Monday, 30 December 2013

Discovering Dunedin

When my eldest niece Bethany announced after she finished high school that she was heading to the University of Otago in Dunedin on New Zealand's South Island, I very promptly assured her that I would head over for a visit. Despite its proximity I had only been to New Zealand once and I was keen to see more.  It came as quite a shock to me earlier this year when I realised that 2013 was the last year of her course, and I needed to make haste if I was going to keep my word.

I settled on the last week of September and first week of October for my visit to avoid the worst of the cold but also manage to scrape in before she was completely buried in books with final exams looming.

 It only took one quick look out of the plane window to realise I was a long way from the subtropics.

More by chance than good management, it turned out that my hotel was close to Bethany's shared accommodation in the student part of town. I started exploring Dunedin with a good wander through the streets and fell completely in love with the Victorian architecture. 


Although they date from a similar era, the narrow two-story houses with fabulous details including turrets and iron lace railings are very different to the Queenslanders I am used to.

Student humour
Another lovely point of difference from Spring home in Brisbane were the beautiful cold climate blooms. In the streets, beautiful blossoms and rhododendrons were at their peak.

Ultimately I did cut it a bit fine in relation to Bethany's study for her final exams, but we had a couple of lovely outings in Dunedin, including a personal tour of the beautiful campus grounds.

Choisya ternata

Bethany with friend in the Butterfly Garden at the Otago Museum

I became a regular at this great café while I was in Dunedin.

After a lovely timeout, it was back to the books for Bethany, but my adventures in New Zealand were just beginning. In my next post we'll visit Dunedin's fabulous botanic gardens, and then I hit the road to explore some of the prettiest regions in New Zealand's South Island.


  1. Thank goodness you decided to pay Bethany a visit....I enjoyed it.
    What a lovely campus.
    With graduation on the horizon, I am wishing her the best of luck in her exams.

    1. Thanks Virginia. Happy New Year! I can report with great pride that she did very well and will be officially graduating early this year.

    2. Congratulations Bethany!!! Good job!!



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