It was almost an anticlimax to be back on the bike at this stage. While not an ugly or unpleasant ride, the 220 kilometres to Dunedin were without major incident or attraction. A night in Gore offered a pleasant trip to the Art Gallery, but in cycling terms it was a little bland. Incessantly flat, I passed through more of the agricultural terrain I had become accustomed to. Another part of the world with a high similarity to the North of Ireland – dairy-farming country. Pondering these parallels that I had come across on my travels, I arrived into the coastal city of Dunedin.
Not having grown tired of the water yet (in fact quite the opposite) I left my bike in a safe location at the Living Space Motel where I was being hosted, and jumped on the afternoon Monarch Wildlife tour of the peninsula which juts 30kms out of Dunedin’s coastline. Albatross rule the skies here, and with their huge 3-metre wingspan they are a sight to behold. A whole host of other birdlife was also visible from the boat, as were a colony of fur seals. I am falling deeper in love with this part of the world and the amazing variety of flora and fauna on display. Further example of this diversity, as if needed, was found at the Penguin centre. This conservation centre has been set up to help protect these animals in the wild, and has been cleverly designed to allow the curious tourist an opportunity to observe the Penguins from specially designed viewing huts. I spent an hour watching these delightful creatures waddle their way out of the sea and return home for a spot of R&R. I’m not sure if there is a time limit on how long one can ogling Penguins; if there is I am yet to discover it.