Images: Discover the Wildlife Capital of New Zealand

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The Otago Peninsula

Credit: Jesse Lewis.
Flax bushes rustle and murmur in the cold, windy air. The view from the top of Sandy Mount is panoramic: well worth the steep trails and chapped cheeks.…Read More »

Below, the harbor cradles the sea. Cupped between folded green hills, indented by numerous bays and inlets, New Zealand's Otago Peninsula is a place where earth and sky embrace in a watery hug.

Running parallel to the mainland for 12 windy miles (20 kilometers), with a maximum width of 6 miles (9 km), the Otago Peninsula is a long finger of land on the southeastern coast of the South Island. Formed over 10 million years ago, the entire peninsula is the eroded remnants of a massive shield volcano that once existed here. Indeed, the harbor is the collapsed, flooded out caldera (the circular depression that forms at the summit of a volcano after an eruption empties the magma chamber below).

Today it is known unofficially as the wildlife capital of New Zealand. Diverse topography and proximity to both harbors and beaches make this a wildlife lover's dream, a place where rare and unusual creatures congregate at the edge of a vast watery wilderness.   Less «
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