Tuesday, February 6, 2018

2018 Grand World Voyage, Day 33, Dunedin, New Zealand (Part 1 of 3)

Again, today we had no prearranged tour with the exception of a list of places we would like visit. After an hour delay in disembarking the ship, Ann, Cathy and I took the ships shuttle from Port Chalmers to downtown Dunedin and went to the I-Site Visitors Center to see what kind of a tour we could put together. We were able to hire a car for six hours and we were off to explore the area. Dunedin is a thriving city set amidst a magical landscape edged by the sea and is renowned for its proximity to incredible wildlife. It is said that Dunedin has the finest collection of Victorian and Edwardian buildings in the Southern Hemisphere, and I think we covered a fair number of the highlights on our downtown tour .....  the Knox Presbyterian Church, the spectacular Railway Station, the Law Courts, Otago University and the Octagon. Leaving downtown, we drove up and down Baldwin Street, the steepest Street in the World. I would hate to drive that monster on an icy day.  We continued up to Signal Hill Reserve and lookout point that overlooks the city of Dunedin. Spectacular views!  On our decent from signal Hill, we stopped at the Botanical Gardens for a look at these world class gardens. Next we drove the low road along the scenic Otago Harbor to the end of the Otago Peninsula known as Taiaroa Head. At this point, we stopped at the Royal Albatross Centre to see the Albatross in flight and the Wildlife Reserve to view the sea lions. On our return to the city, our driver Toni took the high road or Highcliff Road to Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle...where we toured the castle’s lovely gardens. Our return to the city offered commanding views of the scenery below us. Back in the city our driver allowed us to experience the vibrant and whimsical Dunedin Street Art trail and a few more sites of the city including a stop for shopping and the Cadbury Chocolate factory before turning to the ship. We had a great day and thoroughly enjoyed our time in New Zealand.  It was capped off by a wonderful sail out of Dunedin enabling us to see wonderful sights along the way.  I loved having another opportunity to see the Albatross flying and sitting in their nests hillside along with the penguins and New Zealand fur seals below...  looking forward to cruising Fiordland National Park tomorrow.

 

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