Dunedin : 'San Francisco' of New Zealand

Trip Start Apr 19, 2012
Trip End May 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Glenmark Holiday Park - http://www.timarumotorcamp.co.nz/

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 9: Owaka -> Balclutha -> Dunedin -> Timaru

We woke up early again, had our breakfast, before we proceeded to Nugget Point the iconic landmark at Catlins coast, Otago, where the main attraction was the lighthouse surrounded by rocky islets that looked like nuggets. Before we started our journey, we managed to take a good look at two sheep grazing the grass, up-close and even managed to feel their fur on their bodies, which I believed belong and reared by the inn owner.

The drive to Nugget Point was very scenic and it was a coastal drive before reaching a countryside-like area where it was the entrance to Nugget Point. There was only a single road to go to the Nugget Point. It was a road stretch in a hilly area where it was unsealed and going uphill. Cautious driving is a must here. When we reached the top, we still need to walk for about 15mins-20mins before we were able to reach the lighthouse.The walk to the lighthouse itself is a great experience, it was really cold and windy at the time, but the best was the magnificent view from the lighthouse. For me, it was one of the world's natural wonder! It is a site must not be missed if you are passing by the Southern Scenic Route (SSR). The only thing we missed on that day was the wildlife - fur seals and yellow-eyed penguins.To catch a glimpse of the penguins, only at certain time of day you can see them. Check out the time table photo that I have managed to snap.

After admiring the panoramic views, we continued on with our journey north. We first passed through Balclutha town  via the historic and unique-looking landmark bridge 'Clutha Bridge'  over the Clutha River. We did not stop by the small township; we just drove past in order go to the next town in our road trip - Dunedin. My dad called Dunedin, the 'San Francisco' of New Zealand. It had similar atmosphere with its American counterpart; the harbour, Victorian architecture, seafood, colorful nightlife/parties, universities, steep streets, scenic beauty and hilly terrain. Both towns do share alot of common similarities. Due to time constraint, we only visited the chocolate factory Octagon, Cadbury World, Dunedin Railway Station, First Church and St Clair Beach where you can view the breathtaking waves and scenery at the esplanade. Wished we had more time, as there were many interesting architectures around the city center. Tip: Start your journey at "The Octagon", the center, where there is a Dunedin Visitor Centre which will provide more information. Despite the short time, we really enjoyed our time there, it was relaxed and at leisurely pace. My wife was a big fan of oysters, and she was complaining because we did not try the oysters when we were at Bluff, what they were famous for.  But thankfully, we managed to try the Bluff oysters in one of the local cafes at Dunedin called Best Cafe.However the most interesting event that we saw was a group of our fellow Malaysian friends, campaigning for free and clean Malaysian government called "Bersih". We finished our delicious spaghetti lunch, cooked by my mum, before we continued our journey north to Timaru town. Along the way, we made a de-tour to Koekohe Beach, to visit the famous Moeraki giant boulders. A one hour drive from Dunedin. The natural wonders were actually rocks formed by the erosion from coastal cliffs at the beach. We continued on until we passed Oamaru town, which had a blue penguin colony, opened to public viewing. We did not have time, as we just drove past the town and headed straight to our destination Timaru before we put up a night there.

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