NZ South Island – Dunedin Full Day

Hello readers,

We woke up at a reasonable hour this morning and went down to the hotel restaurant for our included breakfast. This is the first included breakfast we have had on the trip and we are starting to think that it is the way to do it. The breakfast was a choice of two platters. They had a chia pudding, a fruit selection and either toast with jam OR a croissant and danish. We picked one each and it was actually all quite really good and convenient. It also came with a juice.

We grabbed a quick coffee at this very nice looking cafe across the road from our hotel which was really good. Then we drove our car down to the railway which has heaps of cheap all day parking. We parked up and started walking around town. We very quickly stumbled upon some Saturday morning markets that were happening. It was a decent little artisan and food market. We weren’t really hungry but we decided to get a street food called a ‘bing’ because they just smelled so delicious. It is a Chinese crepe made of egg and filled with some crispy cracker, onion and sauce. It was quite nice. We sat in the nice green space in front of the railway to eat it, which is really quite a nice spot too.

After this we walked down to our next activity which was another escape room! We planned this one from back home because it looks really unique. It is called Escape Dunedin Prison and is located in an old historical prison. We played the ‘Redemption Room’ which is where you are handcuffed and locked in separate prison cells and need to work together to escape. We weren’t sure what to expect but it was honestly one of the best escape rooms we have ever done (and this is our 8th!). The puzzles were really intuitive and unique. The communication aspect and being separate form each other made it interesting and the setting of being in the prison was wonderful. It also helped that we absolutely smashed it in 41 minutes with no clues! A great game.

After this we walked across the road to the Otago Settlers museum which is a museum which is dedicated to telling the story of the people of Dunedin and the surrounding area including history, technology, culture, transport and art. This museum was free which was awesome and it was quite a decent museum too. It wasn’t as interactive as yesterday’s museum but the displays were quite good and varied. The building was also beautiful and well put together.

At the end of the museum you literally walk out and you are at the front of the Chinese Gardens. We figured – why not? We went in and walked around the Chinese gardens to get a look at it all. It is quite nice in here which made for a good bit of serenity.

It was lunchtime so we walked back up to the city centre to a place called Hungry Hobos. Hungry Hobos is a gourmet toasted sandwich shop. We ordered a half Hawaiian toastie, a half mac and cheese toastie, a small bacon and sweet potato soup and a cheese roll. It was all pretty decent. The soup was really great and the toasties were proper gourmet.

We slowly strolled back down to the railway which has the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame Museum. We decided to check that out. It has a lot of photos and memorabilia from the biggest moments in New Zealand sporting history. It wasn’t the greatest museum but it was a decent way to spend an hour.

We jumped into the car and had a bit of time before our next activity so we choofed it over to something we heard about coming to NZ and something that Dunedin is famous for. They have the steepest street in the world – Baldwin Street. We intended to drive over and take a picture, but we had some time so we decided to walk all the way up it. It is hard to capture it in photos, but it is a very tough and steep walk. Quite fun and a nice view from up there though. Our legs were really shaky when we got back down to the bottom.

We then got in the car and drove across to the other side of town to Larnach Castle where we were booked in for high tea. Larnach Castle is a mock castle in that it wasn’t built for the purpose of defence. It was built so that some rich guy could have a massive castle and the only castle in New Zealand. With that said, the castle and the grounds are really quite lovely. We were served our high tea in the ballroom.

We had the choice of many different teas and then had a classic high tea spread of sandwich bites, savoury bites, sweet bites and a scone. It was all really quite decent. It felt very upper class being in a castle, drinking tea and eating small bites. We then had the opportunity to spend some time exploring the castle. The rooms have all been restored and are set up with furniture from the 1800’s. It feels like something out of Downton Abbey (but quite a bit less dramatic and fancy than that). Then we walked around the gardens and explored them which was really nice and well set out too.

We drove back to our hotel and spent some time relaxing before heading out to dinner. We originally had a smoked meat place booked in but we cancelled that reservation as we didn’t feel like that at all. We walked down to a casual burger place called ‘Good Good’ and ordered a burger each and an L&P. We had the Beef burger which was pretty much a gourmet homestyle Big Mac which was quite good and the lamb burger which has a mint-yogurt mayo and house made-pickled onions and lettuce. It had good flavour, was juicy and went down a treat.

We were going to get some gelato from the same place as yesterday because it was so good but it was too cold and we were so full from all the food today so we decided to grab some lollies from the convenience store and head back to our hotel for an early night and watch Lord of the Rings on TV.

Coffee – $5
Parking – $7
Bing – $8
Chinese Gardens – $17
Hungry Hobos – $33
Sports Museum – $10
Good Good Dinner – $40
Lollies and drinks – $16
Total – $136

Much love,
Ronnie & Aimee

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