Tag Archives: Penguins

Dunedin and Omaru, or, beer and Penguins.

Dunedin and Omaru

Well. There are several towns in the South Island that don’t even have electricity yet, so it isn’t all that surprising that the wifi is pretty scant here. Or rather, the free wifi is pretty scant haha.

We’re currently travelling with Philine and Kerry in their campervan, and camping each night in our tent. I’m a convert! We treated ourselves to an airbed and an extra sleeping bag, so we’re no longer sharing, and it’s soooo much better. Happy Heppy.

Anyway, I digress. I have some catching up to do.

After Queenstown we headed back onto the bus to Dunedin, the so called “Edinburgh” of New Zealand. I couldn’t really see the Scottish influence, but it’s due to the Scottish people who settled there that it got its name. Can you believe that it took the original settlers three months to get to New Zealand by boat? Mental. What if you got there and were like “oh I don’t really like it, can we go home?”

Our hostel in Dunedin was so lovely. Such a nice change from the shit hole we stayed in in Queenstown. It’s weird that you can never tell what a hostel will be like before you arrive. I never have high expectations. But this place was great – lots of space, big clean bathrooms, and Tom was delighted that they offered free breakfast including vegemite!

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The weather was pretty rubbish – cold and wet. But we wandered the town, checked out the museum, bought camping supplies, then saw that cinema tickets were ten dollars (five quid) so booked tickets to see The Revenant that evening. Tom really wanted to go on a Brewery tour, but it was fully booked so he settled to go for a tasting session instead. As we were walking to the pub, we bumped into Max and Mathilde – the French couple that we worked and lived with for a few weeks in Hastings. They came for a drink with us and it was great to catch up. It felt so surreal to bump into people we knew!
The film was great, really harrowing, but a brilliant story. We were in Dunedin for less than 24 hours, but I felt we gave it a good go!

The next day we walked bloody miles to the bus depot to go to Omaru. After the bus we then we walked another hour with our backpacks on to find our hostel. Absolutely shattered we found the hostel, which was another nice one – lucky us. Then after a bit of food, a recharge and a good bash on the hostel piano/ukulele/guitar we walked back into town (we did well over our 10,000 steps that day!)

We found a brewery and Tom did another taster…

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Well someone looks happy…

We then went to the beach to see the penguins. I won’t go into too much detail, because I know a certain someone who might be reading this (hi Mum!) might be very jealous. But we saw lots of tiny blue penguins coming up the beach to go to bed. They were so lovely! There were seals on the beach too, who barked at the penguins when they got too close and disrupted their beauty sleep. We were seated in stands in order to see the penguins and surrounded by a Chinese tour group who kept standing up so we couldn’t see. You can imagine how annoying this was… they also talked very loudly through the English commentary despite our being silent in the Mandarin section. After a few minutes of being British and not saying anything I’d decided I’d had enough and very loudly whispered “SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!!!!!” (quiet enough to not startle the penguins but loud enough to get the point across.)

We were so charmed by the little penguins. After we left the colony, there were special penguin assistants in high vis jackets who stopped the traffic to let any straggler penguins cross the road. (Mum, I think this might be your dream job?) We then walked another hour back to the hostel.

 

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(You couldn’t take photos in the colony, but I got this snap of the little guys crossing the road.)

The next day it was pissing it down and we had 5 hours to kill after check out time and before the bus, plus we had our huge bags so we couldn’t visit the shops. So what was the answer? Macdonalds. The only place where it’s acceptable to sit for five hours rinsing the free wifi and buying only two hot chocolates. We did manage to apply for our Australian visas whilst we were there. I’ve never spent so much time in Burger King and Macdonalds before this trip. It’s terrible, but cheap and the wifi is free. 😀

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