Dunedin and Christchurch

Dunedin was a pleasant surprise. We came here for the Otago peninsula and found the city itself enjoyable too. 

Day 1: Christchurch to Dunedin

We got from Nelson to Christchurch via bus and the TranzAlpine scenic train. The train arrives too late to get to Dunedin that same night so we spent the night in Christchurch. Once in Christchurch we got a taxi to Pomeroy’s, where we had a bed and breakfast, dinner reservations, and oh, by the way, a pub with lots of craft beer choices. 

The following morning we flew to Dunedin from Christchurch. Along the way we got a great aerial view of a braided river.

We got a shuttle to Bluestone on George where we’re staying. Then we went wandering, starting with the Chinese garden. It packed a lot of interest into a compact site.

Then the gorgeous Victorian train station, which was quite ornate inside and out. It’s still used for regional trains.The train shown below is the first train used in the area.

Then we walked to Emerson’s brewery, for beer and dinner. They have very dramatic clouds here in New Zealand. Dunedin is quite hilly. Kinda chilly too. Today for the first time it really felt like fall.

Day 2: Otago Peninsula

We have a tour booked for this afternoon and nothing really planned for the morning. So we started our day by walking around the nearby University of Otago. It’s the oldest university in New Zealand, with about 26,000 students, including the only dental school in the country. There’s also a medical and a nursing school.

museum piece

Dunedin was the first real city in New Zealand. We visited the Otago Museum, which had some nice displays about Pacific island cultures and local animals.

The highlight today was a tour out to the end of the Otago peninsula. Our destination was Nature’s Wonders Naturally, a working farm that has coastal areas set aside for wildlife.

Our driver dropped us back in town where we had dinner reservations at Etrusco at the Savoy, a local Italian restaurant. The food was excellent and the room on the second floor of the Savoy was special. High ceilings, chandeliers, stained glass windows, a fireplace … Yet not expensive or constrained. Very homey.

Then we stopped at the store for some beer, drank that, took showers, and backed up some photos.

Tomorrow we are off to Te Anau.

Essentials​

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Lodging

Pomeroy’s on Kilmore (Christchurch)

We spent a night at Pomeroy’s after taking the scenic train into Christchurch. The room was cozy, clean, and comfortable. And very convenient to the pub next door. The provided breakfast at Little Pom’s Cafe was delicious. 

At Bluestone on George we had a beautifully decorated room with access to two different outdoor areas and views over the city. Convenient to town and university, yet still a quiet area. Nice kitchenette and laundry. It would be great for a longer stay.

Dining

With only one night in Christchurch we didn’t have time to check out the restaurant scene and were happy to have excellent dinner and breakfast options onsite. Dunedin had plenty of interesting eateries to choose from. 

Pomeroy's Old Brewery Inn
Christchurch
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Our grouper and lamb was some of the best food we had in New Zealand. Brownie with raspberry sorbet also tasty, though a challenge to share. Table service even, which we weren't expecting. Very olde English pub atmosphere. Nice beer garden outside.
Little Pom's
Christchurch
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We stayed at Pomeroy's B&B, which included breakfast here at Little Pom's. The food and coffee was outstanding. Creative and tasty.
Emerson's Taproom and Restaurant
Dunedin
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Great beers and a menu that went beyond the typical pub menu (venison burger and Chinese braised pork hock with soba noodles, bok choy, and pickled carrots). Nice outdoor seating area. Good service too.
Etrusco at the Savoy
Dunedin
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The restaurant itself is visually stunning. We had great service, great pizza, and enjoyed the jug of reasonably priced red wine! A bit difficult to find. One of our more enjoyable meals in New Zealand.
Capers Cafe
Dunedin
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A great option when one of you wants lunch (Cajun chicken sandwich) and the other wants breakfast (pancakes with fruit salad and yogurt). Good food in good quantity, quick too.
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Transportation

We debated renting a car in Dunedin so we could explore the area on our own but ultimately chose a tour of the peninsula. That turned out to be a good choice since we saw and heard things we wouldn’t have on our own. Dunedin itself is walkable. 

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