27. The Other Big South Island Smoke – Dunedin

Awesome Dunedin. Usually we like country areas better than cities, but cities have stuff going on that are impossible for smaller places, like they can’t be beaten for museums that take a whole day to go through, cinemas, and enormous buildings.

We actually spent more than a day on the museum, going back for another half day as well. The planetarium was great, and students from the university were giving talks that went along with a range of topics. We were starting to feel a bit knowledged-out, we’ve been visiting so many museums and reading so many information boards. So why did we then find ourselves at the University’s Geology Museum where we got talking with a couple of international PhD students studying whales and penguins? They told us that New Zealand is THE place to be for studying whales, penguins and dolphins, which are found (in fossil form) in the lower half of the South Island.

Wanting a blob-out session we went to the local reading cinema to watch DC superhero movie Shazam. There was a huge foyer with seats and tables in cubicles and a life-sized game of snakes and ladders staked out on the carpet – we walked across this game on our way in, but going out we struck a game in full swing so carefully walked around it (and watched).

It was nice to get back onto some beaches after a few ‘bright lights’ days – and Dunedin has truly supreme beaches, and you only just have to go out of the city.

Dunedin’s famous Railway Station – the ride through the Taieri Gorge to Middlemarch departs from here, and it’s where some people start their Rail Trail adventure.
The architecture is magnificent, both inside and outside…
This turtle fossil was in the city museum, named after Terry Pratchett!
The Geology Museum was another fantastic piece of architecture, and a great place to visit if you have an interest in fossils, rocks and geology.
The beaches to the south of the city including St Kilda Beach – someone told us they get some of New Zealand’s best surfing here. I can believe it – here we are on a very calm day and the waves are actually pretty powerful.
We drove a bit further, using google map directions, to the Tunnel Beach. This was made by a Dad for his daughter so she could play on the beach – and presumably her friends, too.
The track is like this almost the whole time – it’s a very easy track except that the downhill on the way means it’s all uphill on the way back!
We often spot butterflies wherever we go, and they always seem to have different spots.
The tunnel runs under the neck of this small headland.
This is the beach we will arrive at once we are through the tunnel.
Yes! The mouth of the tunnel.
Inside the tunnel, looking back upstairs. Kevin saw that the steps were concrete, poured in place once the digging was finished. What a completely cool thing for a Dad to do for his daughter!
We had to clamber over these rocks to reach the sand.
There were other caves and slots to explore…
…the cliffs were awesome.
We both had a paddle in the water; several other tourists were doing the same thing.
The seagulls were peck pecking in the sand.
After we came back through the tunnel, Kevin stood on top of the highest part of the cliff and made a Titanic pose. He looks tiny!
Kevin took this shot from his high point.
And this is looking the other way along the coast, away from the tunnel.
Cheers beautiful place, and farewell!

2 thoughts on “27. The Other Big South Island Smoke – Dunedin”

  1. You’re having a great time! Pity you’re not going to be home when we go to Nelson on the 21st. We’ll have our car and could have stopped in! Darn. Have fun, Diane

    Liked by 1 person

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