Wednesday, 8 November 2017

A Weekend Exploring Dunedin, New Zealand.

After spending a couple of days driving around the Otago Peninsula, it was now time to explore the city of Dunedin! It's a very cute city with beautiful architecture and lots to see and do, and is well-known for being the home of the University of Otago, one of New Zealand's most prestigious Universities. Dunedin has Scottish and Maori ancestry, and the word 'Dunedin' is actually Gaelic for 'Edinburgh'. So, let me tell you a little more about this adorable city...

Dunedin is a pretty quiet city with much less tourists than Queenstown and Christchurch - the other two main cities on the island. It's also the farthest city in the world from London, which actually felt very strange as it really didn't feel that far away. It's funny, but New Zealand and Dunedin in particular felt so English, what with the weather and countryside, that it was hard to imagine just how far away it actually is. There were also a number of buildings in the city that looked as though they'd been transported straight from London itself!

Despite the small size of the city, there is definitely enough to see and do in the city in a weekend. I found lots of interesting and exciting things, so keep reading and I'll tell you all about my couple of days in Dunedin and what you should do to make the most of your time in Dunedin!

Breakfast at Vogel Street Kitchen

I started off my mornings with breakfast at Vogel St Kitchen, a very trendy cafe on Vogel St right by the Chinese Gardens and overpass to the Otago Peninsula. I went two days in a row as I loved it so much! One day I had 'The Works', which consisted of bacon, eggs, Cumberland black sausage, hash browns, tomatoes, mushrooms, and Ciabatta toast. The hash browns were INSANE. The second time I went I opted for sweet, and had the Brown sugar buttermilk waffles with vanilla bean mascarpone and citrus rhubarb. It was also completely delicious, and I left each time feeling *very* satisfied.

The drinks were also on-point, the first time I went I chose a smoothie, and the second day I had a fresh juice. I was really impressed with the entire cafe, and actually thought it was very similar to those in Fremantle in Western Australia (which is a *very* good thing). 

Cadbury Museum Tour

This was definitely a highlight for me - eating aaaaaall the chocolate on the Cadbury Museum Tour! Unfortunately you're not allowed cameras or phones on the tour due to health & safety, so you have to put them in a locker before it begins. But trust me when I say you will leave on a total sugar high. The tour starts with an intro to the chocolate making process, where you're allowed into a room with machines filled with chocolate, and you can eat liquid chocolate and mix it with toppings etc.

Obvs I ate a mix of white, milk, and dark. You're also given loads of chocolate bars that are made in the Dunedin factory (all of the NZ special bars that are marshmallowy and have soft centres). The tour is really interesting, and well worth the $22 cost. Sadly they're closing the Dunedin factory down and moving it all over to Australia to save money, but on the plus side, they're making the factory into a HUGE museum, and it's gonna have a MASSIVE chocolate waterfall wall, so that sounds awesome. So basically it's gonna be even better when it reopens (it will be closed throughout 2018).

Dunedin Chinese Gardens

The Chinese Gardens are quite similar to the ones in Sydney, in that they're a small tranquil haven within a city. I adored wandering around in the sunshine, the gardens are incredibly pretty and a really lovely place to spend an hour or so just walking around and sitting peacefully by the water. The cost is just $9 per adult, which is about £6 with the current exchange rate.

Dunedin Railway

Built in 1906, the Dunedin Railway is pretty famous, and it's definitely one of the prettiest railway stations I've ever seen. The building itself is just gorgeous, and has some lovely gardens out the front. The inside of the station is pretty impressive, and is definitely worth visiting!

Otago Museum

The Otago Museum is very small, but really interesting and gives a good overview of the history of Dunedin, New Zealand's birds and wildlife, and the history of the South Pacific islands too, which I found fascinating! It's free to enter, and you just have to pay for the special exhibitions.

Street Art

Dunedin is filled with street art! Everywhere you go, every street you turn down, there are these incredible street art pieces covering the walls. I don't think I've seen such impressive street art before, I was just constantly in awe of it all.

The Architecture

The architecture of Dunedin really surprised me, and was very different to Wellington. Dunedin is full of a mix of architecture that felt inspired by England, Scotland, New York, and Australia. On one street I saw a building that looked as though it belonged in New York City, yet just one street over I found a pub that looked like a London pub. But then in Mornington where my friend Katie lives, the little high street of shops there feels like the suburbs in Australia.

St Clair Beach

As well as the Otago Peninsula beaches, Dunedin also has St Claire Beach. St Clair is one of the most well-recognised places in Dunedin due to the large amount of photographers who come here to photograph the wooden sandbreaks that were put in in 1904 to try and prevent erosion.  I picked Katie up from work, and after collecting Dudley the pup from her place we headed down to the beach for a late afternoon walk. It was chilly, but the sky was clear and it was pretty amazing to look out at the ocean and know that all there was between where we stood and Antarctica, was water.

After our run on the beach we walked back up and went to one of the cafes for an iced chocolate and a slice of cake. Australia doesn't do very good cakes, so I was in absolute heaven tucking into an incredible piece of Carrot Cake with a thick icing!

The Prettiest Airport Ever

When it was time to leave Dunedin, Katie drove me to the airport and because it had been dark when I'd arrived, I couldn't believe just how beautiful the countryside was! It was SO green, even greener than England! It was definitely one of the prettiest airports I've ever seen.

I had the loveliest few days in Dunedin. It was a long weekend full of hugs, love, catch-ups, beautiful scenery, epic food, and stunning weather. If you ask me, that's a pretty perfect weekend.

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  1. Dunedin does look so pretty!

  2. NZ is still on my bucket list - i love how pretty every place seems to be!!!!


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