Otago Peninsula – ‘finest example of ecotourism in the world’

Otago Peninsula was a volcano some 10 or 13 million years ago – give or take a week or three!

65-thousand years ago it became an island when sea levels rose and, more recently, it became a peninsula.  Captain Cook and the hardy self-sufficient pioneers fought battles with the elements along the notorious 2000 kilometres coastline which is now scattered with shipwrecks.

The area is not just a day trip from Dunedin but a destination in its own right and during my ten days in Dunedin – traveling in a  car from  NZ RentaCar – and I spent time in Ngaio Cottage in Broad Bay.

This cottage, built in the 1930s,  when my hosts, Julz Asher & Lutz Ritter, bought it I’m told ‘it looked very different’ to the charming, well-appointed accommodation it is today. ‘It was unlivable. In fact, everything is new – except a few boards,’ Lutz said.

The fittings and furniture were chosen with care, resulting in beautiful and tasteful atmosphere. I have no idea how many stars this place has, but I’d give it 4 or 5!

This is a fabulous place to stay and use as a base to explore the peninsula, and the Dunedin region – check out these photos.


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I’m not the only one who rates Otago Peninsula:

  • Neville Peat a local nature writer based in Broad Bay says the whole area is a ‘kind of supermarket for marine life, souped up by currents and adjacent deep-water canyons.
  • Botanist and environmentalist David Bellamy said the peninsula is ‘the finest example of ecotourism in the world’   while Mark Carwardine,  zoologist and outspoken conservationist, writer, TV and radio presenter, wildlife photographer, columnist,  best-selling author, a wildlife tour operator calls New Zealand a “wildlife hotspot”. He also says it’s one of the best places in the world to see great wildlife and recently he was on a whirlwind tour, searching for our equivalent to Africa’s ‘big five’, the New Zealand ‘small five’ – all endangered species: hector’s dolphinkeakiwituatarayellow-eyed penguin all  which are found on or around this amazing outcrop of land.

I have written some stories about the area, and more to come about –  albatross, penguins, castleboat trips, fur seals, settlers museum, bus stops, birds, gardens, heritage city walks, the Taieri Gorge train, Chinese gardens, butterfly house and the Orokonui eco-sanctuary and more.


View of the harbour from the couch
View of the harbour from the couch



A Wellington wander … what an eclectic area I live in!

What an eclectic area of Wellington I live in!

You have seen me wax lyrical about my funky Cuba Street area, well today I took a walk in a different area. It was just supposed to be a walk to see the Victoria University students view of Cuba Street in 2035,  but it ended up a wander, stopping for these photos, a  lunch of coffee,  olives, hummus and home-made gluten-free crackers at a new, for me, Te Aro deli.  Then back up the hill, watered my allotment garden, and then back home to my great apartment  – it’s the building with the curvy roof line and mosaic entrance.

So, the first two pictures are what the first year students  think I could see from my apartment in 2035 and the last one is what I see now from my bedrooms balcony.

If you want to check out the streets I took .. they were – Webb, Cuba, Ghuznee, The Terrace, Abel Smith, Willis, Epuni, Tarnera Park, across Ohiro Road, Central Park , Brooklyn, Willis and back onto my Webb St.


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