|We headed out of Oamaru later this morning and made for Dunedin- the "Edinburgh of the South". The city center is formed in the shape of an Octagon and the University of Otago is a walk down the main street. We wandered around a small part of the campus and looked through the Otago museum, which had a fantastic display of wildlife photos- we were truly inspired!
Of course the Cadbury Confectioners factory was visited... We opted to not do the factory tour- Anja had seen it in Tasmania with Alexa, and it wasn't necessarily something to write home about. But we did get some free samples (unfortunately they give out ones they're trying to make popular- like chocolate covered marshmallow fish- not a favorite of ours, as well as a banana flavored piece....in the end we bought a chocolate bar we liked).
We also visited the DOC office to check out the availability of the Kepler track, which still looks good. While we were there we gathered a good bit of info about the Catlins, the area we're headed to next. We spent an afternoon driving through the Otago Peninsula- absolutely gorgeous views! Lovers leap and the Chasm were located in sheep fields and it was great to walk through them and say hi to the sheep; we wondered if any of them ever fell into the ocean- it's so windy there..... The roads were narrow, steep, and gravelly, but the views were so worth it. In some ways it reminded us a bit of the coast of Ireland..... There were Spotted Shags (cormorants) nesting in the cliffs of the tip of the peninsula. It was amazing to see how they maneuvered in the wind- it was so extreme. This was in the same place as the Albatross Center- these birds are huge! We saw a couple flying, but most of them were up in the hills, in the sanctuary part of the peninsula.
We stayed in a 'standard cabin'- basically four walls, a roof, and a bed, at the Holiday Park in Dunedin. While we were cooking dinner in the kitchen about 18 eight year olds came in with some adults. They were apparently on a school field trip for the week, visiting Dunedin and tonight was their first night- they were so cute!!! We also were introduced to the Census, which apparently EVERYONE has to do, whether you're a local or not, so all these little kids were getting help on filling theirs out, and we filled one out as well. The next morning we decided to visit the 'World's steepest street- Baldwin street', which is located in Dunedin. It certainly was steep, though it felt similar to some of the streets in San Francisco. But it had the Guinness Book of World Records seal of approval.......