Day 173 on the Road
Sea Lons, Albatross and So Many Beautiful Birds!
Today we are getting some more wildlife encounters in Dunedin, this time with the Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities, then head on over to our YouTube Channel full of backpacking goodness!
Today we’re going to be doing a wildlife cruise along the Otago Peninsula.
This morning it is a beautiful day right her in Dunedin and a perfect day to get on the water so we are joining the team from Monarch Wildlife Cruise.
We are boarding the M.V. Monarch which is a boat as old as 1952 and we are joining team comprised of Buddy which is our skipper and Lisa which is our nature guide. This wildlife cruise is gonna take us all the way out of the Dunedin Harbour passing the Taiaroa Head and checking out heaps of wildlife. We’re expecting to see heaps of seabirds sea mammals and even more.
Already on the Dunedin Harbour we are so many wildlife we are seeing some black swans there are some cormorants which is New Zealand they are most commonly known as shags and we are also surprised to see some Cape Petrels. Buddy is saying that it is unusual to see them this far into the harbour so it’s a little bit of a spoiler alert as we’re really meant to see them later. But before we head into the rougher water we are being treated to a bit of a snack.
Cheers, to complimentary hot drinks. We have everything we need for some awesome wildlife viewing on the Monarch. What’s really cool about this boat is that there’s open viewing areas all the way around the boat and our favourite spot is to sit right up front where we’re raised up a level quite a little bit and we have some grand views of the wildlife around us.
On top of that we have Buddy who is on the microphone his absolute wealth of knowledge of all the wildlife we’re seeing today and we making sure that we see everything there is to see including the New Zealand sea lions.
By now we are kind of familiar with the New Zealand sea lion – it is the rarest species of sea lion in the world and yet we have successfully seen them almost five times so far during our trip in Southland and the Otago regions which are the two main regions where you can find New Zealand sea lions in the wild.
I love seeing New Zealand Sea lions in the wild. they are huge powerful animals in fact they are one of the largest animals you can see in New Zealand. I think the only thing bigger than that is a whale.
It looks like this sea lion is not going to be welcome on that beach. there is a much bigger male waiting for him to fight him and push away from there so we are going to be moving on with it along our path. Which leads us to the Taiaroa Head which is home to a special species of comorant here in New Zealand those are the Otago shag and this colony is really cool to watch there is a lot of birds behaving and moving around and it’s just really lively. the otago shag used to be found all along the east coast of the south island of New Zealand but due to human being human there is just less territory for them and they are becoming a bit rarer to find in the wild.
But that’s not the only thing we’re seeing in Taiaroa Head, there is also an awesome seal colony. It almost feels like we see seal colony almost every singly time we see a rock sticking out of the water somewhere in this area. It’s really cool how many seals there is right here. Some them are playfully playing in the water and a lot of them and lazy lazying on the rocks.
The New Zealand fur seals are so cute they’re actually just look like dogs with flippers and it’s actually really impressive to see them walking on those flippers all over the rocks but anyway our crew is telling us that we’re gonna be moving out into the sea a little bit further cos now we are on the lookout for some seabirds which are usually most abundant in the Southern Oceans around the Roaring 40s but what’s really cool about this area of New Zealand is that you can actually see some of those seabirds right near the coast. which is a great way to avoid sailing in the seas for 24 hours.
We are seeing some more cape petrels right out here on the open ocean where they’re expected to be and we are on the lookout now for the Royal Albatross but although we don’t see the royal albatross just yet we are seeing some other species of albatross which are actually really impressive they are super large and the royal albatross is actually the largest seabird in the world. And to get this close to these birds is super impressive.
While buddy is giving us heaps of information over the microphone its Lisa which is on the deck with us and had a background in nature conservation which is giving us the most amazing insights. Those birds are spending most of their lives at sea and it’s really not unusual for them to never see the ground for over a year. It’s quite impressive.
After seeing so much wildlife in one afternoon Buddy turns the boat around and we are now making our way back toward Dunedin City. This tour wasn’t really just about the wildlife though, he’s taking the time to tell us heaps of stuff about the history of Dunedin and he’s even pointing out the house of his mum it’s pretty cool.
All in all it was an awesome day on the water. Laura and I had a blast. Don’t miss out tomorrow’s video when we should you even more stuff to do in Dunedin.
So blue penguins in French is petit penguin bleu le petit penguin bleu le petit penguin bleu petit penguin bleu.