New Zealand – Otago (Dunedin, Oamaru, Queenstown, Omakau)

After leaving the Southland region, we made our way to Dunedin. It was rugby time as we had tickets to see the Highlanders battle it out against the Lions. But first a bit of sightseeing as we explored Tunnel Beach (amazing) and the Otago Peninsula. We experienced our first bout of bad winter weather in Dunedin with the rain pouring down on game day but no matter. The Forsyth Barr Stadium is a covered arena so rain couldn’t damper our spirits. The rugby match was exhilarating and a great introduction to us newbies. Dunedin itself was an unexpected surprise as the city was full of street art, a very cool Edwardian train station and the world’s steepest street (Baldwin Street). From Dunedin we made our way north, hitting the Katiki Point lighthouse where dozens of seals lounged about. Then onward to the Moeraki boulders and the funky town of Oamaru (steampunk capital of NZ and a cute colonial district…check out the cutest bookstore “Adventure Books”, complete with a replica of the James Caird and a must for Antarctic lovers). From here, we detoured out of Otago to link up with friends at Lake Clearwater before backtracking to Queenstown, where we upgraded out of the motorhome for a few days to enjoy ourselves at the Winter Festival. Queenstown is incredibly beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. From Queenstown, we drove to Glenorchy (a spectacular drive and one not to be missed on the South Island), before heading towards Central Otago. We couldn’t miss Cromwell (the fruit bowl of NZ), historic Clyde, Ophir or the former gold and coal mining town of St Bathans. The Otago district of New Zealand did not disappoint with lots of great memories from this portion of our trip. Next up we will be backtracking to and finishing up our time in Canterbury.

