one were to drive around Dunedin, it would take from 90 minutes to one
full day to travel the 64 km (40 mile) route. The journey should start
from the “low road” and return via the “high road”.
The first place seen
is Glenfalloch, a lovely 11 hectares (27 acres) of woodland gardens.
Following that is Portobello with its local museum and Portobello
Marine laboratory. Observe and touch marine life such as the 6 meter
(20 ft) shark, small shrimps, sea horses, octopuses, and penguins in aquariums
and “touch” tanks.
Next on the list
is Otago, which houses a ‘carved’ Maori church and meeting house.
Although they appear carved, they are actually cast in concrete. Behind
the church is where three great Maori chiefs of the last century were
buried. This marae is the most historic Maori site in Otago and
is extremely sacred to the local Maori people. Those interested in the
history of the Maori culture will benefit from the Maori Museum.
Up north in Otago is where you will see remnants of the whaling industry,
which was founded in Otago Harbour in 1831, 17 years before European settlement.
An old factory is still standing in the town and is marked by a plaque.
Across the road is another plaque that marks the first Christian service
held in Otago Harbour by Bishop Pompalier in 1840.
From Otago, head
on towards Taiaroa Head, the tip of the Peninsula. Look up to the
sky and feast in the glorious sight of the rare Royal Albatrosses, the
world’s largest birds. They are extremely graceful creatures and the Trust
Bank Royal Albatross Center, which has viewing galleries and display
areas, will have more information. An unusual artifact in the Trust Bank
is the Armstrong Disappearing Gun, which was built in 1886 at the height
of a “Russian scare”.
one mile to the east and the Penguin Place will greet you with
rare Chaplinesque yellow-eyed penguins ‘strutting’ the surfs.
Dunedin also houses the
only castle in New Zealand, Larnach Castle. The Castle is about
one century old and was home to Hon. William J.M. Larnach, a financier
who later became Minister of the Crown. The castle took 14 years to build
and an English workman along with two Italian craftsmen spent 12 years
carving the ceilings. After a time of restoration, it is now opened to
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