(September 23, 2012) Dunedin and Oamaru
This day could be spent visiting Mount Cook National Park
mount is the highest peak of Oceania). First we would stop at Pukaki
Lake and then at Tekapo Lake to ending this journey.
Somehow, this is a day probably has been already used for flexibility
in the general route plan and could even that interesting if we have
already seen Mount Cook from the Lake Matheson area or snow forces to
drive with chains or even it is closed.
likely plan, though, would be leaving Dunedin and stopping in Moeraki
Boulders, a beach with mysterious spherical big stones.
From there we would go to Oamaru and would do the tour around the
little blue penguins’ colony. They're unique in the world
Then, if possible, we would leave to Mount Cook, as explained at the
This route would be 250 Km long from Dunedin,
which should be covered in 3 hours and 15 minutes
This is probably the first morning we can enjoy the holyday
Park facilities. Our duties for this travel are done and only remains
reaching Christchurch, at 350 Km of distance, and we have two days for
Finally, the only missing point of our route plan
is Mount Cook National Park, which already was the weakest one from the
beginning. I knew about we were not going to do it since we picked the
motorhomes up in Auckland, because there we got the contracts where
states we must deliver the vehicles in Christchurch tomorrow before
2:30 PM. It was a so early time as per leaving that day from the
National Park. Also, when visiting Pancake Rocks, a couple of
Australian commented they needed chains to reach the place, which just
confirmed we would miss this specific spot.
With the spare time, I go to the heated swimming
pool after breakfast and spend a 10$ phone card in 20 minutes of
conversation with my family. Then, as I can see
everybody is like waiting for leaving we take the road sooner than
scheduled, at 10 AM.
The first stop of this morning is going to be at
Moeraki Boulders, a strange spherical stones in the beach the source of
which nobody have been able of deduce. We need a low tide to enjoy them
so, as per my tide forecast, the later the better.
When leaving the Holyday Park, we still need to
drive across Dunedin to take the right road: motorway 1; so we can see
the city center at daylight. Then, like one hour later, we stop our
vehicles in the parking of well-signed Moeraki Boulders.
There, we find two deer behind a fence which seem
to be used to getting food from visitors. I only have some sweets, but
they like them too.
Then, we pass between the gift shop and the coffee
shop to get the stairs taking to the beach, where there are some people
making some pictures with the strange stones.
These big boulders can play a big part with us and
the pictures, and the surroundings are beautiful too for it.
Once again on road we are not going to stop until
Oamaru, the city famous by its little blue penguins. It is just a 30
minutes ride, so we get into the city soon and follow the signs to the
colony until reaching the sea, which is showing a peculiar soft blue
color. This is along an area marked as Victorian neighborhood and I
think I’ve just seen a woman dressed as the ones of Jack the Ripper
period, ending XIX century. We’ve seen a market from which an époque
train just started its trip to… it is actually following us over the
rail at the right side of the road. We both, train and motorhomes, end
in the parking of the blue penguin colony building which we’re going to
visit. We don’t know what all that old things are about.
check it later, now we’re going into the
visitors center where we pay 12$ per person for a private tour. The
same woman at desk is the one leading us outside, where she can show us
the nest boxes they’ve set for the penguins and, in a wooden cabin,
they have a “window” to the nests below it. After opening a small door
you can see the interior of the nest very closely, although we’re
explained the glass between you and the penguins hatching eggs is
avoiding them to see or hear anything from you, but you cannot do any
photo. They’re looking more like regular birds than penguins and
they’re big for being birds, but small for being penguins. They have
the same tone of blue than the sea. They’re all males as it is the
female of this specie the one going outside for food. There are a
couple of stands at both sides of the path they follow when returning
home for the public can watch them when they come at evening.
After a walk around it we reach a sort of
breakwater on the sea where we can see a seal resting and the views of
the marina and the sea. We’re left there until we decide going out the
place and exploring the historic area we’ve seen while coming.
Actually, there are no more things scheduled for today.
When we arrive at the place of the market we saw
before, it has disappeared. We park in the same area the market was
placed before and we can read a notice saying it is not allowed parking
there on Sundays until 1 PM because of the celebration of Farmers
market. It’s 1:02 PM now – and today is Sunday - and there is
absolutely nothing in here. We walk to the buildings nearby as these
are part of the Victorian area to explore the empty and old streets.
It’s difficult to explain what we’re seeing here.
It is like an attempt of having a couple of streets showing the common
life at the end of 19th century, but it seems to be managed by a few
neighbors more than something from an organization or govern. The
buildings are showing the spirit the few citizens dressed as in that
period are trying to exploit. The stores are opened and following this
line with their old signs and even their old business: we pass by a hat
maker workshop which seems to be a real and current business Some of
the costumes don’t seem to be exactly what was supposed to be. I
haven’t been in Victorian period but I’m quite sure dolls were not
walking around as in the picture below. We’re really freaking out with
After this gentle walk we’re coming back to our
motorhomes with the decision for the plan for today: we’re going to
drive to Christchurch to reach the city today, in our way we will stop
in some beautiful place to lunch what we prepared last night.
And we do so, at 3:15 PM we stop in a picnic area,
although it is not that beautiful. A couple of broken benches with
table are there to tempting to lunch, but I do it standing.
We’re on road again and just one hour more for
driving. We’re taking conscious almost no new New Zealand landscapes
are in front of us now as we’re saying good bye to the road. That’s why
we start to taking pictures around the road, as the one of the long
We get into the chosen Holyday Park before 5 PM,
which is going to be our last one. It is located close to the airport
and have a lot of advantages for tomorrow’s plans, as the girl at desk
are explaining: they will keep our baggage tomorrow until the time to
go to the airport, they will take us to the airport at the scheduled
time for free, the Apollo office where we must deliver the motorhomes
tomorrow is in the next street and the only place we want to visit is
at walking distance: Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.
We just need to empty the toilet and waste water
tanks and filling the water and fuel tanks to deliver what have been
our partners along all this two weeks trip around the whole country. It
will be tomorrow as we can rest today.