The Leaning Tower of Wanaka at Puzzling World; Wanaka Hill top view of Wanaka, the gateway to the Southern Alps' Mount Aspiring National Park Lake Bar; Wanaka Yield to ducks sign; Wanaka Lake Wanaka Pier The lone tree of Lake Wanaka, one of the most photographed trees in all New Zealand Rippon Vineyard; Wanaka Circa 1941 Vickers-Armstrongs Valentine tank; Wanaka National Transport and Toy Museum Warbirds and Wheels museum; Wanaka Scenery on the drive from Wanaka to Cromwell Robby plucks a pear at Cromwell's giant fruit structure Cromwell Heritage Precinct Kawarau Gorge - a spectacular gorge road links Cromwell to Queenstown Lots of curves on Kawarau Gorge Road A plane takes off from Queenstown airport Stopping on Kingston Road overlooking Lake Wakatipu Free campsite at Brighton Beach, near Dunedin Coast at Brighton Beach with Green Island beyond Colorful sunrise at Brighton Beach One of dozens of painted bus stops on Brighton Road View of Tunnel Beach, famous for its dramatic sandstone cliffs and arches Natural sea arch of Tunnel Beach Becky in the excavated tunnel leading to a secluded beach; Tunnel Beach Hidden beach area; Tunnel Beach Panorama of Tunnel Beach, a must see if visiting Dunedin Selfie at Tunnel Beach Rugged southern coastline of the Otago Peninsula Lovers Leap; Otago Peninsula Becky smiles on the Sandymount track loop "Imagine a world without water"; Sandymount Track Robby enjoying the stunning views of Otago Peninsula Beautiful scenery in Otago Peninsula Curious sheep; Otago Peninsula Dramatic hills of Otago Peninsula Massive trees line the roadside; Otago Peninsula Rest stop; Otago Peninsula Dunedin Railway Station Tiled interior of Dunedin's Railway Station Portraits of settlers in the Smith Gallery; Toitū Otago Settlers Museum Transport history at the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum Old fashioned camper van; Toitū Otago Settlers Museum Becky riding a penny-farthing (high wheeler); Toitū Otago Settlers Museum Chinese gate; Dunedin Lion and unicorn on the Garrison Hall; Dunedin Dunedin is bubbling with excitement in anticipation of the Highlanders vs Lions rugby match (13 Jun 2017) Street artist Phlegm's Song Bird Pipe Organ; Dunedinn "Riding the Dreams" by Italian artist Pixel Pancho; Dunedin street art Girls spraying by artist "Be Free"; Dunedin "Love is in the Air" street art by Polish artist Natalia Rak; Dunedin Our first rugby match at the Forsyth Barr Stadium between the Highlanders vs the Lions was phenomenal! We rooted for the Highlanders who beat the Lions 23-22 Otago Boys' High School; Dunedin Tuatara mural painted by Belgian artist ROA; Dunedin Dunedin's handsome town hall Another wonderful sample of street art by "Be Free" Street Art by Fintan Magee in Dunedin Giant eagle vs Becky, painted by Chinese-born street artist DALeast; Dunedin Vogel street art by British artist Phlegm Excellent exhibits on Pacific Islanders found in the Pacific Cultures section of the Otago Museum; Dunedin Maori history section of the Otago Museum; Dunedin Carved canoe; Otago Museum Panorama of Baldwin Street, the world's steepest residential street and home to the annual Cadbury Jaffa Race Becky tackles Baldwin Street Statue at Signal Hill Lookout; Dunedin Hungry chickens look for a hand out at the parking lot of Port Chalmers lookout View from Port Chalmers lookout Stunning scenery near Huriwa Historic Reserve Panorama of Huriwa Historic Reserve Sunset at Huriwa Historic Reserve Wooden rail bridge reflection at Waikouaiti River; Karitane Fur seals at Katiki Point Lighthouse Coastal scenery near Katiki Point Lighthouse Robby swallowed by a human eating rock; Moeraki Boulders Spherical moeraki boulders; Koekohe Beach Oamaru has the finest display of Victorian architecture in New Zealand - wandering the streets was a delight! Steampunk Headquarters; Oamaru Steampunk stop sign; Oamaru Old Union Building; Oamaru Steampunk playground in funky Oamaru A movie prop replica of the James Caird inside Adventure Books, a true gem in the heart of Oamaru's Victorian Precinct Robby rides a Penny Farthing in Oamaru's Victorian District Historic Waitaki District Council building (formerly the Post Office in 1883) and war memorial; Oamaru Stopping to let this hedgehog cross the road; Oamaru Driving the Lindis Pass Quick hike around Lindis Pass Motorbike dude & bike statue near Queenstown Arrowtown's Chinese Settlement (set up by Chinese during the Otago gold rush in the 1860s) Stores on Buckingham Street, Arrowtown's main shopping street Post Office; Arrowtown Petite houses in historic Arrowtown Wanted Dead or Alive poster; Arrowtown Fantastic views from Crown Range Road, the highest main road in New Zealand Sunset from Crown Range Road Colorful Queenstown sunrise Robby hiking up Queenstown Hill Basket of Dreams sculpture; Queenstown Hill Although a demanding hike, the Queenstown Hill will reward you with fine views of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak, and other surrounding mountains Selfie at the top of the mountain; Queenstown Hill Amazing vistas from the top of Queenstown Hill Panorama from the top of Queenstown Hill Saint Bernard in the back of a pick up truck; Queenstown Queenstown Harbor Moa bird statue outside a souvenir store; Queenstown Dunnock (hedge sparrow); Queenstown Becky hugs a giant sequoia; Queenstown Gardens Seagull; Queenstown Harbor Robby next to a giant kiwi; Queenstown Bed making contestants compete during the Queenstown Resort College Hospitality Race; Winter Festival Sprinting with heavy bags during a hospitality contest; Queenstown Winter Festival Dog barking competition; Queenstown Winter Festival If the owner can't get his or her dog to bark on cue, then they have to climb the hay stack and bark for their doggie companion! Great teamwork between this dog and owner; Queenstown Winter Fest dog barking competition This cute pug had all the ladies swooning; Queenstown Winter Festival Wakatipu High School's kapa haka group performance; Queenstown Winter Festival What a great haka performance put on by the students of Wakatipu High School; Queenstown Winter Fest Anika Moa performing at the Queenstown Winter Festival Contestants having fun during the dodgeball championship; Queenstown Winter Fest Dodgeball championship; Queenstown Winter Festival Becky about to chomp down on her blue devil burger; Queenstown St Joseph's Church; Queenstown Pink sunset over Queenstown Fireworks to kick off the opening ceremony of Queenstown's Winter Festival Christchurch band "Nomad" was a crowd favorite during the Queenstown Winter Festival Enjoying a cocktail at Minus 5° Ice Bar; Queenstown Its a brilliant day for the water activities taking place at Lake Wakatipu; Queenstown Winter Fest Costumed contestant for the Mitre 10 Mega Raft Race; Queenstown Winter Fest $1000 prize money is up for grabs for the first place home made raft to cross the finish line! Go Orange is the victorious team in the raft race; Queenstown Winter Festival Next up is the Undy 500 race, an obstacle course where the contestants wear nothing but their JUCY undies Competition is fierce as up for grabs is free cash and 7 days free camper van hire Front of the pack for the Undy 500 race Women racing in the Undy 500; Queenstown Winter Fest Undy 500 champions Vintage steamship, TSS Earnslaw, cruising  Lake Wakatipu "I believe I can Fly" - Birdman competition at the Queenstown Winter Festival Two cows about to hit the water! Picturesque Glenorchy is located at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu Row of stranded willow trees; Glenorchy Lagoon boardwalk in Glenorchy Panorama of Glenorchy Lagoon Boardwalk Taking a selfie in pretty Glenorchy The 45 minute drive from Glenorchy to Queenstown is one of New Zealand's most scenic Amazing views on our drive back to Queenstown from Glenorchy Stopping to admire the view on the drive from Glenorchy to Queenstown Scenic drive through Central Otago Historic Clyde; Central Otago Shaky Bridge; Alexandra Vineyard beneath Alexandra's 11 meter wide clock Boy and dog decoration; Ophir This post office was built in 1886, a reminder of the gold rush era of quaint Ophir Butchery; Ophir The narrow road leading to the 1880 Daniel O'Connell suspension bridge; Ophir An alpaca and sheep greet us in sleepy Ophir Sheep stampede; Central Otago The Vulcan Hotel in St Bathans is reputedly the most haunted hotel in New Zealand Man made lake of St Bathans, a former gold and coal mining town of 2000 inhabitants Gorgeous snowy scenery around St Bathans Lake Panorama of our winter hike around St Bathans Lake Rosehip; St Bathans St Bathans Blue Lake, formed during gold sluicing Charming town of Naseby Naseby sculpture Central Otago was fun to drive around - lots of pretty scenery Blooming aloe plants; Oamaru Interior of Steampunk Headquarters, New Zealand's most popular steampunk attraction Robby inside the Steampunk HQ time travel room; Oamaru Fishing on the roof of Steampunk HQ Becky riding the giant motorbike at Steampunk HQ Maori rock painting, Takiroa Rock Art Site; Duntroon Weathered limestone formations at Elephant Rocks; Duntroon Selfie at Elephant Rocks foto gallery lightboxby v6.1

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