Day 17 - Driving to the Otago Penisula

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November 22nd 2007
Published: November 22nd 2007
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We left Lake Tekapo fairly early and headed toward the East Coast. We drove down to a city called Oamaru. This is where the little blue penguins come ashore each day at dusk. Unfortunately, we got there around lunch-time and were way too early for that as well as the afternoon nesting tour so we were off. We did take a walk on a nice beach where you can sometimes see Yellow-Eyed Penguins but, no joy there either, except for the view. We drove on down the coast and stopped at the Moeraki Boulders. These rocks were formed in the ocean over 60 million years ago. They are round (see the pic) because they formed in layers, like an oyster pearl, covering over bone, or fossil or piece of wood. According to Maori legend, these are the gourds and calabashes that fell off the great canoe from the first migration to this country. Your choice on which one you want to believe. Then it was on to Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula. We wound around the Peninsula and found our B&B, the Chyn-an-Dowr (Shy-an-dour). Beautiful old house right across from the water. Lovely hosts who know a lot about local history and wildlife. We unpacked and headed up to the point to see Yellow-Eyed Penguins. There’s a private reserve and a guided tour through camouflaged hides. The Yellow-Eyed Penguin, or Hoiho, is one of the rarest in the world. They’re unusual in that they stick with the same mate, year after year, and are not very social. Kind of sounds like us! We saw a few coming in from the sea and several walking around and nesting with their chicks. It was well worth the visit to see them. We found a little pub to have a very late dinner and then called it a night. That's all for now. Stay tuned.

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