Adieu Work, Aloha Travel!

Dunedin – Tuesday, 01 February 2011

Yuy! After staying at the same campsite for two whole weeks, adventure here we come! Sunday morning we left Cromwell and drove all the way to the East Coast to a tiny village called Moeraki. On our way there we drove by some dirty places…

Shag Point

Although Moeraki isn’t bigger than a pea, it offered some beautiful natural attractions. The Moeraki boulders for example, round smooth huge stones that lay on the beach. According to a Maori legend, they used to be foodbaskets filled with Kumara that fell of a canoe and washed ashore on the beach.

Melanie on a Boulder
Boulder 2 Boulder Jumping

Another, some what harder to find attraction, was the Moeraki lighthouse and the extremely rare yellow eyed penguins and seals that live under it. We saw the funniest penguin ever! He strolled on the beach as if he was doing a walk of shame after a heavy night out, carefully maneuvering between the napping seals in an effort not to wake them. It was hilarious to look at. Off course we have a little photo montage:

Penguin Walk Of Shame Penguin Walk Of Shame 2
Penguin Walk Of Shame Penguin Walk Of Shame 2

And last but not least, our favorite attraction, Fleurs place. This rustic fish restaurant next to the old jetty serves some seriously yummie food. For Melanie it was one of the happiest moments ever when she saw that the delicious looking pot filled to the brim with mussels, crab, snails,… was the shellfish hot pot she ordered.

Fleurs Place

Munday morning was somewhat less relaxed. Our morning walk was very muddy and steep. Combine those two and you have us two, unsuccessfully trying not to get to much mud on our shoes and not to slip. The view on the top however was breathtaking!

The view from the top of loop track at the Moeraki DoC site

But the morning had more for us in store. Our campsite was a remote DOC-site and to get to the next town we had to cross a steep hill. Since we still had 1/4 fuel left in our tank (normally enough for 100 km) we thought it would be no problem what so ever to get over the hill and to the next town. WRONG! After 200 meters of climbing Lucy began to struggle. The black smoke coming out of her ass when she goes up a hill was blacker than normal and all of a sudden the empty fuel tank light switched on. o ow! And that is how we stranded on a hill, without any fuel and a very comatose Lucy. The next petrol stop was 20 kms further so walking wasn’t exactly an option. Thank god for Ze Germans! A young couple drove by (actually they had to maneuver around our car because of one of Andrews brilliant ideas where we ended up blocking half the road) and gave Andrew a lift to the petrol station and back. With a stubborn start (five minutes of uhuhuhhuuhh by Lucy) we were off, road tripping again.

In the afternoon we arrived in Dunedin, the city who has the 4 seasons in one day. First things first, we went to Oil Changers to get our Lucy some more Juicy. And man, how our baby runs smooth now!

The old railway station of Dunedin is the most photographed building of the South Island/NZ/The Southern Hemisphere so we continued the tradition and also took a few nice pics of the stylish building.

Railway Station
Can we buy a ticket then?
Nice interior

Apparently Dunedin is another name for Edinburgh in Scotland so the Scottish bars are well represented in the Octagon city centre square of Dunedin. As the winter season part of the day was beginning we had a hot chocolade in front of the fireplace in one of the Scottish bars and headed for the cinema afterwards where we saw Black Swan with Natalie Portman.

Today was another adventurous day with a lot of climbing. In the morning we went to see the steepest street in the world according to the Guinness Book Of Records. Baldwin Street. We have to confirm it was steep. Say bye bye to your car brakes if you want to go down.

Baldwin Street is steep
Very Steep

The rest of today we spent on the Otago Peninsula. We first took yet another steep (that is NZ for you) walk up a hill surrounded by sheep to Larnach Castle. The Castle and its gardens were pretty but it was the afternoon tea and especially the delicious cakes that accompanied it, that got all of our attention.

Larnach Castle
Afternoon Tea

We drove around on the Peninsula for the rest of the day and saw an Albatross, seals and sea lions. But it where mostly the spectacular views that made it an unforgettable day.

Sheep with a view