Coastal Otago

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March 12th 2011
Published: March 19th 2011
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The Catlins and the Otago Peninsula were a totally different experience to the past couple of weeks in the Fiordland area. Our first stop was Nugget Point which is something we never really planned on doing until Kathie saw a postcard of the lighthouse there and said, “I want to see that.” So we did, and we enjoyed our breakfast watching the sunrise over the lighthouse. On the way to Nugget Point is a hide overlooking a bay where a colony of Yellow-eyed penguins comes ashore every night. Even though you can’t get very close it was fun to see them swim up to the beach and stagger out of the surf and then waddle their way to their nests in the grasslands. The most unexpected surprise was when we decided to go for a drive to Surat Bay which we found on our tourist map from the visitor centre. We thought it would be a good place to go for a walk but we had no idea that we’d be so close to a bunch of sea lions. They really do look like lions with their golden manes and the way they hold their heads in the air. We watched one come ashore and it took him a good half-hour to make his way up to the beach from the water before he flopped down on the sand for a rest.

Next we headed to Dunedin where we took a tour of the Speights brewery. It’s probably the best tour we’ve been on in a really long time. Not to mention great beer! We stayed on the Otago Peninsula near Dunedin and went for a tour of a Yellow-eyed penguin colony where we could get up close to the penguins we saw earlier. They are the rarest type of penguins in the World so it was great to have the opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat while there are still some around.

Now we’re making a bee-line for the Marlborough/Picton area where we’ll do some wine tasting and hike the Queen Charlotte track.

Additional photos below
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5th April 2011
Nugget Point sunrise

AMAZING;-) well done

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