Dunedin, Oamaru, Christchurch and Picton – last days on the south island (NZ ~ 17.-26.11.2017)

It’s really difficult to start doing the backpacker travelling again after spending these days on Stewart Island. (I promise I will stop talking about it soon.) It feels like there’s nothing big left to explore and see, so I maybe set my focus on meeting people and finding even more little things like nice coffee shops to spend time with and in.

So why to head to these cities?

Dunedin – getting back into a routine

And having wonderful hours in a European Union Team (Lisa 🇳🇱, Lucile 🇫🇷 and Leon 🇩🇪). So here is our recommendation for a 48 hour stay in Dunedin:

  • find yourself a pair of great mates
  • head to a fabulous bar for gin, wine and everything liquid (👉 Zanzibar),
  • take a trip to St. Clair’s beach and soak in wind and waves,
  • prepare a delicious self-made summer salad wine dinner,
  • have a late night jamming session and
  • find an unexpected towel swan service in the dorm. I couldn’t stop laughing. Made my morning!

Thanks girls for getting me back into civilisation!

Oamaru – a good collection of little things and time…

  • for writing your blog in the old hotel lobby of the Empire Hotel,
  • for playing guitar and adding a new songs to your memory,
  • for a matinee in the local cinema showing Murder on the Orient Express where you can drop the average age a lot,
  • for a short stop at a barber shop – after 7 weeks not touching my hair,
  • for free sea lions and penguins,
  • for the ocean breeze around your nose and
  • for the Steampunk Headquarter of New Zealand.

A wonderful old lady gave me that tip at a bus stop in Invercargill. She visited from the UK and was heading to Oamaru while I waited for the transfer to Bluff. She had just lost her wallet in Dunedin with money and credit card in it. “I would love to tell you that the students who found and kept it will invest the money in their studies”, the police officer had told her “but honestly, they will just buy booze and get drunk.” She laughed when she told me about this phone call and concluded with “Well, then it’s hostels and no nice hotels anymore.” But returning to be very serious she advised me to make a stop at Oamaru when I got back. “They have a steampunk museum there that’s why I need to head back. I can’t miss that, how wonderful. You should go there!”

And what can I say? I was very happy to have the Portal Room for myself so I could repeat it. On and on.

Christchurch – your planned and unplanned reunion of friends in a city still in its reconstruction

  • Again: Not only my planned meet and greet with my Queenstown connection Mirja, Lea and Johanna (we have no picture!) took place, but also a pleasant unplanned ‘hej’ with Karin from the Milford Track and a surprising ‘what are you doing here?’ with Lisa from Dunedin – I’m really looking forward to even more reunions on the north island! (Since most of the people travel along the west coast downwards and then up to Christchurch it’s not thaaat big of a coincidence. But hey, who cares! It’s fun!)
  • Achievement: I decided for places in Fiji and Samoa and actually booked my hostels/resorts/fales. So many hours spent on the wifi…
  • Awareness: I still can’t understand how people treat borrowed stuff – like the kitchen, shared rooms and baths in hostels. I have seen things like salad leftovers rotting for 12 hours in a bowl, used underwear next to my bed, an Italian just dressed in speedo-like briefs walking around the hostel like only Italians might have the dignity to do. Will be hard to get them out of my head. Especially the Italian.
  • Attention: After a delicious tea or coffee or even Koko Samoa, where do you go to on the toilet today – are you feeling more Han Solo, Princess Leia, Stormtrooper or R2D2?
  • Awkward: My brain couldn’t handle the look at a Christmas tree and Christmas songs in what feels like summer. Even my hay fever said something’s wrong. I hope it gets better.

Picton – a calm and friendly goodbye from the south with…

  • a last little hike after being 8 hours on the bus from Christchurch,
  • a sleep in your sleeping bag for an even cheaper hostel bed and
  • a wonderful piano session in the hostel by a girl who tried the whole day to find a job and then relaxed on the piano to our all gratitude.

See you north!

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