Friday, February 19, 2010


So it seems that I have saved the BEST for last! After this post I still have 2 more to go and the very last one and this one were by FAR our favorites! Our very last day in port was in Dunedin, NZ. Oddly enough, our upstairs neighbors are actually from Dunedin. It was nice being able to talk to them about things to do in NZ and what the weather was like so we would have a better idea of how to pack. And then it turned out that Dunedin was our favorite port!

We had done some research and decided on booking a private tour. We wanted to go to the Cadbury Factory and see the endangered yellow-eyed penguins. None of the ship tours included these but it turned out that booking a private tour was the best thing we did. We arrived in port with enough time to walk into the Port Chalmers, which is where we were docked, about a 25 min drive from Dunedin. Since it was a Sunday all of the shops were closed but we ended up getting some shopping time at the end of the tour. We always had to try and make sure we got a postcard from each stop! Then we walked back to the ship where the tour company was waiting for us. When we contacted the company we were told that they already had a tour going that day that we could join which would save us some money so that is what we did. It turned out that there was only one other couple on the tour!

Our first stop was the Cadbury Factory!
We got to walk all the way up inside the purple silo. As we were walking up the stairs we noticed that EVERYTHING had chocolate splattered on it. When we got to the top the tour guide turned on the chocolate fountain and we watched a TON of chocolate fall from the ceiling!! That is the only use of that chocolate and the purple silo.

Then we continued on our tour. We got to taste chocolate and we got to take home a bag full of candy bars we have never heard of before. This was one of the highlights of the entire vacation.
Unfortunately, we were not able to take anything with us on the tour so these are about the only pictures we could take.

Then we drove to the Albatross Colony, where the other couple had a guided tour booked. While they were stuck in a room looking at an albatross we walked around outside, saw some seals, and got to grab a little snack. We spent most of our day on the Otago Peninsula which was absolutely spectacular!


{Our Ship in the distance}

{we had views like this all day}

After their tour at the Albatross Colony, we headed to Penguin Place which is a Yellow Eyed penguin reserve. It was neat to think that several years ago my Grandma and Papa were at this very same spot!

{We saw more seals}

{another amazing view of a nice beach}

{And we saw several cute little penguins!}

We were able to get pretty close to the penguins which was really neat!

But all Grace wanted to do was climb stairs :-)

Here are a couple more pictures of the amazing views we saw while on Otago Peninsula!

Then we stopped by Larnach Castle where we were able to walk through the beautiful gardens.

{Grace enjoyed smelling the flowers}

{The Castle}

Everywhere we went in NZ we saw sheep just roaming the countryside. It reminded me of all of the cows we have in Oklahoma!

We got to decide whether we wanted to spend a long time at the castle and go inside or if we wanted to go to the city center of Dunedin and do a little shopping. We all chose shopping! We wanted to get a few souvenirs and we had some NZ dollars left to spend. Plus, antique furniture is not that appealing to all of us.

We stopped near this cathedral and did a little shopping. We got Grace another new hat and a t-shirt. Then we went back to wait for the other couple and let Grace play in the grassy area that was right next to our van. She ALWAYS loves to run!

{The Cathedral in Dunedin}

When we got back to the ship and were on our way to dinner we decided to go outside and get a few pictures from the ship of Port Chalmers. And again, we had a band playing for our departure. This band was playing Amazing Grace when I walked outside!

We had a great time in Dunedin! The tour company had already taken car of paying for admission to everything and making our reservations for us. We told them what we wanted to see and then we saw it! We also got to see a few things that we hadn't mentioned to them - the worlds steepest street and the train station. We just drove by those to take a quick look because there were so many other things that we wanted to see so just getting a glimpse was an added bonus. Our lunch stop was at a little hotel cafe with the best hamburgers I have had in a long time. After the tour we really wished we would have looked into private tours in more of the ports because it was so much better than the tours with the ship.

So next up is the Sounds, which will most likely be a picture post. And then I will finish up with our last few days in Sydney where we had another day that was just as much fun as Dunedin!


Patty Patterson said...

It looks beautiful! I love the pictures!

JG said...

Wow, you got the chocoholic's dream vacation :) And I've always said, Amazing Grace was meant to be played on bagpipes!


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