AOK Social Riders at Taiaroa Head
Queenstown and Central Otago tend to steal the limelight when it comes to mountain biking in the South Island. Yet, over the last five years, there has been a quiet revolution in Dunedin. A new track network has stretched out across the city landscape and there are now rides for all abilities, from tough nut dirt jumpers to weekend cruisers.
Port Chalmers Seafood Festival
There are few operating ports in the world that are flanked by a Victorian streetscape. As I wandered down the main street of Port Chalmers, admiring the vintage buildings, I found myself salivating like Pavlov’s dog. The aroma of freshly caught and cooked seafood was mixing with the salty mechanical smells of the port, announcing that the inaugural seafood festival was well underway.
A busking violinist with a dancing cat, and Kaitrin McMullan the storytelling puppeteer met the crowds as they headed for the main wharf. I wasn’t quite late, but people had already steamed in on the Monarch and the Vivian J, or arrived by train thanks to the Taieri Gorge Railway.
All Black jersey 1905
For a country with a small population, the Sports Hall of Fame illustrates that New Zealand has bread champions since the end of the 19th Century. Yes, there is priceless rugby memorabilia on display including a 1905 All Black jersey, upstairs in the Dunedin Railway Station. But wait, there is more! Sporting champions from cricket to netball, rowing to golf, and everything in between are celebrated.
Ross Creek Reservoir - Dunedin
Who knew an artificial lake could create a densely forested amphitheatre that would be perfect for a track network? Set in the suburb of Glenleith, Ross Creek Reserve is just four kilometres north of the Octagon, downtown Dunedin. It is part of an uninterrupted length of greenness known as the “Town Belt”, and according to Council records, up to 4,000 walkers use the network each month. Although, this could be attributed to the runners that take on the circular track network like hamsters in a wheel.
Chocolate Fishing on the Monarch
Deciding to book a ticket on the Monarch Wildlife Cruise Chocolate Fishing Trip, one of the Cadbury Chocolate Carnival events, was not a hard decision to make. I think I have extra salty blood. I grew up in a sailing family and spent six years in the Navel Reserves doing hydrography, so naturally I’m happy to cruise Otago Habour.
Taieri Gorge Railway - Hindon Station
Hundreds of children in Western attire, and their parents, were ready to steam off up the Taieri Gorge to Hindon. It’s a bit of a misnomer to say "steaming" as a pair of engines that pull the golden yellow carriages, sign-written with the Tairie Gorge Railway locos are diesel.
Exploring old houses that reverberate with history has become a favourite past time of mine. Don’t get me wrong I still like my shot of adrenalin every now and then, but capturing an intimate glimpse of the good ol’ days is my idea of a perfect antidote to boredom on a rainy afternoon. Annette Riley took me for an hour-long tour of Olveston, Dunedin’s
I have to admit that growing up I was never really interested in art galleries. I was the kid who got bored with the sterile environment and was always been told to “Shhhhh....stop running”. As an adult, things got even worse. At the Louvre in Paris my shameful secrete was that I was more interested in the building with its marble floors and vaulted ceilings, and at the Tate Modern I had a number of “But the Emperor’s Naked – that looks like sculptured metal poo” moments.