January 1st, 2017
Wanaka to Dunedin
Highlight: The view from Tunnel beach
Lowlight: Not seeing any penguins!
It’s only going to take 2 months of writing this to get it right! Started the day off with another 500m walk to the toilet (won’t be missing that).
We set off early to try and beat the RNA traffic. We made a pit stop at the Cardrona Hotel for Courtenay and Aiden to grab their hidden alcohol and of course for a photo opportunity. It’s such a cute hotel with an amazing outdoor area. I would love to stay here in the middle of winter sometime.
Before hitting the road to Dunedin we stopped by Puzzle Word and retrieved our hidden alcohol (stoked it was still there). The drive to Dunedin was long. I am so surprised with how exhausting the driving is, and I am only being the passenger. The wind was gnarly and it was quite sketchy being blown around the road. We stopped in Alexandria and started the year off with dirty KFC in a park. Well the girls did, the boys went healthy and got subway (losers).
Arriving in Dunedin was beautiful. The buildings are really old and funky looking. The whole city sits among the hills surrounding the harbor. It looks like an awesome place to live. Dan, Mike and I drove around the Otago Peninsula to get to Lanarch Castle. I loved the history behind the castle and especially climbing to the top of the turret to enjoy the views.
We then decided to mission it to the top of the peninsula to try and see some yellow-eyed penguins, seals, and albatross. I saw an albatross as we first pulled up and their wingspan is massive. There were some seals on the rocks, but mostly it was stinky seagulls squawking around. We ran out of time and didn’t get to see any penguins (this is becoming a bit of a theme for the trip, and it’s making me sad).
Once we got back to the hotel we met up with Grace and had a drink at Mac’s Brew Bar. Malibu and Cole nom nom nom! Then we wandered off down to the train station to be tourists. Did I mention how beautiful the buildings are here? The city center is pretty deserted today (obviously not a New Years hotspot). Lots of restaurants are closed and there is hardly anyone about. Thankfully Velvet Burger was open. I got the ‘Big Bird’ which had chicken, bacon, brie, apricot sauce and tons of other goodness. We ate our burgers in the middle of the octagon and it was an amazingly chill dinner after a long day.
Time for tunnel beach! 9 pm and we decide we want to see this infamous beach. Little did we know it was an hour long trek involving a high level of fitness. I made it about halfway down before I gave up. I got some awesome pics though. Mike went right down and walked along the top, he even climbed down these natural steps, through a cave and onto the beach (I was pretty jealous of this). The wind was still crazy strong and big black clouds were rolling in fast). After the beach, we sorted our petrol for tomorrow’s adventures. Grace, Mike and I chilled in our hotel and some drinks to take the edge off.
I was a bit grumpy today. Little things were bothering me and I shouldn’t have let them. Lying in bed at the hotel is life!