A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand

Dunedin Railway Taieri Gorge etc.

Dunedin day 2


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Woke up to a lovely sunny morning. Decided to take a look at the Botanic Gardens. Proved to be a good call as they were lovely. We spent quite a lot of time here as they are quite extensive.

From there we were booked onto the railway to Taieri Gorge and Pukerangi. Spectacular scenery across amazing viaducts. The journey back is the same route. The station at Dunedin is also an amazing building.

The railway also run a ‘Seasider’ from Dunedin to 3 destinations but we had visited 2 of the places on this route so chose the Gorge trip.

There were other things to do if we had had the time. We met a couple who had visited Larnach Castle and said it was worth a visit. Also to see the penguins but this is best done at night when they feed. We just didn’t have the time unfortunately.

Posted by JanSpencer 01:56 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Dunedin - bed no. 16!!

Goodbye Akaroa


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Really sorry to leave Akaroa, but on to Dunedin.

Went via the Tourists road out of Akaroa and stopped every 5mins to take photos as the views were spectacular. Was a long drive around 5 hours but took us longer due to stopping a few times for a break.

Stopped on the main SH1 at Ashburton, the Phat Duck for lunch. It was very warm with a brisk breeze. Stopped for a cuppa and a choc cake (naughty but nice) at Criterion Hotel at Oamaru.

Carried on until we reached Moeraki Boulders. Unfortunately for us it was almost high tide and the boulders were partially submerged. But they were still worth the stop off.

Back on the road until we reached our destination, 858 George Street Motel - very nice apartment. Looked fairly new. Walk into town centre took around 20 mins. Had a nice snack and drink at the Prohibition Smoke House. Sat outside and watched people walking by. Went back to apartment to chill and an early night. Really tired.

Talking about the number of beds we have slept in, not one has been uncomfortable. So far so good. 😀👍

Posted by JanSpencer 01:45 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Onto Akaroa

Nothing planned - one night only

30 °C
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Lovely sunny morning when we left Hanmer Springs. Stopped on the way at Paris Cafe in Amberley for a cup of tea and a breakfast roll. Nice leisurely drive. We stopped to look at the beach at Waikuku Beach. A stunning sandy beach that went on forever. Wish we could have spent a day here. Some ladies had braved the water. It looked rather cold. but a good way to cool off from the hot sun.

Arrived at Akaroa around 2pm. Akaroa Criterion. A lovely apartment on the 3rd floor. We had a small balcony overlooking the water. Ground floor were parking areas and reception. The owner or manager Felicity was very nice and helped with our laundry.

It was still hot as we explored the area and stopped for a refreshing drink. We really liked it here and again wished we had more than just one night.

Went out in the evening for a meal and bumped into our new friends again. Everything closed around 10pm. No late nights here.

Posted by JanSpencer 22:00 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Whale Watching & Hanmer Springs

Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs


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Beautiful sunny morning, but don’t let that fool you. We arrived at the centre to book in and were asked if we really wanted to go as the sea was rough. I don’t think we would have had a refund if it had been our choice not to go. Anyway we did and boy was it rough. We had taken sea sickness tablets which did help. The skipper saw a seal at 1oclock, but guess where we were, yes 9oclock. We saw albatross and petrel birds but we needed to sea a whale or get 80% of our money back.

Lots of people were ill and didn’t move from their seats the whole trip.

We spent ages looking and 2 boats, a plane and a helicopter were also looking and I think the crew were on the verge of giving up when they spotted a sperm whale. Yes at last. It was a magnificent creature and fabulous to see. Taking a picture of it was a real challenge. I don’t think we will repeat this type of trip unless the seas are really calm. We are still moving.

Had a great meal at The Pier Hotel and Restaurant. If you want an evening meal you will need book. It was really nice and great value.

I drove through the mountains to Hanmer Springs. It was a bendy, twisty road. Beautiful weather. Arrived eventually at The Heritage Hotel. No lift again so poor Spencer had to carry the luggage up. He did get a bit of help from the staff.

A nice room, but strange large bathroom. Beautiful grounds. Went straight to the Thermal Springs. Lovely hot pools. Well organised, lockers, towels etc.
Started to get wrinkly after a while, so decided to get out. Hopefully all my arthritic bones will have been cured.

Chinese meal in the evening, not bad but dreadful service.

Posted by JanSpencer 00:06 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Leaving Raehiti Lodge - back to Picton

Pick up another hire car


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Up early to a beautiful sunny morning. Left at around 11.15am. 2 boat rides back to Picton to collect hire car for South Island. Not a SUV but a sporty car with a huge boot. So all luggage packed and onto Kaikoura.

We had trouble finding Brancott Estate Winery as our Sat nav hadn’t been updated and they had moved 6 years ago. We almost gave up but asked at the Information Centre and they gave us a map. We missed out on a meal but they did provide us with a snack.

On to Kaikoura and just before we arrived we saw hundreds of seals on the rocks. Amazing. It was dull and raining lightly by now. Arrived at our motel only to be told they had made a mistake and we were double booked. We had to go to another motel further out of the town. We were not happy bunnies after having driven for hours.

The room we were given was okay but a glass door so you had to keep curtains drawn, a bit strange. Also it was not near the town centre where we were supposed to be.

Whale Watch Day tomorrow.

Posted by JanSpencer 23:49 Archived in New Zealand Comments (2)

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