In the morning we woke up to snow. In case you couldn’t tell from the pictures it has been an unseasonably cold spring here.
Fortunately, there wasn’t much but that didn’t stop some intrepid folks from making a snowman.
There wasn’t much on the roads so it presented no problem when we headed back out toward the coast. We had an appointment for a tour at the Omaru penguin reserve.
The timing of this was a little poor as most of the penguins were out at sea feeding. The only ones home are the ones sitting on the nests but they’re not easy to see as the nests are in boxes.
Normally, the penguins nest under trees but most of the trees have been eaten by the rabbits and possums which were brought over for their meat and fur respectively. Then as the rabbits and possums had gotten out of control. Stoats and ferrets were brought over to control the rabbit population. Unfortunately the stoats and ferrets quickly discovered that the chicks of penguins and other native birds were far easier to catch than rabbits. Thus the need for penguin reserves.
Anyway, we did get a very nice personal tour of the reserve from one of the only things not endangered in New Zealand, naturalists. Every little nature preserve, park and retirement home has a few. And they busy themselves outfitting threatened species with ecology bling in the form of radio collars and ID tags. But I digress.
Anyway, we didn’t have time to stay to see the penguins return from the sea as we needed to be in Dunedin that evening and we really wanted to stop to see the Moeraki boulders.
Check out the other cool pictures in the gallery.