If you're planning a layback South Island road trip this Summer do include the stunning Otago Peninsula and don't forget to stop by Oamaru's funky Victorian prescinct.
Dunedin,known for it's Scottish forbearers and university is the gateway to one of the most beautiful peninsulas I've ever encountered. We spent a day driving as far as one could venture on the Peninsula via tiny Portabello and it's quaint art galleries and cafes.
The main attractions are the endangered but protected yellow-eyed penguins and the rare albatross colony. Ideally, observe them up close in their natural habitat by way of an eco land tour or cruise.
Options at: http://www.otago-peninsula.co.nz/attractions.html
When you've had your nature fix it's time for a spot of history at Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle. Apart from it's regal position allowing extensive harbour views Larnach is home to some of New Zealand's most beautiful antiques. However, it's also the subject of much scandal and tragedy so do take the tour. Afterwards stroll the spectacular gardens that display a touch of humour then lunch at the Cafe housed in the old ballroom.
On our way north we stopped to eat at Oamaru's Victorian Prescinct. ..and what a pleasant surprise! This old town historically known for it's white stone has been renovated superbly. It's not just a collection of museums but an actual Victorian town at work-in essence a living piece of our history.You can take high tea at Annie's Victorian Tearooms and marvel at the artisans' workmanship in the galleries. And don't be surprised if a lady dressed in Victorian garb offers you a smile! This history buff definitely need to return.
We spent our last night in Christchurch at the lovely boutique hotel,The George. It's across from the Avon River and we found the amenities and service to be top notch. It sits in a pretty,leafy neighbourhood ideal for twilight strolls and close to the beautiful botanical gardens where we enjoyed our last South Island meal(until next time). I highly recommend the Curators House for it's ambience,history and service..and let's not forget the food! A superb ending to a fantastic South Island road trip!
To plan your travel itinerary contact Anne Van Dyke: www.annevandyke.com
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