Sunday, July 17, 2016

Back in Christchurch

Christchurch, New Zealand (May 27, 2008)

This photo (as well as the small one below) is out of order, because the last day spent in the South Island I didn’t shoot a single frame. We arrived in Oamaru late the night before. Our first option was to stop in Dunedin, but we quickly realized that it was too busy a city to easily find an accommodation without reservation. So we continued driving until we reached the smaller town of Oamaru. After checkin-in in a motel we went to search for food. We went back and forth in the Victorian historic district, all built in the famous “Oamaru limestone” without finding anything remotely open. After some searching, and indications from two kids smoking in front of a closed pub, we finally find the bar of a fancy hotel, serving... guess what... our daily fix of fish and chips.

The next day we found the best breakfast place of New Zealand. The Woolstore cafe, located in the restored Woolstore Complex, offers gourmet food in a spacious room with high ceilings. It is the perfect place to sit and read, and the food is really excellent. If you pass through Oamaru it is definitely worth the stop. We found the cafe by chance, on our way to Oamaru’s blue penguins colony touristic center. The center was closed, and in fact there were no penguins on the beach (of course, during the day the penguins are busy fishing). The place, however, looked a little sad, with a huge concrete tribune facing the beach for easy penguin watching. The place is equipped with floodlights to allow seeing the penguins after sunset, when the little birds are resting (trying to?). Difficult to judge, as when we were there the center was closed, but my feeling is that the penguin watch in places like Nugget point, where the humans are hidden in a way the least intrusive on the wildlife, is more rewarding.

After the breakfast we were on the road again, for the last drive on Route 1 to Christchurch. We left the car at the airport and took the airplane for our last New Zealand stop: Auckland.

Nugget Point, New Zealand (Jun 4, 2008)

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