Holland America Lines Cruise - Auckland to Vancouver - 2017
March 31 - Port Chalmers, NZ (Dunedin)
We were in no hurry this morning. Our excursion was after lunch so we had plenty of time to kill. We walked over to the dining room for breakfast. We have found that the orange juice is better here than in the Lido buffet. The coffee is usually better, but it is irregular. Waiters bring us large trays filled with a variety of Danish pastries, cinnamon rolls and buns. This was our appetizer before our meal. So far we have tried various entrees. My favorites were banana bread French toast; eggs with sausage, hash browns and toast; and steel-cut oatmeal.
This morning we sat at a large table shared with passengers from New Mexico, Oregon and Seattle.
To get some exercise, we left the ship and took a walk around Port Chalmers. The sky was cloudy but there was little chance of rain. We climbed one of the town's hills and visited a small, strange sculpture garden. It was strange because some of the sculptures were update down. It was also strange because one of the town's old geezers decided to relieve himself at the exit just as we were leaving. Our view of the harbor was much better than the view of the old man.
We climbed another short hill to look at the town's Gothic Presbyterian Church. Then we checked out the short main street. We were amazed at all of the logging activity. Large double trailer logging trucks were delivering stacks of logs to the terminal next to our ship.
After eating lunch on the Lido Deck, we left the ship again and joined HAL's tour called Nature's Wonders by Argo Vehicle. A bus picked up the Bensons and us and drove us into Dunedin where we made a stop to tour its famous ornate train station. Back on the bus, we drove out to Otago Peninsula and along the pretty coastline to Taiaroa Head. We stopped several times at vista points so that we could take photos. The scenery was spectacular.
At Taiaroa head visitors center, half of us boarded Argo vehicles. These 8-wheel-drive vehicles took us on a very rough scenic journey to view some of the Otago Peninsula's most spectacular wildlife inhabitants. Mostly female fur seals were basking in the sun on rocky outcrops. Their pups were swimming and climbing around the rocks looking for their mothers. A couple of Yellow Eyed Penguins were hiding in some bushes on the beach far enough from us so that we couldn't take photos. Our guide pointed them out or we never would have seen them. He also sowed us some nesting penguins who make loud chirping noises when they were exposed. There is an albatross center here, but we did not stop there nor did we see any albatrosses.
After eating a Magnum Barr at the visitors center, we got on the bus and rode back to the ship. We got there just in time for our early dinner.
The show tonight was put on by the ship's cast. It had a fairy tale theme and was called "Ever After".