Monday, January 30, 2017: Drive to Dunedin
We walked to breakfast at the Pepperberry cafe as it was really close to our hotel. I had the best blueberry peach muffin ever. Why does the food and coffee have to be so good in this hemisphere?? We said our goodbyes to Christchurch (I would love to come back after they are done rebuilding) and started our 5 hour journey to Dunedin.
I would say about two hours into our journey, a large truck ran over a rock that would then hit our windshield and put a nice crack in it. We all started to panic, since we did not take the insurance for the rental. This was my first international rental so I wasn’t quite sure how a claim would work out. Once we were able to get some wifi in a small town, I looked up my benefits under my Chase Sapphire Reserve card and they do have rental car accident coverage. Thank GOD! While I’m sure the claim and reimbursement process isn’t a swift one, I’m glad that I have that coverage and that I used that credit card for the rental. We at least didn’t need to stress the rest of our trip.
We stopped at Whitestone for a cheese tasting. The cheese was great, however, we all felt that the Award Winning Blue Cheese was way too pungent. I frankly could taste the cow and the farm on which the cow lived. No thanks.
We stopped in this little town called Oamaru to stretch our feet and look around. Jamie found this ice cream place called Deja Moo so naturally we had to stop. The owner was very sweet and let us take our ice cream without paying (since none of us had cash). As we walked towards the atm in town, I savored the incredible Salted Caramel Popcorn ice cream cone. This was definitely top 5 best ice creams I have ever had. There were pieces of popcorn in the ice cream….so freaking good.
**So McDonalds in Aus and New Zealand is called Mackers** No, we didn’t eat here, but I feel obliged to tell you this as this is normally a stop you would make on a road trip.
On our long drive we stopped a few times to stretch our legs but the best stop today was for the Moeraki Boulders. What a cool sight on a beautiful beach. These large circular rocks were formed by shoreline erosion from coastal cliffs. They looked like huge dinosaur eggs or something. It was wild. Nature is such a magnificent beast creating all these gorgeous little gifts for us to witness.
As we continued on to Dunedin, we realized our dear friend Mr. Crack seemed to be getting larger. We decided it would be best to exchange our car when we got to Dunedin since that is potentially a danger to us as we had the majority of our trip left. Luckily, when we got to the Dunedin Hertz, they took car of us and put us into the exact same car (although we had grown accustomed to our first one). We made sure to inspect the car very thoroughly (as anyone should do: Document, Document, Document-pictures too).
Dunedin is this incredibly hilly town that really reminded me of San Francisco. We ate at Rat Bags for pizza as they had a 1/2 meter for half price. The seagulls here are aggressive and we were constantly trying to fight them off or prepare for an attack. Eating outside is so great but I felt like we had to ninja sneak attach seagulls for most of our meal (not so great). Then we went to Albar for some drinks where we all tried locally brewed beer. The next shout (or round for you Americans) was at Mac’s Brew bar where they serve all Mac’s beer (unrelated to Mackers). I decided on the Bohemian Raspberry beer. While it was delicious, it should be illegal to only have 2.5% alc. Seemed like such a waste. We decided to check out Speights Ale House for a flight of their brews. This place was really cool and we were practically the only patrons there. The bartender was really nice and let me try the beer I had been eyeing that wasn’t on the tasting menu. Having a few drinks and then walking the hills back to our hotel made for an interesting night. The town was eerily quiet but then again it was a Monday night.