A wee bit of Scotland on a moutain in NZ

Trip Start Nov 09, 2012
Trip End Mar 04, 2013

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What I did
Dunedin Town Centre

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We arrived
in Dunedin safely and with exemplary navigation by myself – not
getting lost once... I'm suffering with a cold, sore throat and
congestion so have been eating a lot of medicinal chocolate – as is
the custom over here... The afternoon that we arrived was spent
chilling out and doing admin stuff (yawn) and cooked up some pasta
for tea. We are the least adventurous cooks in the campsite, whereas
most people make their curries etc from scratch, we rock up with a
bag of pasta, tin of pasta sauce and 2 plastic bowls...

Our first
full day was spent doing some planning for the North Island trip
which is in a few weeks – we don't have anything booked yet for
this so I'm starting to do some planning around the route and whether
to hire a camper or car/bus and hotels. We also managed to bring
forward our flight back to Australia by a few days so we now get 4
days there before we fly home (shop shop shop!) In the afternoon we
walked into The Octagon, the city centre of Dunedin for some

Dunedin is
a very hilly city as it's in the valley of a mountain – which we
had to walk down on the way into town and up on the way back... I
found a lovely new pair of trainers as mine are on their way out,
bought some lovely mint chocolate fudge :-) and we also treated
ourselves to some Pickled Onion Monster Munch – you don't get any
of the UK crisps out here and we've been craving them since we got
here... We then replaced our camera with a bargain we found at JB Hi-Fi
and celebrated by going to the pub to watch Andy Murray's semi final
match, had some food and played some pool – which Debs cheated
at... We then walked home, tackling the uphill section of the
mountain which worked off enough calories to eat some mint choc fudge
in bed :-)

Our camper
is parked opposite 2 toilets so we don't have to walk to the main
block in the night for wee's – although it's literally a shed in
amongst the foliage so gets pretty cold at night. I couldn't use one
of the loo's after seeing a spider sat on the wall right by the
toilet seat – never to be used again...

On our
second full day we went on a tour to see some wildlife. We chose a
tour that got us as close to nature as possible, and the company
(Elm) we chose rented some land from a farmer who owned land around
where the seals and penguins were, so we had exclusive and
unintrusive access. We got picked up at 3.30pm and travelled out to
the Otago Peninsula, about 30 minutes drive from Dunedin. We first
stopped at a very smelly Royal Albatros colony – a lookout that
overlooked the ocean below and the the hill where the Albatosses
mate. Not being massive bird people, we didn't really know what we
were looking out and got distracted by a Sea Lion that was eating a
baby Fur Seal in the waters below – much to the dismay of the guide
who was trying to direct our binoculars to the birds! Next we went
to check out a Fur Seal colony, we walked down the farmers hill with
the sheep baa'ing and running around everywhere, down a hill and saw
baby and mother Fur Seals sunbathing, play fighting and swimming –
it was very cool and super cute. Next we walked back up the hill and
down the other side to see the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguins.
Paths and viewing boxes have been created so that the penguins are
left alone and not freaked out by 12 people going crazy with cameras.
We saw baby penguins who still had some of their fur on, and their
parents come back in from the surf to feed them – it was very

We are now
on our way to Te Anua, a 4 hour drive away, where we'll be visiting a
glow worm cave, and going on a day tour of Doubtful Sounds – and
we've been warned to use bug spray for the sand-flies which bite like

a funny little town, a Scottish town in the Southern Hemisphere where
the buildings remind us of home and people say 'wee' like they're
from Scotland, but with a NZ accent. Although very hill, it is a
lovely city with some fantastic scenery and wildlife in the Otago
Peninsula, which is right on Dunedin's doorstep.

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