Conservation) is pretty good in NZ, but i think they need to have a rethink about this one.  The penguin numbers are on the decline and we tourists are definitely a factor.

Another great day, albeit with too much driving ut a yellow eyed penguin!

Tags: island, wildlife

 

Comments

1

You did the Caitlins from Dunedin ? You should really have stayed in the Caitlins, some awesome little hostels. Anyway, the penguins are something aren't they ? I saw an albatross land on the ocean, and take off again. Wow, I miss NZ :(<br><br><br>... Shane: "yeah i know"...no time, so i went for the easy option. It was still great. I've seen so many penguins and sea lions now - it's still awesome. I don't miss NZ.

  Tam Jan 26, 2008 1:28 PM

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