New Zealand: sunsets, penguins and bizarre Victorians!

Wednesday 4th June

Wednesday was pretty much written off as a day of travel as we moved south from Akaroa with a very brief stop in Timaru and an overnight stay at a campsite on the highway. We did take a few nice pictures of Timaru though, which looked quite gorgeous in the setting sun.

 

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Having said that the day was written off it occurred to us that actually that’s not entirely true. Our experience has always been that when we travel even the everyday, otherwise boring, tasks become more interesting just through virtue of them being a part of the travel experience. So actually just driving across country, particularly in a country as beautiful as New Zealand was really enjoyable. Wherever we go in this country we are constantly accompanied by stunning scenery and a sense of adventure so when it comes down to it, no days are write offs!

 

Thursday 5th June

 

Thursday we set off from our highway campsite and continued our drive south to Oamaru where we camped for two days. Oamaru is a town highly influenced by Victorian England and was one of the prettiest places we’d seen so far. The town’s Historic District was home to many old Victorian style craft, food and drink shops. Oamaru also benefits from an enormous natural store of bright white limestone, which is mined locally to make houses, public buildings and a variety of small statues and carvings sold in shops in the Historic District.

 

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Small limestone statues.

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Interesting choice of words!

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Just thought this quote was lovely and quite true!

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Warehouse full of bags of wool, which is used a lot locally.

 

 

One of the first places we stumbled across however was the unique quasi-museum full of old machine parts run by a company called Steampunk. The building was an old warehouse, which had been filled with a bizarre variety of quirky, interesting and downright weird objects. Steampunk HQ as it was called would be next to impossible to describe in words so we took some photos that we hope will do the weirdness some justice!

 

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Despite the oddness of Steampunk HQ, and it being nothing like anything we’d ever seen, we did enjoy having a good look around at their collection and enjoying the more interactive parts of the outside junkyard. What the photos can’t describe was the strange sounds being played throughout the building, which were an odd combination of running machinery, high-pitched whistles and what sounded like the occasional roar of a monster!

 

The highlight of Oamaru was however watching the yellow-eyed penguins swim in from the sea and settle down on the beach for the night. We’d never seen penguins in the wild before and it was amazing to be able to witness their natural behaviour for ourselves. The beach was sealed off so that tourists could not disturb the penguins so we had to view them from afar.

 

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Oamaru was also, like so many places in New Zealand, just beautiful to look at as well, so here’s a few shots we took of the harbour and some wildlife we saw too.

 

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That concludes our stay in Oamaru, please do join us for the next step of our journey south in Dunedin (the Edinburgh of the south).

 

Ben and Jess 🙂

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