Dunedin

dunnorth.jpg (35785 bytes)The drive from Christchurch to Dunedin is easily handled in a day but we left from Akaroa past mid-day and we decided to stop along the way.  We selected Timura because it was about half way and we could get in before dark.  We stopped in at the Selwyn Holiday Park and and we were really welcomed by the proprietor, Gordon Collister.  He provided us with help we never had received before or after.  He told us where to go on our way to Dunedin.   This was really good advice and we had a much more enjoyable drive to Dunedin then we would have if we were left to our own devices.  Gordon's Holiday Park was also the nicest we visited so we recommend you stop by when you are passing Timura between Christchurch and Dunedin.otagorndrok.jpg (47110 bytes)

Our first stop was the Moeraki Boulders.  These unusual rocks are found in the beach and are amazingly round.  Geologists say that they are formed in this round shape and have eroded from the cliffs behind the beach.  We didn't get any closer than this overlook because this is one of the many privately run attractions in New Zealand and they wanted $7 to walk down to the beach.  This seemed a bit steep to us so we went for the view from above and moved on.

 

otagodun.jpg (32652 bytes)Next we arrived in the beautiful city of Dunedin.  Dunedin is an old city with a great deal of history but it is also a college town hosting the University of Otago, the primary technical college in New Zealand.

Dunedin grew from the gold rush in the 1860's and it was the primary economic center of New Zealand in that time period.  The 1900's weren't so kind to the city but this prevented development in the central business otagodun2.jpg (43158 bytes)district and left the original architecture in place.  In recent years the area has enjoyed modest growth but the city planners have demonstrated some care in preserving the original architecture and  dovetailing new developments.  The city is very charming and it has become a popular tourist destination.  Of course, we would like it better than Christchurch, look at the weather.

The Otago Museum is well worth a visit if you are into museums.  I particularly enjoyed their South Pacific Island section where we learned about the cultures and histories of the people we had met from French Polynesia to Tonga. 

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We also toured the Speight's Brewery.  I had been looking forward to this since I had my first Speights in Niue.  It is my favorite NZ beer. 

Unfortunately the tour was incredibly boring.  The tour guide, a very knowledgeable brewmaster, was so deadpan and long winded that I was falling asleep on my feet.

Only do this one if you have a rainy day with nothing to do in Dunedin.

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