Day 15 – Winton to Dunedin

11:59 pm Motorbike/Motorcycle, New Zealand, Travel

In Winton we were privileged to stay in a farm house with some new friends we had made.  It was a beautiful house set right on the edge of town.

This is the view from the kitchen. On a clear day, you can see snow covered mountains in the distance.

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Victoria and Peter left early in the morning, as they needed to head back home.

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We again used back roads much of the time, and often they were dirt.  The sky looked so dark, and there was heavy rain coming.  But somehow we managed to avoid the big downpours.

Here is a sealed road – but one still needs to be careful. This was just after a bend.

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Then, on the road to Slope Point Road – the southern most place of mainland New Zealand. A driver from Hong Kong took the corner too fast and ended up off the road.  Luckily the damage was not that great – he missed the steep embankment, but did break one of the concrete fence posts.

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About a minute after we turned up, a grader turned up also. We decided that I would go and find the farmer that owned the land. It turns out that the farmer was away, but I went to the next house and found the farmer from the neighbouring farm.

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The farmer was a very nice man. He dealt with this in the most professional and helpful manner. Before we removed the car, he went and turned the fence off – it had an electric charge going through it. We realised this because we heard it ticking where it touched the ground.

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It was a very beautiful place where the man ran off the road – but it was extremely windy.

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This photo was taken a few kilometers down the road.

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Our bike at Slope Point – the southernmost point of mainland New Zealand.

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We then headed on to Curio Bay – a spot known for its wildlife.  Despite the sunshine, the beach was deserted.

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After lunch, we wandered down and found this sea lion soaking up the sun.  It really didn’t care about the few people that were around.  I saw one woman come down the steps to the beach and walk within about 40cms of the sea lion.  She hadn’t seen it, as she was looking further into the distance. When she finally noticed it, she let out a scream – she was really shocked to be standing so close to it. However, the sea lion didn’t even move.

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When some dolphins were spotted, the beach became “busy” (that means there were about 20 people).  Several decided to go for a swim, including me. Here you can see me (the head) near the dolphins, who just did a big jump in the water.

It happened like this. The dolphins kept swimming up and down the beach, and there were a lot of people following them. But it seemed that they didn’t like that. So I swam a bit further out, and decided to sing fairly loud. I had heard that they are curious, and I thought that this made me unique to the other swimmers. Sure enough, after a little while two dolphins came and circled around me and then took off really quickly followed by some big jumps.  This is what you see here.  While they were close to me, they weren’t close enough to touch – the closest they got was about 3-4 meters.

Given that this is the southern most ocean near New Zealand, the water was surprisingly warm – OK, it was cool, but I couldn’t say that it was cold. I only wore togs, but the other swimmers all wore wet suits.

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After the swim, we headed to the petrified forest.  Here, roughly between the people and the sea, are remains of a forest that has now turned to rock.  This is also a place that yellow eyed penguins frequent.

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In fact, there was one yellow eyed penguin present, but only because the Department of Conservation was there, and they had released it. It had come to harm, and they had given it basic care and were now releasing it back into the wild.  Apparently more were going to come as the sun starts to set.

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We decided not to stay, but to head on to Dunedin.

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When we stopped for fuel, this little terrier came to Rebecca and wanted a pat.

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In Dunedin we decided to stay in a hotel for two nights so that we could catch up on washing, and so that I could catch up on my blog and do some web site maintenance.

Here is a night photo taken by the Octagon.

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