Friday 6th June
Our first experience of Dunedin was of heavy rain, following in the footsteps of its Scottish counterpart. We figured the best cure for a cold, rainy day was copius amounts of chocolate so we embarked on the Dunedin Cadbury World tour where many free chocolate samples were enjoyed! Photography was strictly forbidden on the tour but we did get just one photo before the tour began of the fetching headwear we were required to suffer with for its duration.
Saturday 7th June
Saturday was a largely scenery and nature based experience as we took ourselves out to the Otago Peninsula along the lakeside road that runs the full length of the harbour and bay. The road afforded some fantastic views of Dunedin, the peninsula and the surrounding mountains.
We attempted a trip up to New Zealand’s only castle but one look at the entry costs was enough to convince us the castle was better seen from a distance (not to mention the frankly terrifyingly steep and winding roads that led to it!). At the very head of the peninsula was the Royal Albatross Centre that protects the local colony of, you guessed it, Royal Albatrosses. We looked around the centre and kept one eye on the sky for a glimpse of an Albatross but had no luck. In fact we were literally seconds away from giving up and calling it a day, when a group of three of the great birds flew up over the cliffs and soared around right above the centre for us.
Sunday 8th June
Sunday was a slightly more relaxed day, the first part of which was spent admiring the towering spires of the many gothic-styled buildings including the theatre, multiple churches and cathedral and wandering the Dunedin Chinese gardens.
One of the main attractions of Dunedin is the Speights beer factory, which is one of New Zealand’s most popular beers known as ‘the pride of the south’. Having been on a chocolate tour we thought it seemed only fair to go on a beer tour as well, which of course included more sampling! We managed to convince the ticket vendor that Jess did not in fact need a child ticket, much to our amusement and the tour could commence.
We actually found the tour fascinating, learning about the history of beer making going as far back as the ancient Egyptians right up to the modern day and got to see the enormous containers used in different stages of brewing. The highlight however was the five different beers and a cider that we got to sample at the end of the tour. For the first time ever we each poured our own beer from a tap and spent half an hour enjoying the varying tastes of a selection of Speights beers.
That’s all folks! Speak to you soon,
Ben and Jess 🙂