TimaruDecember 16, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C
The drive to here was pretty long and tiring so we were glad to get a spot at the freedom Camping zone. This one was situated right next to the Gardens and the beach. We had only planned to make a quick stop there overnight and then move on. By the time we got there the tourist information was already closed. So we decided to just park our van at the zone and then explore the town by foot.
As we arrived there we encountered a sign with a penguin but didn't mind it all to much. But a little while later we found online that there are penguins supposed to be coming directly to the beach in the evening. And you can watch them for free, so we were pretty excited to do that later on. Until then there was quite a lot to see: The church built in the settlers architectural style, a Christmas fare, the beach...
But the highlight was of course the blue penguin colony at night. When we got there around 9 there were already people waiting and also two officials who guided the people and told us that they usually come ashore as soon as it gets dark. Just a little while after that, we saw a small penguin jumping around the stone walls where their nest is located. We've been told that they scream for their parents. About 45 minutes later we were startled by a scream just a bit away from us, it were another two baby penguins! We were sitting just about two metres away from them! Overall we spent about 3 hours on the beach and the rocks watching the penguins. It was a really great experience to get so close to them!
Exhausted and freezing we went back to our camper van and tried to sleep in. Unfortunately we woke up at 6 and couldn't fall asleep again so we decided to go on a tour to the Botanic Gardens. We tried out some playgrounds and visited the bird house with lots of exotic and native birds.Read more