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.
I’m going on an adventure!
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.
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.
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.
Walking around Dunedin
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!
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.
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.
Hiding behind the blinds.
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.
More in this series:
- Two and a Half Weeks through New Zealand
- Milford Sound – A Photo Essay
- Kayaking the Doubtful Sound
- Queenstown – Trekking and Celebrating a New Year
- Wanaka – Tramping Rob Roy Peak and Glacier
- Touring the Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers for Free
- Exploring New Zealand’s West Coast
- Nelson, New Zealand
- Mountain Biking above the Queen Charlotte Sound
- Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry