We left our hotel (clean bed, hot water restaurant), shuttled to the airport, and loaded up our BIG class C. It didn't take us long to get - lost! At least off the published route and separated from our friends. Oh well, it's an adventure.
Our first days drive with the caravan group was just that - a long drive. Five hours of good road through pretty farmland, but no scenic views of the ocean or mountains. Some cattle, lots of sheep. Stopped to load up with groceries along the way and got another dose of sticker shock. About double US prices.
We stopped at the Whitestone Cheese Factory for some tasting as we entered Oamaru. Enjoyed it enough to make a small purchase. Then on to our campground for the night.
This destination was chosen because of the penguin colonies in the area. After a light dinner, we boarded our tour bus and set off to see if we could find the penguins returning from their day of feeding at sea. We first tried a colony of Yellow-eyed Penguins that live rather high in the cliff above the ocean shore. Some luck here as we spotted several fledglings around their nests, but no "rafts" of penguins returning from the sea. Our second stop was a more developed tourist site on the edge of town. Here we were able to watch several small rafts of 6 - 12 Blue Penguins scurry across the shore to reach their nests. Their waddling dash is really funny for us to watch, but I suppose quite scary for them during that open and exposed period. No pictures were allowed at this site - sorry.
Oamura has many Victorian style buildings still being used. Made from local limestone, these are beautiful constructions and we enjoyed walking around admiring them.