Susan ar Strae 2009 travel blog

Gerard and me - St Kilda's - Dunedin, NZ

Me - St Kilda's - Dunedin, NZ

Gerard - St Kilda's - Dunedin, NZ

St Clair's (Surfing Beach) - Dunedin, NZ

Me - St Clair's - Dunedin, NZ

Warning Bells! St Clair's - Dunedin, NZ

Sign says it all!

Baldwin St from below - Dunedin, NZ

Gutbuster on Baldwin St - Dunedin, NZ

Railway Station - Dunedin, NZ

Larnach Castle - NZ's only castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Ducks let loose at Larnach Castle - NZ's only castle - Otago...

Gerard under the Pergola - Larnach Castle - - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin,...

View of the Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Gerard at Larnach Castle - - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Gardens at Larnach Castle - - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Egg Yolk Flower.. Larnach Castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Gardens of Larnach Castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Larnach Castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Gardens of Larnach Castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Blue Flower -.. Larnach Castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Tiger Lily -.. Larnach Castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Purple Flowers... Larnach Castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

The Colour Purple - Larnach Castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Violet Flowers.. Larnach Castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

The Cupola in the Gardens of Larnach Castle - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin,...

The Queen of Hearts in the Gardens of Larnach Castle - Otago...

Sheep! Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Seagull - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Royal Albatross - Taiaroa Head- Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Taiaroa Head- Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Royal Albatross - Taiaroa Head- Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ

Otago Peninsula landscape, Dunedin, NZ

Otago Peninsula landscape, Dunedin, NZ

Otago Peninsula landscape, Dunedin, NZ


With all the work on the van done and dusted (literally dusted!) it was time to see the beach we'd been sleeping close to for the last few days but had had no time to explore. Glorious morning sun shone along St Kilda's and St Clair - Dunedin's main beaches so we did a 2 hour stroll.

I wanted to see Baldwin Street in downtown Dunedin - in the Guinness Book of Records as the Steepest Street in the World. At 19 degrees or 1 in 2.86 (i.e. you climb one metre for every 2.86m travelled) at its steepest point, yep you wouldn't want to be cycling up it every day on your way home. I just missed the annual race called the Gutbuster held in Feb where people race up and down it...

We then headed for the Otago Peninsula, east of Dunedin, in search of wildlife and other Kiwi coastal gems.

En route to the headland we stopped at Larnach castle - New Zealand's only castle with a sad history.. built around 1870 by an Australian banker - one William Larnach who came to Dunedin in the years following the gold rush. He lived there with his THREE wives but alas happiness proved elusive and he took his own life in 1898.. The gardens here were nothing short of stunning - impressive even to non-green finger types like myself. Apparently because NZ is one of the remotest countries in the world, it is home to a very large number of species of plants not found anywhere else. All I could take in was the array of colours in the flowers.

We missed the Yellow Eyed Penguin walk so went on to the final stage of our own Otago Tour - the Royal Albatross centre at the tip of the peninsula on Taiaroa Head. This is the only coastal breeding colony in the world for these majestic birds and we spent a couple of hours watching for them swooping in towards the coast. They are so huge you don't need binoculars. Albatrosses spend most of their lives at sea feeding but come in to nest on the headland at this time of year. They can only come in to the cliffs aided by strong winds to lift their 3.5 metre wingspan. Interesting creatures.. they can breed until they are in their mid 60s and usually mate for life. They are regarded as a good omen for sailors in early times as both need the wind to sail/fly.

Later that evening I met up with a travelling buddy - Shahira - cousin of one of my yogini buddies from Samui. She is travelling NZ with her Mum. We swapped tales of foreign lands travelled and plans for the coming months. Even though it was a Sunday night we were kicked out of a bar that closed at 10pm - so not sure if Dunedin's 'vibrant' nightlife is as it was.



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