The next stop on the agenda was Dunedin the Edinburgh of the South, due to its Scottish heritage. The drive from Milford Sound to Dunedin is a long one but we chose to make it longer to detour through the Caitlin’s and it was so worth it! We set off at 8am and I think we arrived in Dunedin at about 6pm but we were stopping along the way. The first beach we stopped at was renowned for having lots of Sealions and you could get within metres of them. We didn’t hold much hope out for this as it was really windy but just as we were about to leave Chris spotted one just below us and it was huge! We were stood right next to it (Chris ran away a few times when I was taking his photo with it as he thought it was going to chase him).
The next stop on the drive was a view point called Nugget Point (the Caitlin’s is renowned for its views and wildlife). This also didn’t disappoint as the view was amazing and there were hundreds of fur Seals swimming beneath the cliffs and playing in the water!
We arrived at our backpackers called Hogwartz (my letter finally arrived) and it was great, it was really quirky and had a warren of corridors you can really see where it got its name from! It had alot of nice little touches like a Gringotts room, a platform 9 and 3/4 and they called the laundry Dobbys Room ( if you don’t get these references you are missing out!)
Our first proper day in Dunedin (10th) was really full on and probably one of our favourite of the holiday! We started off looking around Dunedin which has some really lovely old buildings such as the train station which is really special. We then moved onto the museum to add a bit of culture (it was really to take some silly photos).
Next up was where the fun really began, Dunedin has the steepest street in the world according to the Guinness World Records – it’s called Baldwin Street and its incline is 38 degrees (very steep). It doesn’t actually feel that steep but trust me once you walked to the top it feels it, and as you look down you can really tell how steep it is. As part of the Dunedin Chocolate Carnival (I know I’m gutted I missed it too) they have a Jaffa rolling competition down the street (Cadburys orange balls – they are amazing but only sold in NZ). After the climb we thought we would treat ourselves to a certificate to prove we had done it (fatties).
We were booked in at the Royal Albatross Centre on the Otago Peninsular at 3pm for a tour. This location is the only mainland Albatross Colony in the world and a significant conservation area, if I’m honest I was a little dubious about going but really glad we did. When we arrived we saw lots of people down at the bottom of the cliff so we went to see what the fuss was about -there were hundreds of Sealions on the beach it was amazing (Video here). They were everywhere and as you thought you had seen them all you would see another camouflaged on the rocks (a bit like where’s wally).
The Albatross tour lasted an hour and we really were lucky, normally we would complain about a windy day but this was perfect for seeing them in flight (apparently quite rare). They were massive and have a wing span of 3 metres and it was so impressive to see them gliding around (we also saw them sitting on nests). I’m not normally into bird watching (Chris is) but this was really interesting.
As part of the tour was could add on a tour around a war bunker underground so obviously we did this!
After this we were back to the backpackers for a quick double carb tea (risotto and fancy bread) and then to Speights Brewery for a tour. Speights is a NZ beer that originates in Dunedin so it’s a bit of a must when you get to Dunedin. We were showed around the Brewery and all the brewing processes and then got to go and try some beers in the bar (now for the good bit). You could try as many beers as you wanted in the time you were in there (about 30 mins) so we really made the most of it – some more than others (cough Chris).
On Monday we woke up early as the fun still wasn’t over we were going on a Cadburys tour at 9am (no breakfast was consumed in preparation). Dunedin have a large Cadburys factory which we were told is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere – the tour was nowhere near as good as the one in Birmingham but we still really enjoyed it! You don’t actually get to go around the factory so they just tell you about chocolate making and show you some videos. The fun bits included- free chocolate bars all the way around and a serve yourself melted chocolate machine with toppings – Chris ate too much and felt sick for the rest of the day (it didn’t stop him eating the other 9 free chocolate bars though). At one point in the tour we were taken into an old storage silo and the whole thing lit up and out of the roof came a chocolate waterfall and 1 tonne of melted chocolate came pouring down from the roof (I was like a kid it was brill). In the gift shop afterward we stocked up on some Jaffas and set off for our next stop- Lake Tekapo.
We really enjoyed our action packed time in Dunedin 🙂