New Zealand holiday – part 8
Dunedin – Lake Tekapo
Breakfast at the Leviathan Hotel in Dunedin was a grand occasion in a grand dining room. It would have been more grand if we’d had some company, only one other couple there. But what a spread. Bacon and eggs with everything that goes with it, or cereals and muesli, toast and coffee or tea, plus a selection of juices and fruit. I had a bacon rasher in mid air halfway to my plate when ‘the good wife’ quitely informed me that the continental would be a healthier selection. Yes dear!
Before we left Dunedin we had a chance to run up the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street, which has a one in 2.86 gradient. Very few takers, although two young blokes came back puffing like steam engines. The rest of us walked to the bottom and looked up at the top and remarked how steep it was. Someone remarked how stupid it was.
Today we walk on the beach to have a look at the Moeraki Boulders, huge spherical rocks scattered across the seashore. Then on to the historic stone town of Oamaru where we took a peek at the Blue Penguin Colony who nest close to town under the cliffs along the harbour. Heading into Mackenzie Country, our driver told us of the infamous James MacKenzie, musterer and enterpreneur, who in the 1850′s moved flocks of sheep, usually stolen, from the South Canterbury area to Otago. He was eventually captured and escaped, then captured again as he tried to board a boat for Australia. We pass by Belmore Dam, the largest earth dam in the Southern Hemisphere. Amazing views of snow-capped Mt Cook and surrounding lakes.
At about 2:30 pm we arrive at Lake Tekapo, where we stay at the Godley Resort Hotel by the lake. Lake Tekapo is a stunning turquoise colour owing to the water from large glaciers that feed the river systems flowing into the lake. A walk around part of this magnificent water way is in order, then beer and snacks and a shower before a stroll to Mackenzie’s Bar and Grill in the main street. As I was still thinking of the bacon I missed out on this morning I ordered the ‘all day breakfast’. At most establishments this meal is so named because of it’s ingredients – bacon, eggs, tomato etc. But at Mackenzie’s Bar and Grill it was so named because it took all bloody day to cook it. As I grabbed another ‘handle’ of beer my wife made the astute observation that if I was sitting in an unlicensed establishment I mightn’t have been so tolerant of the wait.
But the ale wasn’t the sole attraction. Through the big picture window at the back of the pub the mountains behind the lake were putting on a floor show. Every ten minutes or so they were changing colour as sunset approached, just like Ayer’s Rock in the Northern Territory. Of all the scenes in New Zealand, the turquoise Lake Tekapo and the mountains behind will go down as the most stunning of our holiday.