ICYMI: We are helping Karina Halle count down the days until the release of her upcoming contemporary romance novel (via Atria), Where Sea Meets Sky!
Each day until March 31st (release day), we will be hosting exclusive content from Karina Halle herself! These will include photos/images that inspired scenes from the book, teaser photos, excerpts, and GIVEAWAYS! Each day there will be a different giveaway that are ALL OPEN INTERNATIONAL! You can win signed books, swag, and HUNDREDS of dollars in gift cards!
Check out Karina’s post below, and don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY at the bottom! And, don’t forget to tell all your fellow book buddies!
This was a place that my characters Josh and Gemma didn’t get to go but I did back in the day. It’s just too special not to share (pardon the photos, they were taken on my film camera back in 1999).
The gorgeous Otago Peninsula, located along the lengthy, narrow Otago Harbour and near the University city of Dunedin, is one of New Zealand’s most underrated jewels.
Volcanic in origin, it forms one wall of the collapsed crater that now forms Otago Harbour. The peninsula lies due east of Otago Harbour and runs parallel to the mainland for 30 km. Its maximum width is 12 km. It is joined to the mainland at the south-west end by a narrow isthmus a little over one kilometre in width.
The suburbs of Dunedin encroach onto the western end of the peninsula, but for the majority of its length it is sparsely populated and occupied by steep open pasture. The peninsula is home to many species of wildlife, notably seabirds, and ecotourism is an increasingly important part of its economy.
When I was touring New Zealand, I made an effort to fit this wonderful place into my plans. I was excited to see sea lions, penguins and the famed albatross on the Elm Lodge Wildlife Tour. This small tour group was the perfect way to experience all the beauty and grandeur that the peninsula had to offer.
First stop on our journey was just to admire the gorgeousness of the harbour. The first photo I took was the photo that would soon sum up everything about New Zealand. I think it’s one of my favourite photos, ever.
Next we stopped by a beach where I got to see a penguin…in a box. I don’t know where the photo of it went but I assure you it was a penguin in a box. The box was placed there by the Department of Conservation to provide safe nesting places for the blue penguin.
Anyway, our guide lifted up the lid and low and behold, a teeny tiny blue penguin peered up at us.
As if to outdo the penguin, we looked over to the bay where an enthusiastic sea lion provided entertained us with charades.
After the sea lion antics, we visited the Northern Royal Albatross colony, where the mighty albatross come into nest. This is the mainland colony for the albatross in the world.
These mighty birds might look small in these pictures but rest assured these are massive birds that weigh up to 19lbs and have a wingspan of nearly 10 feet! They live to be 40 years old on average and are considered in a “vulnerable” state, though kept off the endangered list thanks to colonies such as this one.
And then we saw the sight that could only been seen in New Zealand. An intersection where penguins meet sheep:
If anyone is heading to New Zealand, a tour of the Otago Peninsula is a must-do.