--- Gareth and Helen travelled the world! --- travel blog

Sea lions have a nasty habit of appearing when you least expect...

South of New Zealand (Catlins) coastline.

More of Southern New Zealand

Step by step guide of sea lion coming out of sea! 1:...

2: Sea lion lumbers up beach.

3: Sea lion rises up and strolls up beach.

4: Sea lion spys place to sleep.

5: Sea lion lays down.

6: Sea lion sleeps. Easy.

The sea lion liked to have a go - here it's getting...

"What you looking at?". Close encounters of the furry kind.

More coast line, between Invercargill and Dunedin.

The site of the 'Jurassic Forest'.

165 million years ago trees were fossilised in the stone. Can you...

More examples of the tree fossilisation.

More trees in the rock. Spooky eh?

A different area, further up the coast. A sea lion lounges in...

A sand storm builds up, sand rushes across the beach.

The sea lion hunkers down in the sand storm

Gareth in the sandstorm - loving it!!

Helen outside Cadbury World in Dunedin. IT'S CLOSED!!!! :-(

Helen shrugs her shoulders and we turn back towards the hotel!

The cathederal in Dunedin.

Howdy folks!

It's Helen typing this one up. I don't get to do many so it's always nice when I do!

Today we woke up in Invercargill, which is New Zealand's southern most town. There's not much going on there and in that respect it has a lot in common with The Lizard! Although we got there last night at 10pm they had a roast dinner waiting for us! Only $8.50!! Bargain.

We were staying at a YHA, which are generally of higher standard than other places. At YHA you can always garantee clean rooms and kitchens, even if you have to pay a fractionally higher price.

We left this morning at 8:30am, and headed off in the direction of Dunedin. We didn't have time to go to The Bluff (their version of John O'Groats) and we couldn't due to a) the bad weather and (get this!) b) sheep shearing. Well... that's what they said anyway!

So we headed off through the south coast of the South Island, in an area called Catlins. The area is mostly dairy farming, so lots more sheep and cows. We played a game on the bus where if we saw a sheep on the road we had to try and get it back into the field (good fun!).

From there we headed down to the coast where we saw some baby sea lions in the wild. These things are really cute but you can't go near them because they will go for you and they are HUGE with mega big huge tusks for teeth! We kept a safe distance but got some great photos.

Back on the bus, the weather was still really bad. It's been so changeable here. One minute really sunny with blue sky and the next its tipping it down. Generally weather forecasts are useless. From there we headed down to another beach about 30 km along the road (or should I say gravel track). At the beach there was a huge male sea lion, which wasn't moving for anyone. Whilst we were getting photos the wind built up and the sand started flying everywhere like a kind of dust storm. Check the photos when they are online to see what you think! We also saw dolphins in the distance. It's always good when you see animals in their natural habitat. When they are in the zoo they always seem a little bit more robotic.

From there we headed into the Scottish influenced city of Dunedin. ** POP FACT ** Dunedin is Scottish for Edinbrough. Mad.

The best thing about Dunedin... no sorry, the two best things about Dunedin are 1) The Cadbury World chocolate factory and 2) The class hotel that Stray have put us in for the night at bargain basemant prices!

We thought it was too good to be true, and it was!

When we got to Cadbury's World it was shut and it was only 4pm! I was gutted. We can't go tomorrow because we are leaving for Christchurch at 8am. But never mind I hear you cry because Gareth has informed me that there is a Cadbury's World in Birmingham, UK so I'm going to make him take me there when we get back.

So tomorrow we are off to Christchurch and the day after that it's Melbourne!! It's very exciting and we can't wait! It'll be nice to have a new map on our front page too.

Photos online soon. Gotta go

Lots of love Helen and Gareth x x x

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