If you ever find yourself in Dunedin with a car and a few hours of free time, consider driving down to Moeraki to climb on famous boulders, dine at Fleur’s Place, and closely observe yellow-eyed penguins at Katiki Point.
Take a roadside break and purchase some paua shells. Notice how the owners simply left the shells out alone. Unguarded. Unprotected. I get the sense that Kiwis are much more trusting than Americans.
The boulders were formed from the erosion of mudstone and are explained in Maori legend as baskets washed ashore from the wreck of a large canoe.
The boulders provide hours of entertainment and are a source of magic – they can be whatever you want them to be: a cracking velociraptor egg, a spherical trampoline, a genie lamp….
When you’ve sufficiently tired yourself with various boulder-related shenanigans, grab dinner at the small, nondescript and seaside restaurant, Fleur’s Place.
They have some of the finest seafood I’ve ever eaten (and this is coming from an ocean-side dweller raised on fresh salmon, oysters, and shrimp).
And then off to Katiki Point where you can get up close and personal with yellow-eyed penguins. You might also be lucky enough to see rabbits, rare little blue penguins living in the rabbit holes, and, uh, some rather larger creatures.
When you approach the penguins, be quiet and make no sudden movements. Our friend Will referred to the birds as
“delicate wee souls.”
Yeah, that’s a sea lion. Yeah, he smiled at me. Or maybe yawn-growled. I couldn’t quite tell.