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The adventures of Fe & Chris

Penguins, seals and albatrosses…

We’re in Dunedin, formally called New Edinburgh. It’s nothing like Old Edinburgh, but the street names are the same.

Nearby coastal wildlife abounds and we have enjoyed Yellow-eyed Penguins (they look rather like Gentoos - who gave them a genus all of their own?) and Little Blue Penguins waddling ashore in the dark, scared of skua’s that arn’t present (penguin evolution is a slow process).

The New Zealand Fur Seals we have met so far are surprisingly unaggressive compared to their southern cousins, but still smell bad. We had some fun with New Zealand Sea Lions on the beach yesterday; Fiona was alarmed when two medium sized boys started running towards her (one was herding the other - practice for herding females later on and had no regard for Fe’s presence!).

We visited the Royal Albatrosses on Taiaroa Head. $30 NZ for 30 minutes albatross watching is rather steep - birds should be free! With a telescope you could get a reasonable view from Amarona, across Otago Harbour. It was nice none the less.


  Lachlan wrote @ December 17th, 2007 at 10:47 pm

I seem to remember that Yellow-eyed penguins are the oldest species of penguin, they started the whole waddling about business. Unfortunately all their cousins dies out long ago so they are left in their own little genus. They don’t seem the brightest of birds, when ones legs are only a few cm long and one is flightless, why nest at the top of a 45 degree, 30m sand slope. Very much a case of one step up, two steps back. Meanwhile the brighter birds are already cosy on their nests right next to the beach.

  Lachlan wrote @ December 17th, 2007 at 10:55 pm

We were actually told by someone who had been to Edinburgh that we would feel right at home in Dunedin. They are indeed very similar. Except for the profusion of two storey wooden buildings. And the harbour being right next to the city centre. And the lack of any extinct volcanos with castles on top. And the nearby penguins. And the university being brick built and based on Glasgow’s. Oh and.. oh yeah they are nothing like each other apart from some street names which aren’t found anywhere else such as George Street and Princes Street. Nice place though.

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