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Dunedin and Moeraki Boulders

Oct 20th - 23rd

In 1848 the first settlers were from Scotland and named Dunedin so, as it's Gaelic for 'Edinburgh of the South'. The population is now 120,000, in the far flung corner of the world- well it is the farthest city in the world from London at 19,100 km.

We stayed at Leith Valley Touring Park at $19pp for 3 nights which was 3km out of the city centre, but easy enough to drive into and park.

We visited the Otago Museum which was free entry with expected donation (open 10am-5pm everyday), and it had free wifi, so we sat around using the internet after we had seen the museum pieces including artefacts from Sir Edmund Hillary who in 1953 along with his Nepalese Sherpa- mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. I have been interested in Sir Edmund's adventures throughout the last year when I first heard of him.

Easter Island, a Chilean territory, is a remote volcanic island in Polynesia. Its native name is Rapa Nui. It’s famed for archaeological sites, including nearly 900 monumental statues called moai, created by inhabitants during the 13th–16th centuries. The moai are carved human figures with oversize heads, often resting on massive stone pedestals called ahus

Dunedin is very pretty with some impressive buildings

We have been really impressed with New Zealand's beers, so decided to go to 'Speights Ale House' where we tried a taster of their most famous beers and ales. You can also do a brewery tour here.

Drove around a bit to the seaside towns of St Kilda and St Clair and watched surfers catching a wave.

Then it was time to take a trip up Baldwin Street. Which is is the world's steepest residential street, according to the Guinness World Records. The slope of Baldwin Street is about 1:2.86 (19° or 35%). That is, for every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally, the elevation changes by 1 metre. An interesting fact is; the street's steepness was unintentional. As with many other parts of early Dunedin, and indeed New Zealand, streets were laid out in a grid pattern with no consideration for the terrain, usually by planners in London.

Later we drove up to Signal Hill where we were treated to views of city with an elevation of 393 m (1289 ft).

A piece of stone from Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland...

No stop in Dunedin is complete without visiting Dunedin's Railway Station which is a very striking building. We timed it by accident that a steam train was going to be arriving and the place was a buzz for its imminent arrival.

We also visited TOITŪ Otago Settlers Museum which has a collection of culture, technology, art, fashion, transport of the Otago province from before the time of European settlement to present. Free (10am-5pm)

And we visited Cadbury World where we had some fancy mocha's.

Rather early in the morning we packed up our tent and headed 1 hour drive up the coast to Moeraki Boulders, we had to time it right as they lie on the beach and had to get the tides right. From Dunedin you take the Hampden- Palmerston Road and then the boulders are on Koekohe Beach.

What are the Moeraki boulders I hear you ask... they are boulders estimated to have taken 4 to 5.5 million years to grow of marine mud accumulated on the seafloor that have been exposed through sea erosion and are an unusually large size and spherical shape from 0.5 metres to 2.2 metres (1.6ft to 7.2ft). Some even say there are a phenomenon, we just found them utterly fascinating.

If you are travelling around this area, I implore you to visit you cannot by-pass this fascinating place!!

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