After finishing our cycling tour on the Otago Rail Trail we had two days planned in and around Dunedin. It was a wet cold day as we walked the few steps from our Chapel Apartments to collect the hire car (how handy was that?). We asked the guys at the desk for their suggestions on what we should see as we made our way (slowly) to Christchurch. They looked at each other as if we were barking mad, before turning back to us and saying ‘there’s not too much on the way, you do know it’s only a few hours drive to get there don’t you?’
We feel like we should make contact to tell them of ALL the amazing things we saw on our drive and in the area! I’ll cover our two days in the next few posts as there’s far too much to tell in just one post!
As we drove around we started noticing large murals on buildings and were thrilled with the artistic and progressive nature of the city. Even the bus shelters were painted artistically. I tried to photograph a few of them to share with you. I love learning things about a place once I get there, not necessarily knowing it all beforehand, and these were a definite surprise.
Here’s a selection for you:
St Kilda beach was not looking the best on this particular morning but I’m sure it is a lovely spot.
Our intrepid driver (my husband) found a delightful road that hugged the coastline with what we believe were beautiful views but we couldn’t see anything due to the foggy clouds. Not to worry, we discovered a cosy little coffee shop in Portobello, a very pretty little town. In fact, at one stage I forgot I was in New Zealand and thought I was back in England in a seafront town. It overlooks the Otago Harbour and is halfway along the Otago Peninsula.
Further along the road is Harington Point at the northeastern end of the Peninsula. There were breathtaking views to take in as we made our way to the Royal Albatross Centre. The rain had stopped by this stage so we braved the icy wind to take in the information centre and a walk down to the cliffs to see the seagulls flying into the wind. The fishy/bird smell was very strong but well worth it. And we spotted an albatross circling above us! My father was stationed at HMAS Albatross for most of his Naval career so albatrosses are very special to us. I used a photo of an albatross door for my recent Thursday Doors post.
This area is also known for its spectacular views of the Otago Peninsula and is called The Wildlife Capital of New Zealand. Unfortunately we couldn’t take a tour but we did enjoy our visit immensely and learnt a lot from the information centre. We also loved watching the seagulls battling the wind and enjoying the updrafts.
We ran into our friend Jocelyn and her husband at the centre – we had met Jocelyn while cycling from Ranfurly to Hyde so it was nice to catch up with her again. They were happy to recommend Vault 21 in the Octagon in Dunedin for dinner and we took their advice, only to find them there as well! It was an amazing place with a great menu of Asian fusion food well presented as well as delicious and reasonably priced. I can highly recommend the Lemon Posset w- passion fruit mascarpone, berry coulis + crushed meringue for dessert 🙂
The Octagon in Dunedin’s centre is an 8 sided pedestrian plaza full of eateries of all varieties. The streets around the area are quite steep with some lovely old buildings and we used the afternoon to wander around exploring.
I must say I really liked what I saw in Dunedin.