Over Christmas and New Year I visited a friend and his family in Oamaru and had a visit to Dunedin. I flew from Nelson to Christchurch on a lovely evening so was treated to views of the mountains.
After a night in Christchurch, I took a bus to Oamaru. Once I arrived in Oamaru, I was shown around the Historic precinct and taken out for lunch at Scott’s bar (the beer is home brewed and pretty good!). The historic precinct is full of buildings built and used when the town had a large and busy port, these are now full of quirky art galleries, steam punk inspired shops (think quirky sci-fi stuff). I got to pretend to ride a penny farthing and also wandered around a play park cleverly inspired by the steam punk genre.
After this we headed to Otematata, a small lakeside town, around an hour from Oamaru. The area is littered with large lakes and dams which draw the residents of Oamaru away from the town over the summer. There were plenty of activities going on from people being flung around on blow up biscuits on the back of boats, kayaking, swimming, jumping off of floating pontoons, meat raffles, bike rides… All of this, whilst being surrounded by fantastic scenery, people and sun, made a brilliant first southern hemisphere Christmas.
On christmas day, we went for a walk and had a brilliant view of Mt Cook, the highest point in NZ. It was also a good way to start burning off the impeding calories.
There was also plenty of time for swimming…
When we returned to Oamaru, I spent a day wandering around the town. And was taken to a couple of local sights including the Moeraki Boulders and Elephant Rocks. Both seemed completely out of place in their landscapes. The Moraki Boulders look like large eggs, (maybe Moa eggs!)some cracking after being worn down by the sea.
The Elephant Rocks, as their name suggests towered above you and in some you could make out an elephant’s face. With the strong wind and grey sky around us you could easily guess how they were made.
When I arrived back from Dunedin, we went camping in what appeared a super remote area, despite only being 20 mins from town. Situated in the middle of nowhere, next to a river with a large cliff behind the camping area. We celebrated the new year with a bonfire, few drinks and of course the worst hangover of the year so far.