Category - Royal Albatross Center

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Penguins in New Zealand!! Oh yeah, sheep and cows too.

Penguins in New Zealand!! Oh yeah, sheep and cows too.

Today was going to be another ambitious day of high miles and lots of activities.  While sitting over breakfast we were contemplating what was on our wish list of things to see and do, and the topic of penguins came up.  When I had been researching the trip and where to stay, I discovered that New Zealand had penguins! At breakfast Catherine got on her phone and found a penguin tour that we could take that night out of Dunedin.  It was going to be an action packed day. For most of the morning we enjoyed more green rolling hills with the local “wild” animals.  I don’t think I have talked much about all the sheep and cows in New Zealand. Fun fact: New Zealand has 6 sheep for every person, which is down from the high of 22 per person back in 1982.  That’s a lot of sheep. Not only that but New Zealanders are also out numbered by cattle. We would be gifted with another day of hills dotted with sheep and cows as we meandered our way around and headed south. Ok, back to the trip. Our first official stop would be the Curio Bay and the Petrified Forest.  180 million years ago, some trees got buried by volcanic ash, and they were gradually exposed by the ocean. You can walk down from the upper cliffs to see the strange arrangement and patterns in the ground, as well as these enchanting little mini ecosystems that are formed by water being trapped in pools.  You really had to pay attention to not walk right into these pools because the top looks like glass and their depth was deceiving.  We also got the chance to see the mermaid hair seaweed up close.  It is truly  mesmerizing to watch it slowly move back and forth as the ocean waves some in and out of the small inlet. Later we found lunch at The Whistling Frog Cafe. After another delicious meal we continued and started making our way north again.  Paul had been hinting about a destination that we might be able to see today. He wasn’t giving us any clues, but I thought I heard him say he wasn’t sure if it was open.  When we got there it was such a fun surprise.  We took a right turn onto a small gravel road that ran into a river and we showed up to the Tuapeka Ferry.  Paul waved to the ferry captain who was on the other side of the river.  He acknowledged and started to head over. Paul disclosed to us that he wasn’t sure if the ferry was running or if it would be open.  We found out that it only runs from 8-10 am and 4-6pm.  We got there about 5 min before 4pm.  Talk about great timing again! Paul for the win!  The ferry is hooked up with cables that cross the river, and uses water power to cross the river to ferry cars back[…]

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