From now on, I will be sharing my past travels as part of my Travel Throwback Thursday #TTBT.

After a few hours in Christchurch, we were on the open road to Dunedin. All of us took turns throughout our journey through New Zealand driving on the “wrong” side of the road from what we were used to.

New Zealand Trip

I’m going on an adventure!

Moeraki Boulders

A nice place to stop and stretch the legs is Koekohe Beach. Walk along this beach and see unique circular Moeraki boulders. The boulders appear as coastal erosion occurs over time and are part of Māori legends. It is said the boulders are eel baskets washed ashore by a wrecked sailing canoe.

crowds at moeraki boulders

Koekohe Beach – (Photo Credit: Andy Crampton)

The boulders have hollow cores and are lined with scalenohedral calcite crystals and cracks called septaria. The orange and white colors of the scalenohedral calcite crystals provide contrast to the sandy land and blue horizons.

Moeraki Beach

Dunedin

Using my employee discount for Choice Hotels, we checked into the Comfort Inn and met the friendliest staff possible. The staff directed us to a grocery store, so we could stock up on food and supplies for our camping endeavors and suggested other points of interest to see during our quick tour of Dunedin.

New Zealand Trip

Walking around Dunedin

University of Otago

University of Otago

Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head

Driving up the long, windy, narrow road, we climbed above sea level. It was hard to spot albatrosses, which look like seagulls with longer wing spans. Many bird nests lined on the rocky coastline walls as the waves crashed below. A picturesque scene and experience was enough, but then we saw one lonely albatross flying in the distance, along with sea lions sunbathing on the rocky coastline. Battling carsickness was worth it!

Otago Peninsula

Otago Peninsula

Sandfly Bay

Sandflies are nasty mosquito type bugs found in New Zealand and are 1000 times worst than mosquitoes. Fortunately for us, Sandfly Bay did not live up to its name, and we would have to wait to have the true New Zealand sandfly experience.

Sandfly Bay

Approach to Sandfly Bay

Driving past sheep grazing on rolling hills, we approached sand dunes and Sandfly Bay. The attraction was to see yellow-eyed penguins in their natural habitat. Signs warning visitors to observe the penguins from afar were posted all over, along with a blinds to watch behind. The bay is known for penguins swimming from sea to lay eggs and protect their nests. We only saw a few penguins during our visit. Along with the penguins, sea lions were sunbathing on the beach and coastline. Since the penguins usually appear at dusk, we experienced a beautiful sunset until decided to hike out. I enjoyed walking along the sand knowing I was escaping winter at home.

New Zealand Trip

Hiding behind the blinds.

New Zealand Trip

Can you see the penguin?

With only a day and a half to explore this part of the South Island, we wished we had more time to explore. However, it was off to Fiordland.

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