Saturday, 17 March 2012

Nugget Point and Yellowed Eyed Penquins–Yeah Right

Leaving Lawrence early morning we were heading for Owaka and Nugget Point before the forecast weather affected our plans.

Bridge over the Clutha river at Balclutha.Bridge over the Clutha river at Balclutha.

We decided to head the short 3km trip north to Milton to refuel before driving onto Balclutha. We spotted Pauline and Geoff when we parked to have a look around and they were heading off as there was not much to see there so it was on to our camp near Owaka. Hillview Camping Ground takes a lot of beating. Owned by Kevin and Sue originally from Derbyshire in England they made us really welcome.

Low cost park Owaka.Hillview Camp a low cost park near Owaka.

After getting ourselves settled it was out to Nugget Point taking advantage of the lovely weather.

Big pose by a Fur Seal.Big pose by a Fur Seal.

Driving along the unsealed road we arrived at the carpark for the Nugget Point lighthouse built in 1869 but now fully automated from Wellington.. A beautiful 900m scenic walk along the hilltop to the lighthouse was doing its best to keep us all fit. Looking down from path on a very steep cliffs we managed to spot several fur seals and pups on the rocks below.

Looking out over the Pacific Ocean at Molyneux Bay.Looking out over the Pacific Ocean at Molyneux Bay.Nugget Point lighthouse.Nugget Point lighthouse.Nugget Point.Sea worn rocks resembling gold nuggets give the point its name.The gang at Nugget Point lighthouse.We all made it to Nugget Point lighthouse, from left Robin, Jenny, Dot, Derek, Geoff and Pauline.

On our way back we called in to see if we could spot the Yellowed Eyed Penquins that frequent this coast so we are told.  Despite nearly an hour in the hide overlooking the beach we came away disappointed, only to learn later from another couple that one made an appearance only a few minutes after we left.  So be it, until next time maybe. March to April is actually the moulting season and as the penguins are not waterproof at this time they stay away from swimming and feeding for almost a month.  On the way back we spotted these.

First time we have seen hub caps on a fence line.First time we have seen hub caps on a fence line.

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