New Zealand

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    • Day 39

      Penguin Place II

      January 8, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      Then we jumped on a bus for a short ride to the reserve. It is all on private land and the owners are operating the tours and it’s the only way to get to the beach. Adrien also said that they are using all the money from the tours to plant more trees, protect the penguins more, take care of penguins that need to be looked after for a while. So it’s nice to know, that the money I spend to see some rare penguins is actually used to help them!

      After the short ride, we started a short bushwalk.
      The tracks are really good and we got strict orders to stay together and be really quiet, as they have been spotting a juvenile near a pond and that where we are going first now.

      A part of the track is through some tunnels, it all is build to keep the impact on the penguins as small as possible. The viewing shelters are like small huts with viewing places.
      Luckily the juvenile was still there, enjoy the sun 🤗
      Adrian told us, that there are only 25 yellow-eyed penguins living on this beach, that’s not much! It’s a really big beach!!
      So they really don’t like to be too close to each other.
      After watching the juveniles sunbath we went to see a 9 1/2 week old chick with his mom. But they have been unfortunately disappearing. Adrian went off to try to find them, but he had no luck, though he said he could hear the little one screaming for his parents.
      So we went down to the stone cliffs and watched some lazy fur seals laying around in the sun. We got to know, that this area is between two big breeding areas and all the fur seals here are young males, chased away from the old males from the breeding colony’s around.

      We then went back to the nesting area, hoping that for someone of the breeding family had already returned. We found a little blue penguin in a nesting box on the way. As they are more social their boxes are very closed to each other all around the area.

      On the way to the viewing shelter Adrian suddenly stopped and said, I see the chick, let’s go another way. And then we all saw him, climbing up the hill, going back home I guess!
      So lovely fluffy he is! 🥰
      That was also the end of our tour, so we walked back to the bus and drove back to the center.

      It was really nice to get so much information about the yellow-eyed penguin and I know now even more how lucky I was to see two of them the other day in the Katiki Reserve and I also now know, that the first one was an adult yellow-eyed and the second one a juvenile 😊
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    • Day 193

      Find Penguins? Yes, we did today!

      March 18, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

      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.
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      Sue Jones  Must be tough going from boiling hot to freezing cold. Some great snaps there ... obvs the penguin one given they are rare. Particularly like the shot of the seagull and the crab 🦀


       Real penguin gossip.Excellent stuff JT


      LouisaJames  Really happy that you have managed to find the penguins too, especially for Solana as it's her first.

    • Day 6

      Ortago Peninsula - Penguin Place

      January 6 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Ein Platz, bei dem verwaiste Pinguine aufgepeppelt werden. Versprochen war: Fahren mit Spezialfahrzeugen zu Gelbaugenpinguinen, vielleicht auch zu sehen Blaupinguine. Bekommen haben wir einen ollen Bus, erahnen konnten wir ein Pinguinpärchen vorm Baum. Später kamen als Entschädigung ein paar Seelöwen zum Vorschein. Es war einfach zu früh, um Pinguine zu sehen...
      Fazit: Schöne Natur, schön, dass sich Menschen dem Artenschutz verpflichtet fühlen. Etwas abgezockt fühlten wir uns trotzdem.
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      Traveler  Suchbild: Finde den Seelöwen

    • Day 39

      Penguin Place I

      January 8, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      After the cruise, I had plenty of time to take me to the penguin place. It’s only a 3 minutes drive and I was booked on the tour at 4.45 pm.

      So I hade to wait a little bit there until the tour was starting.
      We first got into the information center and our guide Adrian told us a lot about the Yellow-eyed Penguins.
      There are only around 700 of them left so they are really, really rare and close to extinction. He also said, if you see one of them in nature you are lucky if you see two you are very, very lucky and if you see three of them on the same day you might go and play the lotto the same day, as you are extremely lucky!

      Their biggest problem is that we humans have destroyed their territory so much, that they don’t find nesting places anymore. They need shelter from the sun under some bushes and trees as the young once can not control their body temperature and overheat really fast. They also don’t like to live to closed to each other as they are the most unsocial penguins in the world so they need extremely much space as well.

      So the family that owns this farm since 1966 has started to rebuild their natural habitat for the penguins in 1980 and they do all they can to help them to increase their numbers again.
      Unfortunately, it is not so easy.

