Finally! A sunn…..errr partly cloudy day! I wanted to make the most of my last full day in Dunedin, and the weather finally started to behave a bit. The peaks of sunshine warmed the ground considerably compared to the last few days and I had some exploring to do. First up was a factory tour.
But this wasn’t any old factory tour. Oh no.
It was cloudy, windy, drizzly and cold.
The library here sure is nice. I’ve been seeing a lot of it.
On the drive from Mt. Cook to Queenstown, I had a few stops I wanted to make. First, I stopped and hiked down to the shores of Lake Pukaki.
Just a lovely sendoff from the Mt. Cook Area.
After leaving Te Anau, the next destination with Hung and Markus was the East Coast of the South Island. There was one very specific reason for this part of the trip – Penguins. Near Dunedin, we found a refuge that works to help preserve the rarest of all penguins (about the same rarity as the Galapagos Penguin), the Yellow Eyed Penguin.
To get to see the penguins, they reserve has designed trenches to take you close to the penguins. The penguins are wild, the reserve just provides a safe environment for them to come home to and breed, if the penguins so choose. The reserve has been successful and has quite a few families now. Well, quite a few for Yellow-eyed. Unlike other penguins, the yellow-eyed is decidedly an anti-social penguin, and dislikes living in large groups. They pair up and that’s it, no big groups of them here. Into the tunnels we went.
Some people collect stamps. Others collect comics, take up photography or astronomy. Markus’ (Hung’s Boyfriend) hobby is to chase steam trains.
New Zealand isn’t known as a big place for steam train enthusiasts (as far as I’m aware), but there are a few notable pockets where you can still see a steam train in action. After leaving Queenstown, I found myself in the back seat of my own car as Markus chased the Kingston Flyer.
Towering over Queenstown are numerous mountains, one of which rises up directly behind the town. That mountain is Ben Lomond. At 1750m, it is a 1400m ascent to the peak from Queenstown – easily done in a day, but still a tiring climb. And the reward of the fantastic views…well worth the effort. Not much to talk about beyond that (and I’m still far behind on getting these days of travel up), I’ll let the pictures do the talking.