Dunedin and the Catlins

Robert Latta
May 31, 2013

Today was the last day of class for the semester!  In a little less than four weeks, I’ll be on a plane home!  Before that, and also before my soon-to-be epic adventure to Stewart Island, let me tell you about what has probably been my favorite city in New Zealand so far.

Last weekend, a group of four other Americans and I went down to the second largest city on the South Island: Dunedin.  Never have I been to a city in such a beautiful place….well, next to my native Minneapolis.

We set down towards the Otago Peninsula at around 10 am Friday morning, stopping at the Moeraki Boulders along the way.  It was pretty funny to see the almost perfectly spherical rocks right next to the ocean.  It was like God just dropped them right there.

Photo cred: Deanna.

After we got to Dunedin, and after hitting up the Cadbury Factory Store to get some chocolate for the weekend, we found a hostel for the night.  Then, we set off to find some fish and chips.  We ended up at a sketchy looking shop (they’re always the best ones), picked up dinner, and watched the sunset.

The next morning was an early one. We hopped out of bed, ready for a day of exploring the Catlins, an area just south of Dunedin.  First, though, we ran through the farmer’s market to grab something for lunch.  I ended up with some apples, a loaf of sourdough bread and a jar of blackberry jam.  We passed through some stunning coastline and stopped at a few dramatic waterfalls.  Finally, we ended up at Curio Bay, one of the southernmost points on the South Island.  It was a sunny day, so we spent the next few hours eating lunch and watching the waves splash up from the rocks.

Photo cred: Sarah.

Heading back to Dunedin, we stopped at Nugget Point.  There is a lookout on the site of an old lighthouse.  We enjoyed the last vestiges of sunlight.  Just as we were about to leave, a glow sprouted from the horizon.  The moon was rising.  Picturesque, to say the least.

Photo cred: Sarah.

That night back in Dunedin we had Pizza in the Octagon, which is sort of the town square–just shaped like an octagon.

The next morning started off rainy.  The other four headed out to take a tour of the Cadbury Factory.  I went off in search of breakfast, which ended up being at a cafe near the train station.  The french toast was incredible.  Next, I explored the train station.  Call me a nerd for liking train stations, but this one was gorgeous.  A man who worked at an art gallery inside told me it was built with the money made from the gold rush in 1862.  That probably explains its extravagance.

Photo cred: Sarah.

Then, I went into the Otago Settlers Museum and took in the history of the Dunedin and Otago area.  Fun fact: I learned that Dunedin was originally settled in 1848 by a Scottish Presbyterian group that was fed-up with the way the church was being run back in Scotland.

After meeting up with the others for lunch back in the Octagon, we hit the road, making quick stops at the Botanic Gardens and Baldwin Street, which is widely known as the world’s steepest street.

Baldwin Street. Photo cred: Sarah.


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Robert Latta

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Robbie Latta and I am a junior studying civil engineering at Purdue University in lovely West Lafayette, Indiana. I am also a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity on campus. I like to spend time outside, bike, play hockey when I am home in Minnesota, write, and spend time with my friends. I am coming to New Zealand to explore the Kiwi lifestyle and have some fun!</span></div>

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Engineering - General
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