This was a momentous weekend for a number of reasons: Mark’s 3 year arrival anniversary, my first Saturday off in a very long time and the last public holiday long weekend for quite a while, so we made the most of it.
Keeping it local due to the fact that the winter weather has been a bit unpredictable lately, we went to the Otago Peninsula, a place we have driven to but never stayed and spent any real time.
Nice and local to Dunedin but remote enough to feel deeply rural, we stayed in the peninsula village of Portobello – 15km along the headland.
Portobello was a beautiful wee peaceful hamlet where it seemed, everyone went to the chippy at 5pm for tea, then the pub after that for a jar or two! I think the whole village was in there! Still, their roaring fire was nice on a frosty winters evening!
We had the campsite to ourselves pretty much, it’s a wonder why they stay open in winter.
We spent Sunday ambling round the peninsula. We discovered that early morning is NOT the time of day to see an albatross (but it’s still a great drive and lovely stroll to the beaches) that all kiwi seem to have the same ‘she’ll be right approach to a road landslide (the peninsula top road was the latest victim, just like the Catlins road near the whistling frog cafe) and that it’s nice to visit a city with a more comprehensive shopping centre once in a while. (Kmart here we come!)
Sandfly bay is one of our favourites when we visit the peninsula. Not the right weather for seals, it seems, but the steep walk down the dunes to the beach is always worth it (even if it does kill me to get back up again!)
Monday morning after check out we decided to drive down a few peninsula roads we hadn’t been along before, completely by accident discovering Allans Beach. The road ended at a small car park where there were several people with surf boards and wet suits. A quick walk over the dunes and you were on a simply stunning, vast, yet empty beach. I love New Zealand!
It’s hilarious because we ALMOST drove this road way back when we first arrived but the gravel road (which has now become quite normal) put us right off so we turned around and left! Now it’s totally normal!
No trip to Dunedin is complete without a Chinese meal, which is where we went before leaving at lunchtime on Monday. The wee restaurant that we ended up in (purely because it seemed to be the only one open) had mostly Chinese customers. You know that’s a good sign when you see that!
Chinese tea to finish off a fabulously relaxing weekend away.