Yesterday, I slept in. Today I woke up too early, and I was up and about before anywhere was open! So I wandered over to the railway station to get a photo because it’s pretty, and the farmer’s market was in the car park, so I walked around there for a while.
A little later I went over to the art gallery. It started promisingly, but still had the usual amount of tack which we’re supposed to consider art.
At 1pm I went on the Otago Peninsula wildlife tour. Our first stop was the Royal Albatross Centre. We went up the viewing platform and watched the babies. They had the 500th chick on video camera, with a CD case nearby for a reference point to it’s size. There was quite a difference! We were also lucky enough to see one dad come in to land and feed his chick: they only land about once every four days and then only for about ten minutes.
After that we went further south towards private farmland which the tour operators have access to for wildlife viewing. The tour guide was telling us that the peninsula used to be all forest until the Europeans came along. And all native NZ trees are evergreen, so any deciduous trees or shrubs were introduced. And they even introduced the grass, which is from Wales! We passed some mud flats on the way, and saw lots of birds and ducks. I don’t have my information sheet with me right now, so can’t tell you what they were!
Once we got to the farmland, we walked down to the rocky headland where we saw loads of fur seal pups. They were so cute! Some of them ran to the far side, but a few were sat on the rocks just below us and were really curious.
After that we walked down onto the beach where we saw a few Hooker Sea-lions napping on the beach. We then sat in a hut and watched about ten Yellow-Eyed Penguins coming out of the sea and into the bush.