Thai travellers journey around the South Island of New Zealand
Part 4 – From Te Anau, to Dunedin, Lake Tekapo, Geraldine and Christchurch.
Cholatis Sanchaypiengpen - 14/03/08
Eighth day (Friday 11 May): Te Anau – Gore – Dunedin – Oamaru.
This day was another long driving day, from Te Anau to Oamaru.
We passed many towns including Gore. The sign read “Welcome to Gore World Capital of Brown Trout Fishing”.
Somewhere along State Highway 1 we took the right turn onto the scenic road which passes through Brighton toward Dunedin.
Time in Dunedin too short
It was my fault to think that we could look around Dunedin in less than one day. Dunedin is another big city in New Zealand. We should have stayed a night in Dunedin as we have seen how big the city is and there are many interesting places to visit, such as the Cadbury Chocolate factory, the University of Otago, Larnach Castle (the only castle in New Zealand), albatrosses and penguins on the Otago Peninsula, and more. Well, actually we would need an extra day added to our programme to visit all those places and we missed them for this trip. We even missed the Octagon, a symbol of Dunedin.
As we had a small walk around the city of Dunedin, we visited the First Church of Otago - a Presbyterian Church which was built by early settlers of Otago and is still used for services.
At least we did not miss the Dunedin Railway Station, another symbol of Dunedin.
OK, next time we have to spend an extra day or two in Dunedin.
On the way to Oamaru, during the sunset, we visited the Moeraki Boulders, the natural round shaped stones. I hope my friends do not mind me posting this photo; I took it and really love it (Nah, they wouldn’t mind).
We reached the motel in Oamaru about 8.00 pm - just nice timing.
Ninth day (Saturday 12 May): Oamaru – Twizel – Lake Tekapo – Geraldine –Christchurch.
We were heading back to Christchurch this day and were discussing which route to take - either the fast route (Oamaru – Timaru – Ashburton- Christchurch) or the long route (Oamaru – Tekapo – Christchurch). We agreed on the longer route to see more of New Zealand while we had time.
We were told that it might take up to eleven hours to reach Christchurch (including sightseeing time).
As we drove we saw the dams on the Waitaki River – the largest source of electricity in the South Island.
We reached Omarama and turned onto state highway 8 heading toward Twizel.
Twizel was built for the workers of the Waitaki Power Project and intended to be removed after the project had ended. However the workers had made Twizel their home and refused to leave. Twizel has become a “new town” and the layout based on a Scandinavian concept.
Also during the filming of the Lord of the Rings on the final battle of all, the town people were called to play their roles in the film. We would really love to see Orc, Human, and Elf soldiers coming back from work and gathering in Twizel.
We had great views of the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps along State Highway 6.
We had made our lunch to have a picnic at Lake Tekapo, but it was too cold and windy so we ended up sitting in the van.
The Mackenzie Country is called after a Scotsman, James McKenzie, who stole approximately a thousand sheep with the help of his dog named Friday, brought them through Burkes Pass and grazed them in the Mackenzie Country, an area not at first known to new settlers..
The Church of the Good Shepherd on the shore of Lake Tekapo was built in memory of the pioneers who established farming in the Mackenzie Country. It was a shame that we were not allowed take the photo from within the Church anymore. We used to be able to take a photo from inside the church many years ago.
As we passed through the town of Geraldine, there was a celebration of Geraldine being a hundred and fifty years old. We just had to look around.
Back to the motel on Riccarton Rd. again before dark so we went to have a look in town before turning in for the night.
To read about the earlier journeys of this group of Thai visitors go to
- Thai visitors cross the Canterbury Plains to the West Coast and south to the glaciers on first day of tour. read more ...
- Thai visitors explore Fox Glacier and travel via Haast Pass to Lake Hawea, Wanaka, and Queenstown. read more ...
- Thai visitors exploring the South Island sample tourist activities in Queenstown, Te Anau and Milford Sound. read more ...