New Zealand to Japan
February through April 2007
 
Page 5 - Dunedin, New Zealand
 

We had not done much research on the city of Dunedin itself as our goal for the entire New Zealand trip was to do active things as opposed to sightseeing the more touristy attractions. We were, therefore, pleasantly surprised to see some of the beautiful architecture existing in this city. We definitely want to come back for another visit.

Anyway, we had decided to do some sea kayaking on our Dunedin port-of-call and we were picked up at the dock by Pat in his SUV. The weather was excellent in spite of the less than perfect forecast. Not a drop of rain the entire day even though precipitation was predicted.

An example of some of the architecture we saw on the way to the sea kayaking site. Pat's and Mary's Bed and Breakfast, as well as their headquarters for kayk/bicycle touring. The garden on the grounds was beautiful, filled with daisies and other plants.
Soon we were at the launching site. After carrying the kayaks to the water's edge, we donned our aprons and life vests, and received our final instructions for ocean paddling.
About 10 minutes of paddling and we passed a sand beach with a strange-looking lump on it: A Sea Lion (left). It was just lying there, shaking its flipper every now and then just to let us know she was alive. Pete felt a need for a drink of water and Pat called us to follow him down to the next spot.
The next stopping point was across the bay where thousands of sea birds had made the huge cliff their home. Also, we found several seals there, some sleeping among the kelp, as at left, and some younger ones eyeing us passers-by with suspecting looks on their faces.
 
Below left is an overall view of the cliffs where the birds lived and the seals were sleeping. The same background is behind us in the photo taken by Pat, our guide (below right).
A little later we approached another beach where a sea lion was lying in the sand. On the same beach, in the bushes, we found a penguin nest. A seal was also on the same beach.
Left: Lynda shows how close to the seal we were able to go without causing it to panic -- or attack us.
Right: A bird known as an Oyster Catcher.
And soon we were on our way again. We ran into a group of seals playing in the water. ... and saw another oyster catcher at work on the beach.
The seals came very close to our kayaks. They stood on their front flippers with their hind flippers sticking up in the air. A couple of the seals went back on the sandy beach.
Lunch in Portobello. Flowers somewhere on the way to.... ...Victory Beach. Sheep and cattle on the way.
A little info about the trail to Victory Beach A gate -- and steps to bypass it -- to the trail. Along the trail we met an injured sea bird. It was apparently unable to fly and was hobbling along the trail in the same direction as us. We passed it as carefully as possible to avoid startling it, but stopped long enough to snap a photo. Nature can be cruel to the earth's inhabitants at times.
Along the trail were butterflies busily working the flowers. The beach itself turned out to be a pristine white sandy preserve for the sea mammals as well as the birds.
Sea Lions and Seals again
Below are some photos taken on our return drive to Dunedin and the ship -- most taken through the SUV window.
To end our visit, Pat took us to see a local tourist attraction: the steepest street in the world (left). The entire block of this street doesn't meet the steepest criteria; only about six meters (20ft) near the top. The photo doesn't do the hill justice; it's definitely steep!!!
 
Upon departure from the port of Dunedin -- actually Port Chalmers -- we were wished pleasant sailing by the local band (right).