Day 14 AkaroaMarch 7, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 11 °C
Today we woke up and again headed to the tip of the Otago peninsula, hoping to see some soaring albatross. This is the home to the only mainland colony of the Albatross (in the Southern Hemisphere?). There was a short walk, with great ocean views, and lots of seagulls, but no Albatross. We then went to the yellow eyed penguins conservation place. These penguins are super endangered, mostly from humans. There are only 600 left on the mainland, and a lack of females makes their outlook pretty dismal, they are declining by 25% per year! At this place they have a penguin hospital, it was mostly full of penguins in their first year who didn't get fat enough to moult. They are being fattened up prior to moulting, because they don't eat for 4 weeks while moulting. There was one crested fjordland penguin there too.
We then took a short bus ride to walk through a series of trenches to see some penguins in the wild. We saw Todd, a bachelor penguin who was moulting, and another under a tree. Lastly, we saw 4 penguins on the side of a pond who had all been fattened up in the hospital and were in the process of moulting. It was a very nice tour, but super sad to think that they probsbly won't be around much longer.
In order to leave the peninsula we took the "highcliff road" which was indeed high and cliffy, but afforded amazing views of the surrounding ocean. We stopped for lunch at a point with nearby seals as our lunch companions and then proceeded down the road to our last stop of the trip, Akaroa. On the way we stopped to vacuum and wash the car, hopefully it stays clean until tomorrow!Read more