After spending yesterday doing a couple of hikes in the Peel Forest (basically the Acland Falls and Emily Falls hikes), and then enjoying Mt Cook under beautiful skies, today we had a real busy day going from Mt Cook to Dunedin and then sightseeing both the city and the nearby peninsula. We also managed to squeeze views of Wakefield Falls in the Tasman Valley.
Our day in Dunedin was spent visiting the familiar Octagon (basically a city block shaped like an octagon with a pair of attractive buildings and a lawn area perfect for picnics), but this time, we had time to walk around and enjoy the place since we're spending the night here instead of just zooming by like last time. So we also managed to visit a charming railway station just east of the Octagon (right in the city centre) while stumbling into a farmers market where we loaded up on fresh cherries as well as a delicious galette (a gluten- and wheat-free type of crepe) made by a French family.
Later in the day, we drove all the way out onto a peninsula where we visited the Larnach Castle, saw a couple of sea lions resting on the beach at Sandfly Bay, and then unsuccessfully tried to spot penguins at Pilots Beach.
Before we knew it, we were back in our motel at 10pm. There was still daylight at this hour since we're far south in latitude. Still, we have yet another long day of driving ahead of us tomorrow as we go to Te Anau.
With the weather going from warm and sunny to rainy (albeit brief) at the very end of the day, we're expecting the weather to deteriorate into the typical wet New Zealand weather we've come to know. We hope we're wrong, but considering Fiordland is one of the rainiest spots in the country (let alone the world), we're not holding our breath for blue skies. At least, NZ is a place I'd rather be than inside an octagon, MMA style!