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  • Day29

    Found Penguins ..... and more Wineries!

    December 12, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    Woke up to another cloudy day, but had already made plans to go to the National New Zealand Aquarium, and got there when it opened at 9am - what an awesome place, and yes, they had penguins!! We walked around for the first half hour looking at the fabulous displays, reptiles, stingrays, and one of which actually has two Kiwi birds who were chasing each other and having a great time! It was very dark in their display as they are nocturnal birds, so getting a photo was a challenge! Got one dark one, but also got one of a stuffed Kiwi and her large egg! At 9:30, it was penguin feeding time - what cuties these are! They are actually blue (or “little”) penguins, native to New Zealand and are so sweet and quite tame. One in particular is named Dora, and she has been raised in the aquarium since she was very small and loves human interaction - what a fun little penguin she is! They all have names and their own personalities, as noted by the “naughty” and “good” sign posted in their pool area. At 10am, it was fish feeding time in the “reef” and a diver actually comes and hand feeds the fish in that area which was really cool! We stayed for about another hour, seeing a huge sea turtle, sharks, a moray eel, piranas , beautifully coloured tropical fish and more stingrays.

    Next stop was downtown as Dave wanted to get a haircut - he found a barber shop on the Main Street and had a great time chatting with the two kiwi barbers - one was an Everton fan, the other a die hard Liverpool fan, with lots of memorabilia at his workstation - had to get a pic of that! We stopped for a quick lunch, then headed off to check out a few more wineries. Went to Urban Winery first, about 10 minutes from where we are staying. So nice to talk to the people serving at these places - they are all very knowledgeable about the products, and also love hearing about BC and our wine districts. Next stop was Mission Estate - a former church and now a lovely winery which still has a chapel and beautiful gardens in addition to the vineyards. Our last stop was a Church Road Winery, just down the road, and after our tasting, we sat outside to have a glass of wine, and the sun actually came out - yay! As we were sitting outside, we both commented on how similar the Hawke’s Bay wine area is very similar to the Okanagan wine district.

    After another busy day, we had a Mexican dinner and are now preparing to hit the road again tomorrow to our next destination - Rotorua!
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