New Zealand- Part 1 Hi everyone, I am Kelly from She Wears a Red Sox Cap and I am very excited to be writing this guest post for Meghan. I LOVE to travel so I hope you enjoy reading about it… I began my trip to New Zealand quite differently than most other trips. Normally, I anticipate a trip for months beforehand. I research every place to visit, every hotel to stay at, every restaurant worth trying, etc. However, my New Zealand trip happened quite differently. I was planning to study abroad in Australia, my plane ticket came with one stop over, so I picked New Zealand and so it was booked. Then, I studied abroad for five months enjoying what felt like a 5-month long vacation and just when it was time to go home and see my friends and family I remembered I had a New Zealand trip to go on. At this point 5 months of fun had caught up with me, I had a terrible cough and while I was excited for New Zealand, I probably would’ve chosen to just relax in Sydney for another week if I had a choice. On my flight down to Auckland I was definitely “one of those” people on the plane, coughing and coughing and driving everyone around me crazy. I was supposed to meet up with two of my college friends and travel around the country with them. Due to my sickness, I decided to pick a town and park myself there for a few nights so I could get better. I picked Dunedin. Dunedin is a college town located on the South Island of New Zealand. I had to take 3 two more planes to get there, but it would make it easiest to meet up with my friends later in the week. I found a random hotel on the outskirts of town (I had been staying in hostels, but I didn’t want to be that person on the plane AND in the hostel) and I made myself comfortable. Over the next three days I feel in love with Dunedin. There is so much to see and do, and so many cute coffee shops to park yourself and read Harry Potter (which is what I did when I needed a break). Dunedin, I later learned, actually is the old Gaelic name for Edinburgh and I can definitely some resemblances between the two. Dundein’s central point is referred to as “The Octagon” and is a nice place to sit on a bench and eat lunch, or read a good book. The Municipal Chambers of Dunedin is also located there. The first place I visited in Dunedin was the University of Otago, New Zealand’s oldest university. What a gorgeous place!
Almost made my wish I studied abroad there. Except that it was December (summer time in New Zealand) and I was still wearing a North Face fleece. Continuing north from “The Octagon”, I next visited the Dunedin Botanic Gardens. Even though it was cold, it was such a beautiful day for walking around such gorgeous landscape.
Going even further from the center of town (I probably hopped on a bus at some point), I visited the World’s Steepest Street! I know, major tourist trap, but it did not cost any money and it was really cool to say I’ve walked up the World’s Steepest Street. The street is called “Baldwin Street.”
Coming back more to the Octagon area, there is a lot of other fabulous architecture to be seen. I was not taking a train anywhere, but look at this amazing railway station…
Inside was just as amazing:
Also, standing above the Octagon is St. Paul’s Cathedral, which has the only vaulted ceiling in New Zealand…random I know.
Finally, if you are a chocolate fan, no trip to Dunedin would be complete without a visit to…
And yes, you do get free chocolate. You also get to enjoy a tour through a chocolate smelling factory. What could be better? Also, New Zealand (and Australia) have lots of Cadbury products that are not sold in the US, so be sure to try some of those. If you are not sick and relaxing like I was, I would definitely recommend a trip out to Otago Peninsula. You can see the more rare species of penguin, the yellow-eyed penguin, ONLY on Otago Peninsula. Very cool. Stay tuned for tomorrow when I get more adventurous and begin to really see the countryside of the South Island.