Breakfast by the beach, before setting off to Te Anau. This leg of the drive felt considerably different from the day before as we turned inland from the coast.
One of the nicest things about the Southern Scenic Route is that there're signs peppered all around to let you know if there's anything interesting going on. We didn't have time for everything on the leg from Dunedin to Invercargill but we did drop by Nugget Point, which was highly recommended by my brother.
This was the place where I was nearly blown off my feet (it was that gusty) and where HC nearly lost his camera lens cap to the sea forever... ...
Can you see the nugget-like rocks that gave it it's name?
The Southern Scenic Route is an impossibly beautiful drive stretching from Dunedin to Queenstown. It's the main reason why we chose to tour the south island instead of the north.
First, windows down and the radio off.
First, windows down and the radio off.
I realize you find out a lot about each other during a road trip. For one, he had to listen to my endless cheesy recitations everytime I saw scenery that reminds me of LOTR ("we have just passed into the realm of Gondor..."), and I had to keep stopping him from pulling up the car to peep at every single trickling creek along the way ("but every creek is different!"). Good times.
The number of humans we met on the drive? Maybe 5. The number of sheep we met? Maybe 500.
Dinner was Steward Island green-lipped mussels and steak at the HMS Kings, recommended by our motel hosts. We were looking forward to the famous bluff oysters but it was too early yet.
The Invercargill pit stop for the day.
Oh St Clair, with your beautiful surfs and cafes.
Dinner that day was at the Esplanade Restaurant. We found it by the beach and decided on it because of the view. Food was pretty good and HC loved his lasagna, though I've never quite had aglio olio from a bowl before. It felt a little like eating fried Chinese noodles.
Good night Dunedin. We leave you the morrow.
Itinerary for the day (from top):
A little coffee for the time-difference. NZ is five hours ahead of us.
The Olveston House. It's the old voyeur instinct, I love looking at other people's homes.
A short stroll around the oldest university in NZ, the University of Otago. 'Geology' and 'Maori Studies' sounded very interesting indeed.
Lunch break and catching up with some local news.
Cadbury is actually UK and not NZ, but Dunedin has the only Cadbury factory that is open to the public, and because HC loves his discovery channel (see: 'how do they do it?' and 'how stuff works'), we decided to go find out how chocolates are made. Did you know that white chocolates are actually made from cocoa butter which is a kind of fatty oil released from cocoa beans when heated?
I must confess. I have topped my personal record from here, I shot 21 rolls this time. As I think it will be slightly insane to sift through 750 photos and rearrange them thematically, I have decided to take the easy way out and do it chronologically instead, with perhaps a little running commentary.
The plan was to drive around the New Zealand south island, with a little detour to the country capital on the southern north island (isn't that confusing? but that's what they call it), so we flew in to Christchurch and took a connecting flight to Dunedin on the same day.
The Dunedin Railway station. Many of the historical buildings are Victorian or Edwardian. Apparently the city has Scottish roots and Dunedin is actually the old Scottish Gaelic name for 'Edinburgh'.
It said, "Not appointed by her majesty, the Queen". I can see why.
We wandered around and found this place called Velvet Burger Respect. HC had the 'hangover cure' which was huge (I didn't know that high calories of bacon, eggs, hash browns were good for hangovers...?). I had the 'mini brown' beef burger. Pasture-roaming, grass-fed cows really do taste different. Yummy.
An after-dinner drive around the Otago Peninsula. It's late summer so the sun doesn't set until around 9.30pm, which was nice because it even gave us room to factor in some afternoon naps (our way of travel will drive most people crazy I guess) *lol*.