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Published: October 8th 2009
1st October - Dunedin
This morning we jumped on the bus into the City Centre and made our way to the Cadbury’s Factory - Yes the Chocolate one!! Unfortunately there were no Umpalumpas much to Steve’s and my disappointment, made even worse when the children were given big chocolate Easter eggs and not us!!! We did get free chocolate though and the smell inside the factory is delicious!!! We also saw one of the world’s largest chocolate waterfalls which to our disappointed is only there for the entertainment of the people doing the tours.
From Chocolate to coffee, as Dunedin is home to some pretty cool & funky café’s that just so happen to serve excellent coffee! We opted for a very retro & stylish bar known simply as ‘Strictly Coffee’ and made ourselves at home for an hour or so in the very comfy leather chairs while we sip & supped our coffees. We then walked around the city and then since it was a lovely sunny day we sat out in the centre and had a drink, before heading back to our Jucy Lucy for the night.
2nd October - Dunedin to Otago Peninsula to see the Yellow Eyed Penguins
Today we got up and started our drive to the Otago Peninsula unfortunately it was grey, windy, rainy and hailing! We found the campsite and then drove around in hope that the weather would get better! The rain and cold just got worse so we went back to the campground where we sat in our camper eating soup and playing cards until it was time to go to the Yellow Eyed Penguin reserve. We got to see two penguins in the “ hospital” who were being taken care of by the centre we then boarded on a bus that took us through some scenic fields with all the sheep we stopped by a path, we walked on for a bit and then saw the beautiful stretch of beach. The land is private so the only ones blessed with walking on that beautiful sand are the Yellow Eyed Penguins! We walked through the different paths and into a viewing hut from which we could see a female penguin in her nest. The guide then got word that there was a penguin coming out of the water so we went over to see him. We saw him waddling his way over the rocks onto the grass and clean himself up. We then walked on to see some more penguins on there nests and also we got to see a different breed of penguin much smaller hidden in their nests covering the precious eggs! We then walked back to see if the male penguin had returned to his partner, we saw him run up the grassy slope to his partner( so cute!) they than cuddled, sang and then to everyone’s surprise started mating!!! It was really funny and apparently rare so we were very lucky!!
3rd October - Otago Peninsula to the Catlins (via Sandfly Bay, Dunedin & Nugget Point Lighthouse).
Today we decided to leave the Otago Peninsula and make our way down to the Catlins, with a few stops naturally on the way. First stop was Sandfly Bay, which is known to have a Sea Lion colony. As we arrived, the sky miraculously started to clear and the sun started shinning. We trekked down through amazing sand dunes to the beach, there we found our first Sea Lion plastered on the beach having a very relaxing looking nap, she occasionally opened her eyes to make sure we weren’t getting too close but then would plunge back into sleep. We took a few pictures and then walked on in search for more Sea Lions we found one more sleeping behind a dune and then another two a mother and her young one sleeping on the sand, when the mother saw us coming she moved and tried to hide her baby from us which was very cute. We then turned around the corner of a large sand dune and saw a bunch of Sea Lions all awake and active fighting and moving about. We quickly rushed over to them and sat there watching them fighting and then plopping on the sand before getting up to fight for a few seconds again for a while! After a while we decided it was best to leave them in peace. So we said bye to the Sea Lions and climbed our way back up the sand dunes to the camper!
Before making our way over to the Catlins we decided to make a quick stop in Dunedin to do some food shopping and to take some pictures of Dunedin’s very beautiful train station. After that we started our way to the Catlins with one more stop in mind, Nugget Point Lighthouse which we have been seeing on postcards all over! But we had to get there first!!! As we got on the main road the wind picked up agaian and was literally making our Jucy swerve across the street! In a war between us and the steering wheel (taking turns for our poor arms) we finally made it to Nugget Point Lighthouse, thankfully once again as if by miracle the rain stopped and the clouds cleared up, not completely but just perfectly for the pictures! Nugget Point is a pretty spectacular point with the rocky cliffs and a very tough looking ocean!
We then continued our way to the Catlins, getting back on the road the wind and rain picked up again and we were once again at war with the car!!! We finally made it to the Catlins where we parked up and settled for the night.
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