Dunedin = boring 22nd - 23rd August
Well what to do in this exciting, city never sleeps... sorry, awakens town?
Let's see there's a small Railway station (apparently the most photographed building in Dunedin - wtf, it's a railway station!)
A public art gallery - no thanks
A transportation Museum- erm, seriously?!
An immigration Museum - nope
Baldwin Street - reputed to be in the Guinness book of World Records for World's steepest street - this nearly killed me
And Cadbury's World - defo! :)
So the first port of call was Cadbury World for the shortened Factory Tour. Why was it shortened? Because the factory doesn't open on Sundays. Pmsl. Quite how it could be called a factory tour I'm not sure, but off we went anyway.
We started with a tour round the museum which was really interesting to see some of the old adverts, wrappers and the history of Cadbury's in Dunedin. Because the factory was closed our next port of call was to watch a video on how they made chocolate and they gave us a big bag of Cadbury's to go with it. Unfortunately it was all disgusting. They don't make the full on chocolate bars in New Zealand, just what I'd call the kids ones and they were so bad I took one bite out of each whilst watching the film and chucked them all in the bin on the way out. They had a banana bar which was like the foamy banana's you get at home but covered in chocolate, but it didn't even taste like Cadburys. They had a chewy caramel bar that tasted stale, a fish shaped one that was a strawberry marshmallow and a Freddo bar but the chocolate just tasted weird. The guy said it's different because the milk from the cows is different to home. The only decent chocolate tasting came when we sampled some liquid chocolate which we all ate with spoons.
It was again a pretty disappointing couple of hours, but it wasn't very expensive so we didn't really mind. In all honesty it actually managed to fill 1.5 hours so we were pretty grateful for that. We then found a pub to have a quick drink in before heading back to the Faulty Towers style hostel. There wasn't much to do here, and we spent the evening all competing for the attention of the only heater in the TV room and all sat there eating chocolate (a few handfuls of hero's stolen from the factory, hehehe) and watching Dark Knight on TV.
We've both vowed to declare war on the NZ winter chub when we get to Australia, but for the time being the only thing to get me through these cold, dark evenings is chocolate and this evening's pick of Christian Bale - hard times! Hahaha.
Lake Tekapo aka the picture postcard place
This was the last stop before we got to Methven for a few days skiing. Everywhere you look in Lake Tekapo looks like a picture postcard. It's pretty similar scenery to everywhere else we'd been in the south of the south island, but it had a real calming vibe to it. We were staying in a lodge in a pine forest right on the waters edge with the snow capped Alps as a back drop.
We checked in and I had to go to the Police Station to report my camera missing, as I had somehow mysteriously lost it after we'd been to Cadbury's world in Dunedin.
I walked down there and no one was in.I called the help number on the phone outside and was told the Police Officer was on holiday until Wednesday (it's Monday today). It's moments like this that it would re-enforces just how small New Zealand is. Anyway whilst I was on the phone a guy turned up and asked if he could help. As it turned out he was the Police Officer on holiday and the Police Station was set in front of his house so he'd seen me walk up the drive. He said he would be open the office and fill the form out for me as it wouldn't take a couple of minutes. One of his kids kept coming in and asking how long he'd be cos he was playing with her in the garden.Can you imagine that at home? I thought it was pretty sweet really, only having 1 police officer for the whole village and they even let him have a holiday. :) So I got my form and went back to the lodge.
The three of us plonked ourselves on the living room sofas and sat there drinking tea and eating Tim Tams, looking out through the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake and mountains. I still had not managed to master this, but I am now a pro (which I will come to in a bit)
We walked down to the open air ice skating rink, strapped on our skates and did a few laps round the ice. Gemma has only been ice skating a couple of times when on holiday (as they don't have an ice skating rink in Ireland) was skating backwards - somehow I think it may have been a few more than 'a couple' of times! I took a lap until I was ready to let go, and amazingly didn't fall over the whole time. Selena clung to the edge for a few laps and when we all wanted a pic we had to grab her and pull her away from the edge, take the pic and then take her back. Maybe you had to be there, but we found this hilarious, especially when Gemma nearly pulled her over!
This was a really nice evening and the ice rink was in the middle of a pine forest and sat in front of a huge lake with the alps in the background. There were also a load of hot pools and again it would be really nice if you were having a romantic getaway, but as it was myself, Selena & Gemma and mood was kinda lost on us.
We went back to the lodge and sat in the living room to do some blogging. I was not successful and am actually writing this whilst sat in a hostel in Sydney! I got chatting to my friend Kate on Skype who's also been to Lake Tekapo and who's given me a load of very useful information for travelling around New Zealand. Well the useful information didn't stop there. I said I was just going off for a cuppa tea and a Tim Tam (like a chocolate Penguin) but hadn't mastered drinking tea through one yet. Kate sat there very patiently giving me detailed instructions and I was then running the trials. You have to bite off opposite corners, suck the tea quickly til it comes in your mouth and then shove the whole thing in whilst it explodes. I'm not joking - it's very technical! It took 2 attempts and about 15 minutes of running commentary but we got there in the end. :)
We've now only got a few days left in New Zealand and we're heading up to Methven as a base to go Skiing on Mt Hutt. I'm so excited.