Following our morning on the Taieri Gorge Railway, we had a look around the Dunedin Railway Station as we waited for Back to Nature tour operator to pick us up for the next half of the tour.
The Cadbury Chocolate Factory was right there opposite the Dunedin Train Station. We were told that it would be moving its operations very soon to Australia and this factory space will no longer be in use!
The second part of our 1 day tour in Dunedin centers around the stunning Otago Peninsular. From inland Dunedin where we spent the morning enjoying the Taieri Gorge, we moved to the coastal areas of Dunedin. It’s a photographer’s dream – this remote and rugged coastline is just so amazing.
This was the first of many stops to capture the postcard-like views of the Otago Peninsular. These are the Harbour Mouth Molars, a set of 6 wisdom tooths that seemed to have sprouted from the mud of the Otago Peninsular. Each sculpture is as big as a car and combines the idea of emerging tooth and new landforms thrust up by volcanic action.
Another stop for a sweeping view of the harbor where in the distance, the Golden Princess was docked.
From the hilly regions, we descended to the lowlands to the tidal inlets which was basically a wetlands area, and a birdwatcher’s paradise.
From this scenic position, kingfishers, herons and many other waders and waterfowl can be seen, although I won’t be able to differentiate them from each other!
Our final stop, and yet the best one, was at a private wildlife reserve, where we will look for one of the rarest marine animals in the world – the New Zealand sea lion and New Zealand fur seals!
We had to track over a short distance to get to the coast, but once there, the effort was just so worth it.
The search for the sea lions begins!
This must be the Otago Peninsular’s most stunning beach. It reminds us a lot of the Great Ocean Road in Melbourne, Australia. We’ve recently been to South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, but really, I prefer the Otago Peninsular a whole lot more.
Found a sea lion, and tracking carefully towards it.
We were to keep a respectful distance from the sea lion and not disturb them in their natural state. As curious as we were about him, we were sure he was equally curious about us.
It soon got tired and slunk back to sleep.
Looking at the majesty of nature is always such a humbling experience, because it reminds us of how small we really are when you put things into perspective.
Found another sea lion as we walked along. In fact, the entire coastline must be dotted with them if we had the time to look.
We were to return to Port Chalmers via the low road, weaving in and out of bays and through villages and communities. But before we reach Port Chalmers, there was just one last stop to go.
The World’s steepest street is in Baldwin Street, Dunedin, and we were here to experience it!
Guinness has officially recognized Baldwin Street as the world’s steepest street at a 35% grade, so we were truly privileged to spend some time here before we got back to the ship. There are plenty of steep streets in other parts of the world, but the only other one we had experienced was the Filbert and 22nd Streets in San Francisco.
We were back to the Golden Princess all in good time.
A good dinner was a must as a reward for an entire day spent outside. Our starters of Cloudy Bay Clam Soup, Chilled Cantaloupe and Honeydew Soup, and Prawn Cocktail.
Our mains of Chicken and Leek Pot Pie.
Desserts of fruits and Mango-Taramind Sorbet, and of course, because we were celebrating a special occasion, a chocolate cake, compliments of Princess Cruises.
It truly was a tiring day, but we still made time to see the production show – Stardust. To be honest, this production was a little off-standard – or perhaps we were just too tired to enjoy.
This concludes our one day in Dunedin, New Zealand. Join us next as we cruise to Akaroa.