Glimpses of rugged Otago Peninsula

The Otago Peninsula is a long finger of land, running 20km alongside Otago Harbour.   It is hilly and rugged, and is home to some magnificent marine life and birdlife.  (Click on map to enlarge.)

 

 

Entrance to Otago Harbour, showing

Entrance to Otago Harbour from the Peninsula, looking across to Aramoana, natural sandbar on the left, and breakwater on the right

 

Taiaroa Head

Taiaroa Head, with breakwater behind, and lighthouse on the right

Taiaroa Head forms the headland at the end of the Otago Peninsula, overlooking the mouth of the Otago Harbour.  The Royal Albatross Centre, seen above, is one of the ecotourism businesses operating on the peninsula.

 

Rugged coastline of Taiaroa Head

Rugged coastline of Taiaroa Head, with lighthouse

 

Taiaroa Head Lighthouse

Taiaroa Head Lighthouse

The lighthouse was first lit in 1865, and was manned by a lighthouse keeper until 1921, when a signalman took over. In 1989 it became automated, and today still flashes over Otago Peninsula making entry to the harbour safer for incoming vessels.

 

New Zealand Fur Seal at Taiaroa Head

New Zealand Fur Seal at Taiaroa Head

 

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SONY DSC

 

Red billed seagulls

Native Red- billed gulls

 

Mass nesting of Red-billed gulls

Mass nesting of Red-billed gulls

 

Shag nesting on step cliff

Shag nesting on step cliff

 

SONY DSCOn the eastern side of the Otago Peninsula (away from the harbour) is the 230 hectare Okia Reserve.  One of the many walking tracks on the Otago Peninsula is the track to Victory Beach, in Wickliffe Bay.  It is a short but fascinating walk that gives some insights into the history of the area.

 

The Pyramids

The Small Pyramid and the Big Pyramid

The two pyramids are basalt formations, formed about 16 million years ago during the first eruptive stage of the volcano on which Dunedin is built.

 

View from the top of the little pyramid, looking towards Victory Beach

View from the top of the Small Pyramid, looking towards Victory Beach

 

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Victory Beach

Victory Beach

The ship SS Victory ran aground at the southern end of the beach in 1861.

 

Walking on Victory Beach

Walking on Victory Beach

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