Oamaru, New Zealand
Day 4: Oamaru to Dunedin
Another glorious day on the Otago Peninsula as we head further south to Dunedin. First port of call was the Moeraki Boulders. You guessed it………no it was not closed but it was high tide and all but a handful were underwater. Debi saved herself a walk along the beach and viewed these pre-historic formations from afar. I however took a few photos’ close up. We had a magnificent breakfast at the cafe then headed down to the nearby fishing village, the site of one of the best seafood restaurants on the South Island (Fleurs Place). It was packed however we didn’t feel like seafood at 9.00am so we headed back to Highway 1, en-route to Dunedin.
The country side improved immensely as we weaved our way through the very hilly mountains surrounding the city. On approaching our Hotel my Navman let me down big time, telling me to turn left into a one way street and an oncoming truck……. whoops!! A quick u-turn avoided any incidents and we soon reached our final destination.
Our first ‘must do’ in Dunedin was the Speights Brewery tour, I set the destination into my Navman and it told me that I was 400m away, thinking it had let me down again I headed off and to our surprise the brewery was just around the corner. Feeling embraced, I put the car back in the car park and we walked the remaining 300m. Unfortunately the brewery was undergoing major renovations but it was well worth the visit and lunch in the Speights Ale House was even better.
Next was a guided bus tour of the city with lots of things to see, including the terraced streets (just like San Francisco) Olverston House, Baldwin St, (the steepest street in the world) and the new Forsyth Barr Stadium. After our tour we headed to the Dunedin Casino (ka ching!) then to finish the day a light dinner in one of the hotel restaurants (Debi’s shout).
Tonight I updated the blog using the hotels complimentary Internet service.
Day 5: A free day in Dunedin
Good weather again as the sun streamed through the hotel window to wake us. This morning we are off to Larnach Castle a 20 minute trip from the city. The drive offered some fantastic views and it’s not hard to imagine why William Larnach chose this position to build his dream home. On arriving we had misplaced our tickets but the staff were kind enough to let us in as they remembered our booking. Our self-guided tour through the main house was impressive and the steep stairway to the turret commanded some even more impressive views. We finished our visit with a very nice devonshire tea in the main ballroom.
On returning to the city we headed to the Otago Museum to have a look at the Discovery World Tropical Forest, Dunedin’s HOTTEST attraction. It housed over 500 butterflies. The temperature and humidity reminded us of Brisbane as the camera lens steamed up and dozens of butterflies landed on us while we walked through the enclosure.
We returned to the hotel where we parked the car and decided to hoof it down to the Chinese Gardens for Yum Cha for lunch. The gardens were not that impressive but the Otago Settlers Museum next door was the opposite.
We headed back and did a little shopping finally procuring our Chilly Bin but no Jandalls (too cold for that sort of foolish footware) and some supplies for our trip into the Fiordlands tomorrow.