The Yellow House is the perfect base for exploring the many delights the Otago Peninsula has to offer. Abundant wildlife and stunning scenery make the Peninsula a must for those interested in flora, fauna and history.
Jan and Mike have extensive knowledge of the area and will happily give you information and advice on everything t o see and do on the Peninsula and surrounds. The wildlife which frequents the Peninsula and Harbour include penguins, seals, sea lions, albatross, penguins, shags (cormorants), spoonbills, plovers, herons, dolphins and whales. Several companies offer guided tours for those wanting a full wildlife experience, including Monarch Wildlife Cruises (www.wildlife.co.nz) and Elm Wildlife Tours (www.elmwildlifetours.co.nz).
Here are just some of the activities guests can enjoy a short distance from the Yellow House:
Royal Albatross (toroa ingoingo):
At the northernmost tip of the Otago Peninsula lies Taiaroa Head, home to the only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross in the Southern Hemisphere. These incredible birds wheel across the skies above the colony, catching updrafts from the cliffs under their massive wings. For more information, visit www.albatross.org.nz
Yellow-eyed Penguins (hoiho):
Yellow-eyed penguins are native to New Zealand and are one the rarest breeds of penguins in the world. Penguin Place is the home of Yellow-Eyed Penguin Reserve, and offers guided tours to see the penguins undisturbed in their natural environment. For more information, visit www.penguinplace.co.nz
Between Dunedin city and the Yellow House, the historic Glenfalloch Homestead was built in 1871. This former gentleman’s residence offers three different restaurants and is set amongst nine hectares of beautiful gardens, which have been classified as being of National Significance. For more information, visit www.glenfalloch.co.nz
High atop the Peninsula, on Camp Road at Pukehiki is New Zealand’s only castle. Built in 1871 by well-known Dunedin personality and Member of Parliament, William Larnach, visitors can explore the Castle and park-like grounds and gardens. A climb up the tower offers stunning views of the Peninsula and Harbour and you may even see the Castle ghost! For more information, visit www.larnachcastle.co.nz
An example of a typical New Zealand Edwardian wooden villa, Fletcher House at Broad Bay was built in 1909. It has been fully restored to original specifications and visitors can experience what life was like in early 20th Century Dunedin.
Also situated at Taiaroa Head is historic Fort Taiaroa. Built at the end of the 19th Century to defend the Harbour from the threat of Tsarist Russia, the Fort consists of a number of tunnels running under the hillside, an observation pit and the Armstrong Disappearing Gun. This gun is the only fully working model of its kind in the world. A must-see for those interested in military history.
The Otago Peninsula was home to a number of important industries for the early European settlers in the area. Lime was extracted from a hill on the Peninsula and fired in stone kilns. The kilns are protected by the Historic Places Trust and are open to the public.
Whaling was also a major industry in the area. The Southern Right Whale was so named because it was considered the “right” whale to catch. Whales were brought ashore at Weller’s Rock, Otakou.
There are over twenty different walking tracks all over the Peninsula, all with different points of interest and catering to different fitness levels. For full details, visit the Dunedin City Council website, www.dunedin.govt.nz or the Dunedin Visitors Centre, situated in the Octagon in the heart of Dunedin’s central city.