When I traveled through the South Island in 2011, I never really got to experience the far south. I had come down with a bad cold that took me out of commission for several days. I was useless and barely made it out of the bus to see the sights. Upon arriving at the hostel, I would jump into bed and try to sleep as much as I could.
This trip Marilyn and Shawn took me to Nugget Point Lighthouse to look at the resident seal colony. When we got there, the huge animals were lazing in large groups along the rocks and shore or frolicking in the water. We even saw some in the middle of waves as if they were bodysurfing. Even though they were far away, we were delighted to see many pups in the mix. It was encouraging to see so many of them playing in the water.
Despite our brief training at Pohatu Penguins, Marilyn and I failed to find any penguins. I don’t know if penguins are living in this specific area, but I doubt they would congregate so close to potential predators. Still, it was fun to try to spot them.
Around the corner from Nugget Point, we popped by an area where Yellow-eyed Penguins are known to live. Unfortunately, we weren’t there at the right time of day. Penguins are at sea most of the day looking for food. They return at dusk and roost for the night like other birds. With many hours till sundown, we decided not to wait for them to return home and decided to head home ourselves.