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.

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