Dunedin In General
To be hones the main and only reason we came here was due to the wildlife tour you can do. We arrived here and we thought “ we will not be ignorant” we will go to the nearest I-Site here and look at other stuff to do in the area to see if anything took our fancy.
We turned up at the I-Site and had a look around. To be honest there are a few museums and abit of architecture but there was nothing else that took our fancy. We only stayed here for one night. The town is surprisingly quite big. It hasn’t got the amazing mountains of the likes of “Queenstown” surrounding it, however none the less its an ok city…however they need more bloody chip shops as they only have kebab shops!
The weather in May here was rainy. It snowed too and was cold.
We opted to stay in the “On Top Backpackers YHA”. It was close to the city center. We checked in at the bar then gave our hostel rooms. They were upstairs and they were weird. We were staying in a double private room at $66 pn. The room had a patio door and that led into your box style room. IN there was just a double bed and bed at the top and a heater. The room was the smallest we had been in yet. To be honest the heater did wonders for this room as it was cold and rainy when we got in here and since the room was so small it got heated up quickly. This hostel gave free wifi but only 50mb AGAIN, oh n no free towels (although we were in a private???). To be honest the hostel didn’t really have any character. It kinda looked dismal in the kitchen room etc.
Elm Wildlife Tour
Duration: 6 hours
So this place was recommended all over the net. We thought what a great way to see wildlife in their natural habitat. We got collected from our hostel at 1pm. We met Warren our guide and driver for the day. We cruised 45 mins out of the center around the Island to our first stop which was “The Albatross Center”. This surprisingly was where we would hopefully see the Albatross. We opted for the tour without this center included so those who had paid more went in there to see Albatross nesting areas etc, whilst the rest of us were taken to a look out point where we saw around 4 albatross swooping into the sea. They were huge and hard to take a picture of as they were out to sea.
After half an hour the girls who went into the center then joined us and we went to our next destination which was the cliffs / farms. We had private access to this farm which was cool. We drove towards the cliffs then parked up. Warren gave us binoculars and offered us extra coats if we needed them. We then walked down the hills towards the cliffs to this hut area. This hut allowed you to look beneath you onto the rocks where the waves crashed and usually there are fur seals here…however there wasn’t. Warren went on a walkabout and then called us all over to the side of this cliff where the seals had fecked off too. It was a very rainy and windy day with huge waves so to be honest they probably thought “fuck staying on those rocks where the waves are” and moved around the corner. We saw lots of fur seals. It was explained to us that there were only female and pups here as the Dads leave them at birth. The pups were funny and sliding all over the rocks. It was cool to see them in their natural habitat.
Warren then led us up the muddy hills and over to the beach. Before we got to the beach there was a fence leading into a “jungle” style area. It was explained that Yellow Tail Penguins were the rarest penguins in the world and they actually normally live in jungles. So they had planted these trees for them. He said he wouldn’t know if we would see any as its all pop luck. Warren opened the gate and we walked threw this small JUNGLE area. No penguins, however as we got towards the beach Warren shouted “theres a penguin coming out from the sea watch him”…now what we saw next was so cool…the penguin came in from the sea and walked onto the sand and straight towards where we were standing. Since there was a gate leading into the Jungle area, Warren told us all to stand back as the Penguin wanted to come threw. The penguin walked under the gate and straight into the forest area where we were standing. It was so cool (I got all this on film which is on my video diary of Dunedin). Obviously being in the wild, the tour guides have no control over wildlife so it was cool to see the Penguin coming out from sea when we did.
After the penguin Warren then opened the gate and we walked onto the beach. We saw the tracks from the penguin into the jungle area. Unfortunately there was a dead male Sea Lion on the beach. It was weird walking close to it as you could see all of its teeth etc. Had only been there 3 days apparently, and Warren stated that someone would come and bury it in the sand soon. We walked onto this grass area where it wasn’t long until we realised there were Sea Lions asleep around us. Warren stated that Sea Lions ARE NOT afraid of humans and that he had been chased 3 times so far whilst doing tours so warned us about them. We got to go really close to the sleeping sea lions. One woke up looked around at us then fecked back off to sleep. I had selfies taken with one sea lion. It was amazing to get so close to them.
Next stop was to see more penguins. We went up a muddy route to another hut where you saw more penguins nestled on the side of a cliff.
We then went back to the van. All in all this trip was really good. The walking was steep in parts n it was wet n windy, however being able to see animals like this in the wild was so unique n cool. It was definitely worth every penny. Warren was a great guide too.