Sunday, December 11, 2011

To market, to market

Day 14 (Sat, 3 Dec 2011)

Our last day in Dunedin. In case you're wondering why we allocated so much time to Dunedin, our original plan was to spend one day in Christchurch. However, after all the earthquake scares, we decided to give the city a miss so so extended our time in Dunedin by one day.

It was a bonus for us. After all that driving, we were happy to stay in one spot for a few days, to enjoy the last leg of our trip.

Coincidentally, since we're in Dunedin on a Saturday, we were able to visit the Otago Farmers Market at the Dunedin Railway Station. Over 65 vendors come together every week to offer the freshest fruit and produce from Otago. This is one of the busiest Farmers Markets in Australasia.

This is a very happening place. It's pretty crowded and why not, it was a lovely, cool morning.

They seem to have everything, from plants...

to freshly baked bread and pastries,

from honey...

to newly picked cherries.

You can even order your Christmas ham from a truck!

We found one stall selling venison sausages.

Then the fun part - sampling the wares!

Why not go the whole hog? A hotdog with the works to wash down the sausage.

Looking around, it seems like the market is a popular venue for Saturday breakfast. There are even vendors selling piping hot cappucino from the vans.

The Dunedin Railway Station itself, where the market is located, is a historical site. A five-minute walk from the Octagon, it is apparently the 2nd most photographed landmark in the Southern Hemisphere, losing out only to the Sydney Opera House.

After that leisurely morning excursion, we went back to Speight's Ale House for lunch as we really enjoyed our meal there yesterday. This time, we ordered fish & chips and lamb steak.

In my original itinerary, I had planned to visit Larnach Castle in the afternoon, as I thought it would be interesting for the kids to see NZ's only castle.

But after last evening's escapade, we were all rather tired and the kids pleaded disinterest at seeing an architectural landmark. I guess after all the fantastic adventures we've been having, this one sounds a little flat. It didn't take much to convince us, especially as we'd seen the extremely narrow and winding roads up the mountain to Larnach Castle.

So it was an afternoon of chill instead.

We walked to the Octagon, the city centre of Dunedin. It's only 800m from our motel and in the cool 23-degree environment, it was very pleasant.

The Octagon is flanked by the main buildings of the city, such as the town hall and art gallery.

There was a protest going on right in the centre. I asked our motel owner, a jovial elderly gentleman, what they were protesting against. He replied, "who knows? The world, probably. I reckon it's 'Rent-a-Mob'." Heh. (We found out later it's Occupy Dunedin.)

We then walked to the nearby Warehouse, which is a very large hypermart like Target, and got ourselves 3 DVDs for $25. Came back to the motel and watched 'Home Alone'. It is the Christmas season afterall! (And yes, the motel unit came with a DVD player).

For dinner, we walked back to Jitsu Japanese Restaurant, also cos we liked the food the first time. We're such creatures of habit! Although I must say in Dunedin, there's no end of choices for cuisine. They have everything from Thai to Turkish, Chinese to Italian.

Then it's back for an early night as we have a long drive tomorrow. Very sad this trip is coming to an end.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Your travel blog entries are so interesting, so well written. I am looking at New Zealand (South) in particular and am thinking of travelling their with my friend in Jun next year. We don’t drive and so getting around is a bit challenging. Would you have anything that you can recommend to us? Do they have a similar contiki kind of tour? but my friend and I are beyond 35 and so that disqualifies us. If you have any recommendation, could you share?

monlim said...

If you don't like Singapore tour groups, I believe you can book local tours via SG tour agencies where you fly there on your own and join a group, like UTC I'm sure you can find a similar route except they take you by coach.

NZ is a little difficult to go free and easy if you don't drive but having said that, I know a friend whose family went around by bus (similar to those greyhound coaches)!

It's a beautiful country. Totally worth visiting!