Our last big stop was Dunedin, which turned out to be a far larger city than we suspected; and it had a lot of sites to see. One stop was the Cadbury Chocolate Factory for a tour...no pictures, though, and we ate all the evidence! We did drive out to the Otago Peninsula, though, and take another cruise out on the ocean to see albatross and more sea lions. Because it was the end of the tourist season, there were only FOUR passengers (we three and one other nice lady "our age"), so we got undivided attention. It was hilarious trying to take pictures, though, because the waves were so choppy. We wore rain coats, loved the sites, and laughed a lot at our slippin' and slidin'.
|What seals look like when the boat is moving a lot!|
|Then a few pics when I could get my balance...momentarily!|
It was also very interesting on this cruise to learn about the large albatross birds that are only found in a few places in the world. There is a conservation area here on the Otago Peninsula, where these birds are protected.
|"Mom" bringing food to her chicks|
One of the most enjoyable tours in Dunedin was to the Larnach Castle, where we saw the most incredible views and amazing gardens. Here are some of our favorite pictures from there.
|I never tire of all the beautiful flowers here in New Zealand...|
|...it's like the whole country is a garden of paradise.|
|These are in the USA...but maybe 1/4 this size.|
Another really enjoyable excursion was to the Penguin Place, a working conservation program to preserve New Zealand's yellow-eyed penguins, located on the Otago Peninsula. These penguins are very shy, so to observe them, we had to be shielded in "blinds" to keep them from seeing us and being frightened off. We got quite a few good pictures and even a video clip, but the latter will have to wait until I boost my computer knowledge. Aren't they just so cute?!
After two nights in Dunedin, we headed back to Queenstown for one last night before ending our vacation. Last stop before arriving in Queenstown was Arrowtown, a really fun quaint former gold-mining location, which is now mostly a touristy place with great little shops and yummy restaurants. I only took one picture, but I think you'll agree it's a classic.