Mercure Hotel Dunedin
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Travel Blogs from Dunedin
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 …
Thebirds stayed here on Jan 25, 2010 during their trip titled: Thebirds's Great Adventure.
Because Mt Cook was so great and we arrived late and wanted to do some walks we decided that we would leave for Dunedin late. So we left Mt Cook around 3.30pm and got to Dunedin about 7.00pm. So we checked into the Hotel and then wandered off and managed to find a nice Italian restaurant. The town/city is obviously different from others because of …
Here I am in Dunedin - wow it is chilly but so beautiful! I love this hotel and have been treated so well by all of the staff here. Can't believe how friendly people are here - and no JAFA jokes yet! Off to bed soon - just had a fabulous meal and getting ready for my big day tomorrow. I am meeting up with a friend who is going to show me all around …
more to come
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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.