Published: July 16th 2006July 16th 2006
I guess the title says it all
Wednesday July 11th, Its seems today we did nothing but drive, after waking up and packing the car we drove out of Invercargil to the Catlins conservation park on our quest to find penguins. As always we drove through plenty of beautiful scenery along the coast and arrived at our destination. For once we arrived at our destination to coincide with the proper tides, this time to see a petrified Jurassic forest. Walking along the rocks on top of the petrified forest was cool, but what we had really wanted to see was penguins, there were also frequently dolphins is the bay but we were not as excited to see those. Unfortunately we were not lucky at this beach with any wildlife, except the usual seagulls. So we decided to continue our search along the coast and drove onwards. At our second beach we were lucky enough to see a bunch of sea lions, but again no penguins, so we gave up our search as we still had to drive almost the entire east-west of the south island back to our little cabin from before.
Thursday July 12th, Rain, again more rain. Milford Sound was again rained and snowed in,
No penguins here
No penguins, but at least the view is nice, there are also some sea lions down there.
this time even worse then before as the roads were even closed due to avalanches. So we decided Milford Sound was going to be a bust, we drove as far along the road as we could until we were stopped by the snow. We did however get to see some fiords and enjoy a bit of beautiful scenery. Then we departed back across the south island to Dunedin.
Friday, July 13th, Today was a very relaxing day, almost like a vacation. Jeanette slept in for a bit, while I read and watched some tv. Then we spent most of our day walking around Dunedin, we started with a visit to the local art museum, then did a bit of a heritage walk looking at the old buildings. Dunedin is another old city, but one of my favorites so far, up there with Wellington I would say. Lots of old churches and architecture, we didn’t even make it to the college section of town but was still impressed.
Saturday July 14th, Today we started with a trip to the farmers market and some craft fairs, then made the short drive to the Otago Peninsula. The Peninsula is famous for
Raining/snowing again in Milford Sound, guess its time we give up on this one
the only mainland Albatross colony, as well as seals and sea lions and of course our favorite, penguins. Our search continued today for the elusive little birds but first we drove to the Albatross colony, but like everything in New Zealand if you want to see you have to pay, so we sat in the parking lot watching the birds from a distance as they flew above. Then off to sandfly beach for our penguin hunt. The beach is one of the only public beaches where penguins can be found, there are lots of pay tours in the area taking you to private lands to see penguins, but we are cheap. This time it was a success, we saw a total of three rare yellow-eyed penguins. Although we almost missed them as the penguins are very shy of people and you are suppose to walk along the beach until you get to a hide, then you sit and wait out of sight. So as we were walking along the beach not really paying attention two penguins about 40 yards up the beach went walking by, we never even saw them come out of the water, and they almost snuck by.
Clinton - Gore
We found it funny that two towns named Clinton and Gore were so close to each other, then when we got there they had actually named the road between the presidential highway. Ill bet we dont find a bush - cheney highway
So we finally got lucky, then after having no luck in the hide we were walking back when again in the distance we spotted another penguin crossing the beach, however some people coming along scared it back into the water we sat hidden in the sand dunes for probably an hour watching the penguin come ashore, only to be scared back to sea again by other tourists walking along the beach unaware of the little guy. After the Penguin finally made it into the dunes the sun was almost set and we were satisfied that our hunt was a success.
There are more photos below