Dunedin and Lake Takepo

Having enjoyed Queenstown and the surrounding area it was time to get on the road again if we were to get around both islands in the time we had left! The bus to Dunedin was fairly uneventful, overcast weather in the morning didn’t allow too many scenic views, but fortunately it cleared up in the afternoon as we took a wildlife tour. The world’s only mainland Royal Albatross colony was very cool as we saw both flying adults and chicks in the nest. We also saw a colony of fur seals, sea lions sleeping on a beach and rare yellow-eyed penguins waddling in from the waves (and moving with surprising speed past the sea lions!). Unfortunately the tour didn’t leave us any time to see Dunedin — a very Scottish city by all accounts — by daylight.

Our first stop the next morning was to walk up the world’s steepest street; before breakfast I might add. I forget the vital statistics at the moment, but it’s damn steep, especially just before the top! Next stop was breakfast overlooking a beach of slightly bizarre looking, very round boulders, another great example of the geological oddities (I can’t use the word beautiful to describe these!) you find in New Zealand.

Unfortunately the rain came down for the rest of our trip to Lake Takepo and so we missed what is supposed to be a spectacular view of Mount Cook as we drove north, but Lake Takepo itself proved to be a very pleasant place — there’s hardly anything there except a few shops/tea rooms and the lake, but once the weather improved the mountain backdrop made for a lovely walk and extended sit in a coffee shop that reminded me that it’s perfectly acceptable (and enjoyable!) to do absolutely nothing while one is on holiday! 🙂

Takepo was another one night stop so the next day we were back to Christchurch. Having seen quite a bit of the city already, we spent some time planning the next leg of our journey and strolling in the pretty botanic gardens.