After breakfast the bus took us and all our luggage to the van rental place. We all got our camper vans and began our trip from Christchurch to Dunedin, 357km, 215mi. Our first stop, however was the supermarket for groceries.On the way we stopped for a rest and a picture opportunity I think this may be a salmon but I am not sure.
About 220 KM later we stopped along the coast to see some very strange and interesting boulders. The Moeraki Boulders formed naturally over 65 million years on the bottom of the sea. When the sea receded they were left in the coastal cliffs as these cliffs eroded the boulders were left strewn over the resulting beach.
For more pictures of these boulders you can goto My Mobile Me Gallery http://gallery.me.com/cjackyak or the New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences http://images.gns.cri.nz/shop/photolib/result.jsp
continuing to Dunedin Debby and I drove through a brief hail storm and past some gorgeous scenery before we arrived at our caravan park (campground)
At eight thirty the next morning a bus picked us up. Took us on a tour of the town and brought us to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory.
The tour was sort of interesting even though we really didn't see much of the process. We did get some samples and saw two tons of chocolate drop in front of our eyes to a vat below in only a few seconds. It wasn't part of the process just a little something they do for the tourists. The chocolate in this demonstration is reused for about a year when the system undergoes a cleaning and the chocolate is changed. They then deposited us in the factory store so that everybody could by their favorite candy. Following the tour we went on a tour of Larnach Castle which was the original home of an ill fated wealthy banker and member of parliament. It seems that his first two wives died before their time and he later committed suicide partially because his finances were in trouble. He didn't do very well as the custodian of the peoples money and his son was having an affair with his third wife. He went into an unused meeting room in Parliament locked the door and blew his brains out. The house which the family called the camp but workmen called the castle took six years to complete and it was a prime example of how the rich lived with plenty of servants. The fine wood work and plaster were all completed by hand be european craftsman. The house was almost abandoned and destroyed until bought by a couple who restored it and turned it into a tourist attraction.
From the castle we went on a train ride in the Taieri River Gorge from Dunedin to Palmerston sheep station. The pictures are self explanatory as it was quite a scenic trip (notice the lone tree surviving in a harsh environment)