Monday, 30 October 2017

Otago Peninsula & Lanarch Castle, New Zealand.

On the breathtaking Otago Peninsula is the only castle in the whole of New Zealand, Lanarch Castle. Located within the city of Dunedin - the original Capital City of New Zealand, whose name comes from the Gaelic for Edinburgh - the Otago Peninsula is a haven for wildlife and an absolutely stunning drive on a sunny day. I was in Dunedin for four days visiting one of my closest friends from high school in England, and we did a couple of trips to the peninsula to explore, but you could easily do it all in a day trip.

Otago Peninsula Dunedin, New Zealand

Katie and I are the friends who can go months without talking or seeing each other, but as soon as we're reunited it's like no time has passed and nothing has changed. We met when we were 13 years old, when Katie started Year 9 at our school. She's originally from New Zealand, and after growing up in the UK, she made the moved back to New Zealand almost two years ago. You may remember her from this post, this post, and this post.

I arrived at Dunedin airport on Friday evening after my little 24 hour adventure in Wellington, and Katie was waiting for me with her huge smile and we literally spent like 10mins just hugging each other tightly and jumping up and down giggling! We were like excited school kids again and I instantly knew the crazy expensive flights had been worth it just to be around her vibrant energy and kind soul again.

She drove us to hers, where I saw Teoni for the first time since we were 16! Teoni is Katie's bestie and she recently moved to Dunedin for a year. How's THAT for friendship! #goals. We couldn't believe how quickly the years have flown by since we were all kids running around Guildford...and now we were all in New Zealand! We spent the evening at the Lone Star bar drinking cocktails, before heading over to Vault 21 at The Octagon for dancing. We ended up rolling out of the taxi and up the front path at 4am. It was a great introduction to the student-city of Dunedin haha.

The next morning we had long lay in, and then got up and ready for our mini adventure to Otago Peninsula! It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies. We started our day with breakfast at a little cafe on the Otago Peninsula coast road, and then drove up to the Glenfalloch gardens. We only had a quick look as there was a private event going on, but they were super pretty!

Everywhere you go on the Otago Peninsula, the views are just beautiful. We kept driving along Portobello Road, up to the Royal Albatross Centre. It's right on the headland, and as soon as we got out the car we were all literally blown backwards, our hair whipping around our faces, blinding us. The centre itself is quite pricey, and none of us are that interested in we decided to head back towards Dunedin and go get an ice-cream from Rob Roy Dairy.

As we approached Dunedin Katie said she was taking us somewhere special for ice-cream. Rob Roy Dairy are famous for their ice-creams (they sell Kapiti and TipTop), and there was a huge queue when we arrived in the early afternoon. It felt very strange getting such a high quality ice-cream from a corner shop!

We took our ice-creams into the car and drove up to Signal Hill lookout point where we finished them. It was so good I wanted another straight after!

That evening we went to the supermarket to get BBQ food. It was raining though so we cooked it all in the oven, and had our BBQ food while watching Legally Blonde. It was bliss.

The next day Katie and Teoni had to work, so I took Katie's car and went back to Otago Peninsula to have a look around Lanarch Castle, the only castle in New Zealand. The history of the family who lived there is quite dark, but the castle itself is fascinating and it feels just like a normal English castle inside! There's a roof that's accessed by a narrow spiral staircase, and the views are just breathtaking. The whole castle is really quite impressive, and the grounds are stunning too.

After wandering around the castle and grounds I got a shortbread from the cafe and sat in the sunshine wishing I'd brought my book with me. This time I'd driven over the top of the peninsula to get to the castle, so got to see the view over the peninsula from higher up on the way there and back.

I had a slight incident on the way back though, when I filled Katie's car with petrol and accidentally got it all over literally all spurted back out at me. I didn't know what to do so walked into the petrol station and just looked at the guy behind the counter and went "Erm, I'm covered in fuel..." he laughed at me and then filled the rest of it for me. Katie found it hilarious when I arrived at her work to pick her up and told her the story.

I'll be telling you all about Dunedin itself and what I got up to in the city later on this week, so keep an eye out!


PIN FOR LATER: A day trip to the Otago Peninsula and Lanarch Castle in Dunedin, New Zealand.

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  1. Just looking at your photos makes me feel like I'm breathing fresh air!

  2. Ohhh New Zealand, the country that gives me all the feels (you know why)...this is making me fantasise about jumping into a plane on Christmas Eve and surprising someone...

    20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Portofino, Italy - Posh, Broke, & Bored

  3. Looks so gorgeous there - the idea there's only one castle fascinates me, says a lot about the history!


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