Mercure Hotel Dunedin
Travel Blogs from Dunedin
... he straight off called us Southern softies. Well, as far as I was aware, England is England regardless of north or south and it just astounded me that on a day such as that, someone could try and find a riff within the same team. But I guess that's the typical "chip-on-the-shoulder" northerner for you! We met up with some people from Daisy's work and my work and had more drinks with them before embarking on the long walk (well it seemed to take forever) to get to the stadium. Hoards ...
... from walking through the botanic garden, up on Queens drive, passing the Speights brewery with a stop in it (who would have done different?!).
Also we had lunch right in the middle of town on the roadside of a 3 lane road at the railway station. People did offer us some really weird looks. But, hey, we've just been hungry, so food had to be cooked! (yummy salt, pepper, butter pasta)
For the night we ...
... if not initially near a run for Saturday morning. The run itself was hard, but better than last week. I'm not sure whether to put that down to the cooler weather, one more week of training effect or having my racing shoes on for their valedictory appearance. I ran each section a little quicker, the biggest improvement being a 10 seconds-quicker final mile, probably thanks to finally knuckling down on the last climb, on the out part of the out and ...
... on the Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours. We saw Yellow Eyed and Little Blue Penguins, fur seals and Royal Albatross birds. We really got up close and personal. Not to mention the amazing views. Please check out our photo's.
Tomorrow we leave Dunedin and head to the jewel of New Zealand, Queenstown.
Love you all, Kim & Brian
... crayfish that I was expecting... but a pile of LIVE crayfish. They we're like giant woodlice!! One of the buggers was trying to crawl out. I jumped so hard that I very nearly tipped out the army of grey coloured creeps. Tried to shut the lunch box, but this stupid crayfish had his antenna hanging out the side. Meg was nearly crying with laughter. Glad she found it so funny.
I didn't fancy carrying around a living crayfish. I had no idea how to cook him? And people ...
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TravelPod Member ReviewsMercure Hotel Dunedin
We moved off on Friday morning taking the inland route from Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs. Driving through the mountains in the sunshine was very pleasant and we stopped for coffee at Mount Lyford Lodge. Around every corner is another great view, although driving on the wiggly roads does take much longer than you anticipate!
Hanmer Springs is a very pleasant town with good shops and eateries. On Lynne and John's advice we stopped at the far end of town and did a strenuous walk up Conical Hill for the fabulous views from the lookout. After lunch we went to check out the thermal spa and spent a very pleasant afternoon sitting in a variety of thermal pools of varying temperatures in the sunshine.
Amazingly, some friends who have taken a four month sabbatical from work were in the area so we met up with them for supper at The Saint.
We drove back to Christchurch Airport in the evening to collect Charlie and Sue from their flight from Adelaide and set off down to Ashburton for the night. We stayed in the Commodore Motor Lodge which had everything we needed for a rest before starting our journey south.
On a bright Saturday morning we left Ashburton, driving across the Canterbury Plains to Timaru for an excellent coffee. Timaru is very much like Torquay but is also a busy cargo port. Another short stop in Oamaru we pushed onto Moeraki. We were recommended a restaurant in Moeraki by our host in Ashburton so set out to find it. Eventually we stopped at the very end of the peninsular and I went to ask in what looked like an old fishing hut - imagine my surprise when I discovered this was Fleurs Place and it was absolutely packed with people! We had the most amazing fish lunch - flounder and brill - and an excellent bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (Charlie was the hero and elected to drive - his turn as Sue and I had already done ours on the straight roads!) It turns out that Rick Stein has already visited and I bet he was very jealous of Fleur when he did.
We arrived in Dunedin around 6pm and stayed in the Mercure Hotel very close to the city centre. Dunedin is a large city with around 120,000 people and very like Edinburgh. In fact Dunedin means Edinburgh in Gallic! On Sunday we did the Speight's Brewery tour in the morning then after lunch went onto the Otago Penninsular to see the wildlife. By this time it was raining hard so there was really no-one around. We went first to the Northern Royal Albatross centre - the chicks were getting bigger and we were lucky to see an young adult coming in. This is the only place in the world where you can see this huge seabird on the mainland and it was a privilege to be there. The Northern Royal Albatross only nests here in southern NZ and is out to sea travelling the circumference of the world above Antarctica.
We then moved onto the Penguin centre to view the rare Yellow Eyed penguins. The weather had cleared a little and we saw some coming in onto the beach. These are solitary birds and don't crowd around unlike other penguins in the world - indeed we were told that they don't like each other much and can squabble! The chicks are moulting at the moment so we saw some chicks in the colony. The Penguin centre was quite a place as they had made covered trenches within the colony so visitors can travel some distances to view the penguins and get up close without disturbing the birds.
After this exciting day we wound our way back to Dunedin to find The Black Dog for an excellent fish supper.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.