Monday, 1 November 2010

Dunedin … the Edinburgh of the south

2nd November 2010 (I've been in New Zealand a month now)

MP3 track of the day: Knife in the Dark - Lord of the Rings

Weather: a beautiful sunny day with a cooling breeze

7:45am is too early for a coach to depart, however that was the time my coach left this morning. On one hand it was good as it meant I arrived in Dunedin just before 2pm and so I had the afternoon there, though I wondered if I would be in any it state to go sightseeing.

The coach ride was uneventful with the driver deciding not to do any commentary. I therefore got down to reading my guidebook about what was in store for me in Dunedin. With less than two hours to go the coach stopped at our lunch destination, a cafe in Oamaru; for once the cafe was reasonably priced and so I had a cake, a pie and a packed to crisps all for $7.00 (£3.50), I didn't purchase a drink as I still had some vanilla coke left in the coach.

Oamaru is a small town that I am planning on spending a night in before returning to Christchurch to take my flight to Auckland; the reason is because there are loads of penguins around this area and I quite fancy seeing some more (I saw some on my boat ride of Milford Sound). I inquired into the location of the local YHA hostel in Oamaru as I knew they had one, however no one in the cafe knew where it was as it appears most who work there are from out of town. Luckily the driver let me know where the hostel was so, on my return, I should be able to find it okay.

We arrived in Dunedin bang on time and I started to walk the 'ten minute' walk to my hostel as described on the YHA website. Twenty minutes later I arrived, a little out of breath as the hostel is located part of the way up a hill. I mentioned the fact that the website said a 'ten minute walk' to the receptionist who's reply was that its ten minutes without any heavy luggage. But of course, I mean I bet they get loads of people staying here who haven't brought any luggage with them at all, this being a hostel for backpackers!

As the weather was so good I dumped my stuff in the hostel and went out photographing. The 'First Church' was a nice surprise as it was very photogenic however I was expecting more from the 'Octagon' (the center of Dunedin). Dunedin is supposed to be the 'Edinburgh of the South', and I see the link with Edinburgh (as I've been there too, my favourite capital within the United Kingdom), however there are so many architectural styles here in Dunedin that the 'Scottish resemblance' is very watered down. Still it's a lovely place and so I continued to walk around taking photos.

Time was pressing on and so I headed to the nearest supermarket to get some tea for tonight. I was a bit gutted that I couldn't find a 'Pack n Save' as I was out of vanilla coke. I headed back to the hostel and got some directions for the closest 'Pack n Save' … yes! Also tonight I have booked the final part of my New Zealand adventure (sob); I've booked a coach to Oamaru for Thursday, one night there and then a coach to Christchurch on Friday with one night there before taking the plane to Auckland. I hate doing on nighters as your transport costs go up the less time you spend somewhere, but I am running out of time.

Tonight is going to be an early night but I'm not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow; there are a few things in town that I want to see but not many, there is also the Taieri Gorge Railway which is meant to be a superb round trip through the eastern mountains, however it is a little pricey ... actually I think this hostel gets a discount for the railway so I'll have to inquire about that. Oh and guess what, there is a Cadbury World here and, with me being a chocoholic I was tempted, but I can do this at home so I think I'll skip it.

Until tomorrow

Toodle Pip!

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