Dunedin to Christchurch
20.12.2013 - 23.12.2013
I arrived in Dunedin and negotiated my way around the bus system so as to avoid walking up a giant hill with my backpack, which I swear is getting heavier by the week. My mother's cousin Rebecca and her husband Anthony were at a funeral so I let myself in before joining them for the wake (not quite how I imagined my introduction to Dunedin!)
Next day, Rebecca's youngest son Kara gave me a tour of Dunedin including the now defunct railway station and Otago University, New Zealand's oldest. We had a wander around the museum and saw a pickled Rat King (google it and prepare to be disgusted) but I couldn't get a decent photo.
My parents arrived from Auckland in the evening- their whistle-stop trip had already taken them to Honolulu, where Mum despaired as Dad quoted Hawaii 5-0 at every turn. Although it had been over four months since I'd last seen them, the magic of t'internet meant it really didn't feel that long at all.
On their only full day in Dunedin we drove with Rebecca to the Otago Peninsula before heading to her older brother Simon's for a family barbecue.
Dad had hired a great big car in order to drive to Christchurch and we bid farewell to Rebecca and family early on Monday morning. The incredibly scenic route included the Moeraki boulders, which look like a giant has abandoned his game of marbles. We spotted the snowy peaks of Mount Aspiring and her neighbours in the distance.
Oamaru, where my mother's cousins grew up, has a Victorian centre and heritage steam train.
Timaru is the small town where Gran Gran grew up and we wanted to visit the site of her family home; we had been given the address, but it didn't seem to exist. An hour of searching later we realised the house number was wrong. By 100. After visiting Caroline Bay we made a detour to Fairlie, where Mount Cook can be viewed on a clear day. It was not a clear day. I'm starting to think Mount Cook is just a myth to keep the tourists coming.
After a sunny morning in Christchurch showing my parents the important sites I'd visited earlier in my trip, we headed to the airport to fly to Melbourne and Christmas.