Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Otaga Peninsula near Dunedin NZ

I had a nice day in Dunedin yesterday. Spent the morning riding around town and hanging out at cafes catching up on wifi. I forgot my camera and did not feel like riding back up the long steep hill to get the camera so no pics from town.

In the afternoon I went out on the Otaga Peninsula to see all the coastal scenery and the wildlife. I enjoyed that choice. First I toured the albatross center and watched albatross flying around their rookery area. I did not pay to go see the nesting albatross and in retrospect I wish I had done that. Then after watching them I went and watched New Zealand fur seals with their pups playing along the rocky beach and in the tidal pools. The babies were energetic balls of fur to watch swimming and playing together. A little further up the beautiful coast there were New Zealand sea lions with the males fighting each other for the females. The sea lions were all killed off in New Zealand by the Maoris about 400 years ago. These ones have returned from a small colony that survived out on an island way offshore. There are only just over a dozen female and a bit over a hundred males now living on the mainland New Zealand again. They are endangered. They were interesting to observe with all their fighting and chasing each other.

The same beach had yellow eyed penguins and blue penguins nesting on it. There were quite a few pairs of yellow eyed penguins that I watched waddle up the long steep hill from the ocean to their nests. These penguins mate for life and return to their nest every night all year round. I waited around for the blue penguins to return to the beach around dark but before they arrived the rain started and I was getting cold and wet so I gave up on the blue penguins today. The beach was also thick with birds flying around and standing around on the beach. It was a fun nature filled afternoon.

My time is already running short here in New Zealand. I will never make it around on my bike at the rate I have been going with all the rain delays. I am considering taking a bus tour next week through the lower tip of the south island. Then just taking the bus back up north where I would spend the last three weeks in the warmer North Island. I will decide in a couple of days. This Easter week cut into my time also. The entire country goes on vacation for Easter week and everything is booked up and crowds are everywhere so it is a very difficult time to travel by bike. The traffic alone could kill me. Dunedin is a nice choice to wait out Easter week. a few pics...The first are New Zealand Fur Seals then the later ones are New Zealand Sea Lions which are threatened. The penguins are all yellow eyed penguins

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