Dunedin turned out to be a ‘bigger’ town than I had imagined. I heard stories of it being a very small and boring place famous for its drinking culture. We have a good Malaysian friend Sri studying in University of Otago and thankfully he was around the time of our visit to host us around.
This road trip was a rather last minute thing. Life has been really busy with study and work that we totally forgot to sit down and make early bookings. With no much choice of accommodation left to choose from, we decided to stay at the Law Courts Hotel. The hotel feels old but the room is nicely done up and modernized. With a bar, a gaming room and a cafe at the ground floor of the hotel, the reception is narrowed down to a small window at the corner. Naturally, the gaming room is the busiest of them all and I saw a lady got paid quite a bit of money for her winnings.
With breakfast out of the way, we decided to go for a morning stroll nearby. Our first stop was the Tourist Information Center. The St Paul Anglican Cathedral is just some 100m away and it is such a big building that one simply cannot miss it.
So, what to do when you are in Dunedin? Too many according to this website , so we had to narrow down ones that are suitable for us as a family. We visited the Moeraki Boulders (perhaps technically it is not in Dunedin) the day before, so it had to be the Cadbury Chocolate factory, the train station and penguins on day two. The Cadbury factory was just a minute walk away from the Law Courts Hotel. This is a tour we had to do since our hero loves chocolate so much.
It costs quite a bit for the Cadbury factory tour. Along the tour, the guide gives out samples of chocolates in bags to everyone. None of which I can tell are really the ‘popular’ Cadbury products. We had 3 plastic bags of them and most of them are still sitting in the fridge. The tour started in a room where we get to taste and smell some products. There were PVC tubes standing on the floor. Open the lid…take a sniff and guess what they are. The answers are behind the lids. Ah…I cannot be bothered.
We were all then ushered along a corridor up to the main highlight of the tour- the Silo. All I can remember was it was dark, humid, hot and overwhelmed with the smell of chocolate. In hear, at the press of a button, some amssive amount of liquid choc gets poured down from the top. Yeeeeaaaaaa….(pun intended). After that, we all walked back through the same corridor, passing the other group of visitors on our way out. One chap on my group happily took out his phone for a selfie which was then confiscated by our guide. NO PICTURES inside. I honestly wonder why we are not allowed to take pictures. Throughout the entire tour, we did not see even an inch of the actual production floor…bummer!
From the Cadbury factory, we made our way to the Dunedin train station. An old train station with a long history. The train station was completed in 1906 and was New Zealand’s busiest back then. It was handling over 100 trains a day.
Yang Yang got really excited each time a moving train passes by. He loved it so much that poor mommy and daddy decided to give him the opportunity of a train ride. So…a train ride it is and a very dear experience it was.