Dunedin: Part 1

Wednesday February 22nd | Tekapo 😎 – Dunedin 🍻 | 325km 🚙

We left Tekapo on Wednesday morning and made our way south. Around 75km before you reach Dunedin you’ll find the Moeraki Boulders. These are large, spherical rock concretions that were formed 60 million years ago. They’re pretty interesting to look at and definitely worth the stop. Some of them are up to 3 meters tall and estimated to weight several tonnes. 

Moeraki Boulders
A Moeraki Boulder

Don’t be fooled by the Dunedin city limits sign – you’ve still got half an hour before you actually reach the city!  Have no fear, though, as you will pass the Evansdale Cheese Factory where you can stop for some tasty samples. Cheese in New Zealand is a thousand times better than Canadian cheese (sorry dairy farmers but the shelf cheese in the store is bland compared to that in NZ). Evansdale is a small factory that was started in 1977 making it the oldest artisan cheese maker in New Zealand. 

We finally reached our hostel late afternoon, checked in then drove down to the Octagon (this is the high street/city centre area).  Dunedin is a beautiful city with lots of history. It was named after Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, and is known as Little Edinburgh.  It was New Zealand’s first city and can lay claim to many other “firsts” including: first telephone call made in New Zealand, first gas streetlight ever burnt, first medical and dental school in New Zealand as well as the first newspaper published in the country. There are a lot of really stunning old buildings in Dunedin ncluding St Joseph’s Cathedral, Otago Girls High School, Dunedin Railway Station and Larnach Castle.  Full list of historic buildings here.  There is also a statue of Robert Burns (Famous Scottish poet. He wrote Auld Lang Syne.  You’re welcome) at the head of the Octagon.  His nephew, Thomas Burns, was one of the original founders of Dunedin. 

St Joseph’s Cathedral
Robert Burns Statue
One of the things I miss most from Scotland is fish & chips. Not the crap they serve at North American seafood restaurants. The fresh-from-the-ocean, good old fashioned, chippy supper. I have been waiting all three weeks for a blue-cod supper and my time arrived. I checked out Trip Advisor and discovered that the best fish supper could be found at a restaurant called The Best Cafe. How fitting. It’s a short walk down Stuart Street near the Railway Station. 

Best Cafe, Dunedin

When we walked in I was instantly reminded of the old fish and chip shops we used to eat at in Scotland. The old-school decor, the deep-fryer smell and the plate of bread and butter brought immediately to your table. Val and I each ordered the two piece fish & chip dinner: one piece famous blue cod, one piece elephant fish (a type of shark). The elephant fish was a more firm white type and the blue cod was flaky. Both were good but I definitely would recommend the blue cod: it’s worth the money. 

Fish & Chips at The Best Cafe
After supper we parked the car at the hostel and walked down to Speights Brewery. We literally walked down – everything is on a hill in Dunedin. The brewery tour started at 7pm and lasted around an hour. We learned about the history of beer, the brewery, how it was made then versus how it is made now, and finished off the tour with an unlimited sampling of their one cider and five on-tap beers. Hell yeah. 

On tap sample options at Speights
Helping myself to a beer

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Dunedin: Part 1

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