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Blue planet 🐧🐳

We arrived in Dunedin and went out to explore the town. First we followed a street art trail, visiting the railway station along the way which was a really lovely building. Opposite we saw a massive Cadbury sign and realised there was a Cadbury world in Dunedin! We were so excited and planned to go and buy some of the chocolate scraps... However when we got round the corner we realised it had been shutdown :( it then started to rain so we went to our campsite and settled down for the night.

The following day was really cold (14 degrees!) and still pretty rainy. We spent the morning round the campsite and then went out to the east of the city with the hope of finally seeing some penguins! We got to Sandfly Beach at 16:30 and the penguins tend to come in for the night between 17:00-18:00. We made our way down the sand dunes to the beach. The sand was so soft we were sliding everywhere on the way down and our shoes were full of sand!

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First we walked down the beach and then back again to the main point where the penguins come in. It was now 17:00 so we stood and waited... And waited, and waited!! By 17:40 we hadn't seen any penguins and it was so cold and windy we gave up :( all of the reviews online said people saw penguins at 17:00 so they must have been avoiding us!!

Another unsuccessful penguin trip so we decided to give up looking for them!

The following day we were making our way to Christchurch. It was a 5 hour drive with not much along the way so we drove straight there. Our original plan was to go into the centre first (Sam needed a haircut) but then we changed our mind and put the map to take us to our campsite instead. We arrived at about 15:00 and heard that there had been an incident within the last hour in the centre so we were advised not to go there. We got our phones to see what was going on and that's when we heard about the terrorist shootings. We couldn't believe it. We were sitting in our car reading the news when the camp caretaker came up to us, giving Hannah a right fright!! He told us we were now on lockdown and weren't allowed to leave the camp 'until they catch the dickhead' were his exact words.

So we stayed in the car keeping an eye on the news. We were finally taken off lockdown at 18:00 but we decided to just stay put and have dinner. The following day we stayed out of the centre again and went out to Arthur's Pass.

It was a lovely drive through the mountains to get there and as soon as we arrived it started raining! Still we carried on and walked 30 minutes to a waterfall...

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We then walked further through the forest and along Arthur's Pass, seeing another waterfall along the way. After 1.5 hour walking we decided we were getting too wet so we turned back. On the way back to Christchurch we stopped at Castle Hill, an area with lots of limestone boulders...
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We climbed some of the boulders and walked around for a bit before deciding to leave. However we kept coming to dead ends where we were blocked off by the boulders, we couldn't find a way out! It took us about 20 minutes to find our way out. Finally back on the road Sam started driving back round the twisty mountains when the clouds closed in on us and we couldn't see a thing!
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Luckily it didn't last too long and we made it through with no accidents.

The following day we headed East of Christchurch to do another walk to a viewpoint. However once again the weather was not on our side and it was really cloudy and rainy. As we drove further we realised we wouldn't be able to see anything so we turned around and headed back.

We stopped off in the centre of Christchurch on our way back. First we walked around the botanical gardens which led us to the memorial area set up for the victims of the terrorist attack. There were lots of people there laying flowers and leaving pictures/paintings/letters.

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After this we walked around the city and to the Cathedral which was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and is still damaged today...

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We had one final night in Christchurch and then drove up to Kaikoura the following day. On the way up we were stuck in traffic due to roadworks and alongside us on the beach we saw some penguins! After all of our searching we'd finally seen some! We couldn't get out of the car though to have a closer look because of the roadworks, typical. But at least we'd finally seen some!

That day the sun reappeared so we had a walk around the town, stopped off for a drink in the pub and then chilled at the campsite.

The next day we were off an a whale watching tour!! We headed out on our boat tour and within 5 minutes we'd seen our first sperm whale! It sat on the water for a bit and then dove down, giving us full view of its tail as it went up in the air. We then carried on and saw another 3 sperm whales (they normally see 2 on the tours!)...
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As we headed back to shore we stopped where there was a school of dusky dolphins. There were loads of them and they loved playing around the boat and doing flips...

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Our tour was then over so we headed back to the bay and then got some fish & chips (not as good as home!). That evening we headed to a different campsite right at the north of the south island. The following day we went back to Blenheim, our first stop on the south island to do a bit more wine tasting! This time we just walked to the wineries rather than renting bikes.
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We are now on the ferry (after a 2 hour delay) back to the north island for our final week in New Zealand.

Posted by SamHannah 12:41

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Comments

14 degrees you poor things that's summer time in Ireland lol🍀🍀🍀🍀

by Chris and Melissa

Whales and wine - bliss! X

by mum f

You sure you're not in Yorkshire... all that limestone! All looks fantastic!

by DadF

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