A few weeks ago, we finally made it to the nearest big city of Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula. As usual, the weather was alternately windy, sunny, rainy and grey. We had been looking forward to visiting Dunedin as it was our first choice of a place to temporarily live in New Zealand, based on a visit our friends Marian and Eric made here several years ago. But, it also seems that there are a lot of people who would like to live in Dunedin, so it didn’t come to fruition for us.
Dunedin is a more cosmopolitan city than Invercargill, but that’s expected. Invercargill is a smaller and more agricultural city. Dunedin also has the oldest university in New Zealand – University of Otago. I’ve been trying to encourage the older son to study there for a semester, but I don’t think that it’s going to happen while we’re here. And, Dunedin is nestled amongst the hills and harbor and has a more three-dimensional feeling to it. But, some of those hills are pretty steep. In fact, Dunedin boasts the steepest street in the world – Baldwin Street – which we walked up & down and drove up & down (driving was much more fun). The main reason that we did visit Dunedin was because it was raining on the Otago Peninsula. 🙂
Most of our time was spent on the Otago Peninsula, which bills itself, along with Dunedin, as New Zealand’s ecotourism capitol. Getting around the Otago Peninsula is slow – the roads are narrow and winding. But, that’s OK because the views were spectacular! We drove on the harbor side coast rode through Portobello a few times, and up and over Highcliff Road which sort over crosses on the central spine of the Otago Peninsula. At the tip of the Otago Peninsula, Tairoa Head, we visited the Royal Albatross Centre. But, our favorite places to visit on the Otago Peninsula were Sandfly Bay (twice) and Allan’s Beach. Why? First, the kids could run around to their hearts content, dig in the sand and enjoy a bit of the surf (even if the water is a bit chilly). Second, we were able to see yellow-eyed penguins (hoiho) returning to their nests (keep your distance!), and there were Hooker’s Sea Lions (whakahao) basking on the beach and even a New Zealand Fur Seal (kekeno) enjoying the rocks. In spite of his ugly teeth and terrible hygiene, the old bull sea lion was the highlight of my weekend…
As usual, enjoy the galleries!
46 S EnZed signing off…
New Zealand Fur Seal
Hooker’s Sea Lions