We began the day by visiting the Olveston House in Dunedin. Then we went to the Larnach Castle to eat lunch and tour the garden with beautiful views of Dunedin Bay. At the end of the day we had a guided tour of the Albatross Colony.
The house and its furnishings, history and antiques were very well presented but no photos were allowed so I took a few photos of the garden:
The castle is located high on a hill overlooking the Dunedin Bay and here are some pictures taken along the way:
Larnach Castle was built by a former Prime Minister of New Zealand in 1870. He lived there until 1898 when he took his own life in New Zealand’s House of Parliament. After several owners, the castle and the garden were abandoned:
The Barker family purchased the house and garden and have been working on restoring it for the past 50 years.
The hedges have been renovated and restored:
Yew (?) hedge
Monterey Cypress hedge
English Holly hedge
A new Goldenchain Tree arbor has been built:
Here are some photos of the beautiful views from the garden:
Silene uniflora cv.
Basket-of-Gold (Aurina saxitilis cv.)
South Seas garden:
Blue Dracaena (Cordyline indivisa)
Tower of Jewels (Echium wildpretii)
Kerria japonica ‘Pleniflora’
Sunrose (Helianthemum nummularium)
Parrot Beak (Clianthus puniceus)
Large Mountain Daisy (Celmisia semicordata)
This is the area at the end of the Otago Peninsula where the Albatross Colony is located. The seagulls are everywhere but there are very few in the Albatross colony.
These are the gulls nesting many with eggs already:
We hiked up to a special room to view the Albatross colony. I could see only 4 or 5 who were sitting on nests and only 1 that I could get a good picture of:
This is as close as I could get with my 10X lens.
The average Albatross female will lay an egg once every 5 years. It takes 8 months for the fledglings to grow strong enough to make their journey to South America. In 5 years they will come back and lay another egg. Now you know why the Albatross is endangered. They mate for life and the scientists here have seen a female as old as 62 years lay an egg.
I see more from their videos than I do from my actual sightings:
Plastics in the ocean are a problem for the Albatross:
The scientists have set up a webcam outside focused on a nesting Albatross so anyone can sign in any time to see if the egg has hatched:
Tomorrow – Te Anau, Wylde Willow Garden, Maple Glen