Dunedin is the second- largest city in the south island of New Zealand. Dunedin is more urban than I expected; you can walk practically anywhere within the lines of the city.
This past weekend, I had a jam packed day full of exploring around both Dunedin, and its’ surrounding areas.
- St. Clair Beach
First stop is the ocean, are you surprised?
St. Clair is just south of Dunedin and is a popular surfing spot. There are some nice outdoor cafes, but the main draw is the ocean.
After a scenic drive on the Otago Peninsula, it was time to tack into a famous icon of New Zealand: sheep. I visited Nature’s Wonders, which offered a sheep sheering demonstration along with any facts you can imagine about wool and the sheep of the area.
There also was a short herding demonstration.
3. 4-wheeler trek
What’s awesome about the company mentioned above, is they offer packages where you can see the sheep demonstration and then hop on a 4-wheeler to trek down to sea level. As you can see, the views were green and gorgeous.
The first official stop was at a Southern fur seal colony (they blend in so well)! Since the fur seal pups were so young, they weren’t daring enough to stray far from mom.
top tip – If you plan it right, say two weeks from now, the pups are about the age where they get curious about humans and will come close for better viewing.
(I apologize about the quality, I only had my phone on the tour)
Next up, was to a beach untouched by humans for seventeen years. What I learned was how temperamental yellow eyed penguins are; if one feels they are unsafe or uncomfortable, their entire colony will flee the next day. A general example is blood or other samples were taken humanely from penguins for research, the next day the whole colony fled.
The yellow eyed penguins are known as one of the rarest penguins of the world; different factors play into their decreasing population, like disease and habitat degradation.
A vital tool in viewing the penguins, is doing it in a way that doesn’t break their trust.
A tunnel and hidden viewing platform (under vegetation) was built to give both the yellow eyed penguins, and also the blue penguins (another species found here) enough room to do their own thing. Conservation is at its prime importance here in New Zealand, and it’s great.
My tour was able to see a yellow eyed penguin strolling on the beach.
….but… the penguins have a ramp… for when they get curious…
4. Signal Hill
To get to the top you can either walk it, or drive it. This time it was by car, but next time I’m excited to walk up. Signal Hill is located just north of Dunedin and overlooks the Otago harbor. On top there is some parking and areas to picnic.
5. Baldwin Street
Known by the Guinness Book of World Records as the steepest street in the world (even beating San Francisco).
It is an amusing tourist spot, which attracts many different kinds of people. Some walk it, some make it their work out, and some drive it. Those who drive usually are the ones with rental cars because the trek both up and down I would imagine isn’t great for your car… Also there is barely any room up top to turn around to go back down…. but your call!! While I was there, one group even did the drive two times….hm.
More personal updates will be posted soon. I caught some sort of sickness while traveling, and with it being mixed with jet lag, it has required a longer adjusting period.
But nonetheless, a lot is to come!
I am looking forward to documenting my journey. All of the support so far has been amazing, so thank you.
Lots of love,