Travelling New Zealand’s South Island 2 – to Dunedin – by Rob Shackleford
Other Travelling NZ Blogs
|1 – Christchurch to Oamaru
|2 – To Dunedin
|3 – To Bluff
|4 – To Milford Sound
|5 – Queenstown and the Wild West Coast
|6 – Arthur’s Pass to Lake Tekapo
|7 – Mt Cook
|8 – Kiwi Food
|9 – Faces of NZ – 1
|10 – Faces of NZ – 2
As we travelled south along the main highway between Oamaru and Dunedin, we are struck by how pretty the countryside is. I know, it’s the New Zealand cliche; the green hills, the multitudes of sheep, the forests, waterfalls and the beautiful coastline. Perhaps the most telling is the almost Scotland-like lack of towns, crowds and traffic. We took our exploring in the winter months because, as residents of Queensland, Australia, we like to escape to the cold.
When travelling anywhere we try to see the spots we shouldn’t miss. In New Zealand, you have to do your homework well for it is easy to drive past a spot that could have been memorable, only to find it wasn’t really signed that well. Moeraki is one of those places, for it is a small, beach-side location that has the geological anomaly of large, marble-shaped boulders that have been eroded from the shore to sit on the beach like a discarded marble-bag of the local Maori gods.
Our trip to Dunedin was not just to enjoy the town, but also to visit Deb’s aunts who live in Mosgiel, just to the west. There we were submitted to lots of hugs and kisses, cups of tea and scones. Visiting friends brought even more to the point that I began to despair ever losing weight, for the Kiwis do scones so very well. A family gathering brought opportunities to photograph everyone with Traveller Inceptio, my novel. Alas, I have to do this as a means to raise attention to my book. Despite being published, my publisher is doing precious little.
Located at the base of a natural harbour, Dunedin takes ts name from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It was cold, but then again it was winter, though that didn’t stop our host, Deb’s Uncle Rex from walking about in shorts. I find the wearing of shorts in the freezing cold typical in the mostly white population of the South Island, where it seems almost a declaration of being careless of the frost. Kids ride to school on bikes wearing only t-shirt and shorts in temperatures where I wear my down puffer-jacket. Their knees are blue, yet they seem oblivious.
We also skirt the harbour to see the views and then visit our friend and local traffic cop, Greg, who warns of the silliness of tourist driving. He uses the racist term of DWA – Driving While Asian, which is now a police term for the inexplicable habit of stopping in the middle of a busy road to take a picture, or standing on a highway, oblivious to the dangers. Greg informed that the mysterious affliction has killed many locals and tourists, for locals will turn a blind bend of a highway to find a rental car in the middle of the road, tourists scattered about the main road taking pictures.
Dunedin is charming, with the centre of the town the area called the Octagon, an eight sided plaza where sit most shops, pubs and the cathedral. It is a pleasant place to explore and then grab a mulled wine and lunch.
No – this was not the best time to suggest a diet.
Other of our Travelling with Traveller Inceptio Blogs
|India by Royal Enfields 1
|Britain by House Sits
|Faces of Scotland
|House Sit Bath
|Faces of England
|House Sitting UK
|Faces of Wales
|Visit to London
Rob and Deb live at Burleigh Heads, on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Deb is a yoga teacher and administrator par excellence.
If you have any questions regarding the contents of this blog, please email Rob via his email: [email protected] or Instagram @rob_shackleford_
If you have purchased or read Traveller Inceptio, please take a photograph of yourself with the book and send it to me. I would be delighted to post them to my social media.
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