      They also have a kind of daycare for penguins, they get them from animal hospitals and feed them up until they can get released again into the wild. Their success rate is actually 95%!!
      They get the penguins from all over New Zealand, or better said from the south part of the South Island.
      Right now they have 4 chicks, which are here because their parents struggled to raise them.
      Then they have a juvenile yellow-eyed that had problems with his feathers and that one needs to stay here until the mold is over.
      They also have an adult Yellow-eyed Penguin, that was found underweight and need to get more weight before that one can get released into the wild again and then there is one Fjordland penguin as well!

      After all the information we went to see the patients. We had to be totally quiet and got a little bit of time to see them all and take pictures. That closed I probably never come to see them again.
      So that was really nice!
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    • Day 12

      Otago Peninsula

      February 12, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Rauf aufs Rad und los ! 🚴
      Bei idealen Voraussetzungen, sonnenschein und 22°, machte ich mich auf, die Otago Peninsula zu erkunden. Dies ist eine ca. 25 km lange, an die Stadt Dunedin angrenzende, Halbinsel. Diese zählt mit vielen kleinen Buchten und sanften Hügeln (300 müNN) zu einem der Top Ausflugsziele in der Regio (zu Recht👍). Mein Ziel war, das sich ganz im Osten der Insel befindliche Royal Albatross Ceter. Hier könnte man Albatrosse mit einer Spannweite von 2m beim fliegen zuschauen. Auf dem Rückweg in die Stadt machte ich noch einen Abstecher in die Baldwin Street. Diese Straße ist mit etwa 35% Steigung, die steilste Straße der Welt! Hab Versuch hoch zu fahren, hat aber nicht ganz geklappt🙈.
      Highlight des Tages waren jedoch die kleinen blauen Pinguine (35cm), welche in der Abenddämmerung zurück an den Strand kommen. Sehr sehr putzig!!!
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       Sportlich der Herr 🚴‍♂️👍 Hoffe ihr habt auch ein Video von den watschelnden Pinguinen gemacht 😁

    • Day 6

      Bei den Pinguinen

      March 7, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

      We found Penguins!😂 Die leben in einer Kolonie von ca.40 Tieren zusammen und haben es da wirklich superschön! Sie haben sich eine traumhaft schöne Bucht zum Leben ausgesucht. Leider gibt es die Gelbaugenpinguine nur noch hier an Neuseelands Küsten und sind vom Aussterben bedroht! Sie werden von den Rangern nur bewacht und beobachtet! Die Anzahl der Tiere und der Nachwuchs hat sich in den letzten 10 Jahren zum positiven entwickelt!Read more

    • Day 22

      Penguin Place

      March 21, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Penguin Place is a private conservation reserve dedicated to helping the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin survive.

      This conservation project is entirely funded by guided tours of the reserve. This funding provides habitat restoration, predator control, a research programme and on-site rehabilitation care for penguins that are sick, starving or wounded.

      I saw some penguins in the hospital who are being cared for until they can be released into the wild again. We then went to see penguin couple Jim (22 years, so really old) and his partner Maggie (10 years and his 4th partner) in the little swamp they live in.

      At the beach we were waiting for the penguins to come back in from feeding and just when we were about to leave we saw two waddle out of the water and onto the beach. Unfortunately they were too far away to get a good picture but they are so cute. We also saw fur seals again. Wahoo!
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    • Day 26

      Otago Peninsula (Seals & Sea Lions)

      January 9, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Dopo aver visto i primi pinguini, ci spingiamo tra l'erba per osservare due giovani maschi di leone marino intenti a riposare. Sono creature meravigliose, ma anche molto pericolose e non possiamo avvicinarci troppo se sono svegli.
      Poco dopo, da un punto di avvistamento di pinguini, scorgiamo altri due giovani maschi sulla spiaggia, mentre alla nostra destra compare un grosso esemplare di foca. La nostra guida ci spiega che le foche sono molto numerose in Nuova Zelanda, al contrario dei leoni marini, che sono purtroppo a rischio di estinzione.
      Dopo aver terminato il giro della spiaggia stiamo già per risalire al pullmino quando scorgo una macchia che emerge dall'oceano: è un bellissimo leone marino che si dirige a tutta velocità verso di noi, tanto che dobbiamo rifugiarci dietro ad un cancello. Anche in questo caso si tratta di un giovane maschio, ma questa volta possiamo ammirarlo davvero da vicino.
      La guida mi spiega che, a differenza delle foche, i leoni marini sono molto agili sulla terraferma e camminano quasi come un quadrupede.
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