Find Penguins? Yes, we did today!March 18, 2017 in New Zealand
June and Dave took us for a day out around the Otago Peninsula today. We went along the coast road and enjoyed the beautiful scenery in the sunshine. We also saw lots of seabirds along the drive - gulls, oystercatchers, black swans. We went to the albatross centre at the end of the peninsula, where we learnt some interesting facts about albatross and penguins, and bought a hat and gloves for Solana (it was a bit chilly in the wind today). We saw several royal albatross flying around outside, around the cliffs - they are impressive birds, with a wingspan of 3 metres. The 2nd photo shows a royal albatross, although the photo doesn't do it justice. We also saw some fur seals basking on the rocks below (3rd photo - spot the seals!). Afterwards we went on to Allan's beach to look for sea lions - there were none there today but we all enjoyed a walk along the beach and we also saw a gull catching and eating a crab for its lunch, before heading to a café for our own lunch.
In the evening, we went to "Penguin Place" in the hope of seeing some penguins - and we weren't disappointed. Solana got to see her first penguin in the wild and they were yellow-eyed penguins, the world's rarest penguin species (with only about 1,000 left in the wild - 400 or so of these on mainland NZ). We saw several, including a pair with a scandal (see 1st photo here) - a female who already had a partner (they usually pair for life) but has recently been seen cavorting with a younger male (seen in the photo) - it's a shame we won't be here to see who she chooses in the next mating season! June and Dave made us a delicious dinner when we returned later, with cheese & biscuits after - the first "proper" cheese we've had since leaving home, delicious. June and Dave are very hospitable and it is lovely to have some adult company to talk to too. We're enjoying our time here very much.Read more