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Published: December 20th 2008
When we last updated you we were in Hanmer Springs, a quiet thermal town, we woke on Thursday morning to a few earth tremors, a strange experience, felt like someone was rocking the van, so we quickly packed up and set on our way. We arrived in a small town called Geraldine in early afternoon, which gave us a chance to relax and take in the local town, we had lunch at the cafe before having a few well earned beers at the local bar and then visiting a cheese factory, it was about 25'C so we did a spot of sun bathing and had a bar b q, we'd bought some steak earlier in the day, it was so cheap.
After the hot weather of Thursday we woke to an overcast morning in Geraldine and really cold (compared to what we had been used to). We drove along the coast rode heading towards Dunedin on the hunt for penguins, but unfortunatley no luck. A short stop off in Omarau to take in the Victorian architecture and then on to Moeraki to see some natural boulders on the beach that are supposed to look like giant mushrooms (photo below). We
travellec on to Dunedin in the afternoon, the camp site was a bit crappy. We went out in the evening to the Otago Peninsular, agin looking for penguins and again no luck, although we did do some off roading in the camper (could be a new extreme sport). Otago Bay is a stunning eco-system, home to seals, sealions, Albatros and apparently penguins. On the way back to the camp, we found a fantastic chineese takeaway and enjoyed a good meal.
On Saturday morning we visted Dunedin town, the town has it's origins in Scotland, it was typically cold but a nice city and the rail station building was very attarctive. We left mid morning and travelled along the southern scenic highway, along the coast and rejoined the main highway heading back northwards through the mountain regions, the weather was appaling all journey, rain, rain ,rain (just like a British summer) We stopped off at Omakau, I say stopped off - we actually took a 60 KM diversion to visit a cafe which apparently sold the best pies in New Zealand, we are happy to confirm not only do they sell the best pies they also sell the best burgers
(note to mum's: this doesn't mean you can stop making me pies when we get home). Once successfully refuelled we continued our journey to Omarama, our camp for the night, whilst driving through the Lindis Valley, we had snow - the lady at the camp site found this most amusing that we had come all this way and it was snowing - we were not that impressed!!! Although the view of the mountains tops covered in snow from our camp site is amazing. We have woken up this morning (Sunday) to another beautiful day.
The Kiwis don't seem to make as much of Christmas as we do, most towns have a Christmas tree and banners but not much else, Dunedin was the most xmasy we had seen
We are continuing to enjoy our visit to New Zealnad but are now really looking forward to reaching Oz so we can both relax, hopefully with a beer or 2 in the sun.
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