World Trip Home Post Fourteen

Post Fourteen - Wildlife


I think my favorite large city on the South Island was Dunedin, a bustling university town with a funky, architecturally distinctive city center. It's nestled at the base of the Otago Peninsula, an unofficial wildlife sanctuary where you can see rare, yellow-eyed penguins and albatrosses. One of the many sights we saw on the peninsula was Larnach Castle, a beautiful mansion built in 1871. This butterfly sat on top of one of the blooms in the castle's extensive gardens. -- Karen

Sea DogsSea Dogs

In the cool town of Dunedin south of Christchurch, we went on a wildlife tour. We saw albatrosses, penguins, sea lions, and seals. The albatrosses were amazing with 10-foot wingspans - built for a life spent in the air. The penguins were cool, of course, and the sea lions mostly slept. The seals, however, were amazing to watch, especially the younger ones, who frolicked in the tide pools and played endless games of chase and tag with each other. Occasionally they would get a little out of hand and one of the adults would bark them back in line. We watched them for quite a while. -- Scott

Yellow-Eyed PenguinYellow-Eyed Penguin

One of the many endangered species found in New Zealand is the yellow-eyed penguin. They're not easy to spot, since they only come ashore at certain times of the day. We were in a viewing blind when Scott snapped this photo. -- Karen

Flower Shot #4565Flower Shot #4565

Yet another picture of a flower. This is called a Tiger Daisy and its petals were once used by the Maori to induce hallucinogenic states during religious festivals. Not really, but it makes the flower seem more interesting, doesn't it? -- Scott

South TipSouth Tip

This shot was taken near the southern tip of the South Island. That stormy sea in the background runs to Antarctica through the Roaring 40s, a band of latitude with famously foul weather. At 46 degrees south, I was as far south as I'd ever been in my life. Someday I'd like to go further and see Antarctica. -- Scott

Falling WaterFalling Water

We hiked to this waterfall one day near the south tip. The light was perfect so I set up my camera on a makeshift tripod and took some shots. This was one of the better ones. -- Scott


This is a boardwalk through a wetland in the Catlins. Southland was fairly empty and we had most beaches, forests, and hikes to ourselves. Ironically, we met up with a woman from Germany with whom we traveled for a few days. -- Scott

Next Up: Fjordland

Copyright 2002
Scott & Karen Semyan