We finished the Southern Scenic Route in the charming city of Dunedin. As New Zealand’s oldest city, Dunedin is steeped in Scottish heritage and has more recently become known as a hub for architecture, culture and universities. Founded by the Presbyterian Free Church of Scotland in 1848, Dunedin (whose name is derived from the ancient celtic title for Edinburgh) has retained much of its Scots heritage- much of which can be seen in the architecture around town.
After a wander around the city, we got right into the edible attractions of Dunedin- the Speight’s Brewery and Cadbury Factory tours. The brewery tour was interesting but let’s be real… we came for the beer! At the end of the tour, we were led to an employee pub room where we were left to pour our own samples from their taps. Yes, you read that correctly- we helped ourselves to as much beer as possible. Seriously, you’ve got to love New Zealand- the land that encourages you to drink up as much as you can for a half hour and they’ll even teach you how to perfect the perfect pour.
Next, it was on to the chocolate. The Cadbury tour doesn’t allow any pictures on the tour but I got a few early shots before we had to put away the cameras. We learned some history, were given chocolate to munch on along the way and ended the tour with a view of the chocolate waterfall.
The following day, we decided to check out the Otago Peninsula but we first made a pit stop to the Otago Farmer’s Market at the old railway station. We love farmer’s markets and this one was so lovely! Just about everything you would want was available- flowers, plants, honey, jams, herbs, organic fruits, nuts and vegs, freshly baked breads and pastries, interesting hot food, organic meats like venison and lamb and of course, organic beer. After indulging in a delicious chocolate croissant, we hit the road towards the Otago Peninsula.
The Otago Peninsula stretches along the southern edge of the Otago Harbour and is one of New Zealand’s most renowned eco-tourism areas. The peninsula is home to heaps of wildlife including the endangered Royal Albatross, varieties of seals, penguins and other water and sea birds. Not only does the peninsula have outstanding wildlife but the natural scenery is quite breath-taking as well. The scenic drives boasts views of stunning coastlines, beautiful secluded beaches, rolling hills and charming, old farms.
From Dunedin it was on to Christchurch… almost done- stay tuned for the finale!