New Zealand is a very magical place, as I have said before. Driving around and through the many farms and rolling hills, we see this beautiful rainbow, adding to the illusion of magic. It followed us for quite some time leading us to believe that we would get to that pot of gold at any minute! They call this part of New Zealand the Catlins.
Small towns across the world can show us some very surprising things and NZ is no exception. On our way to Dunedin, we are driving through a rather nondescript town called Owaka, when we see on our left….teapots. And I do not mean a few, I mean TEAPOTS! Oh my. there are 1314 of them and they have been collected for over 10 years. It is their garden and instead of growing flowers, they have pots, and it has put their tiny town on the map.
From the teapots, we head back towards the coast. As sailors, we are always aware of lighthouses so it is always fun to be able to stop by and see one from a land perspective. We stopped by Nugget Point coastal lighthouse and she was a beauty. The lighthouse was built in 1869-70, is 9.5 meters high, and situated 76 meters above sea level. You would not be able to miss this one! It is overlooking some rocks that apparently look like golden nuggets. The light might have been wrong as they did not look very golden, but they were picturesque. On the walk up to the lighthouse, we saw some fur seals sunning themselves on the rocks. They are lazy creatures!
Leaving the Catlins, we head towards the town of Dunedin. I wish we had more time to stay here! It is a beautiful old town with lots of older homes. We had time to stop for lunch with a quick walk around, but we still had a ways to go until our next stop. Dunedin is located in the Otago area and was the largest city in NZ until 2010 when Auckland’s population expanded. The Scots founded the town in 1848 and the name comes from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. 21% of the population is made up of students, giving the town a festive atmosphere. Reminded me a lot of my favorite city, Boston, with its old buildings and colleges and cool paintings on the stairs as seen in the header.
We are going to be driving by another small town that has made its mark on the world, Moeraki. They have about 50 round boulders on the Koekohe beach that were formed millions of years ago. They grew a bit like pearls do and they are round because they grew evenly on all sides. We spent a good 5 minutes here as it was a true tourist trap. The boulders were interesting but the whole buildup around them was a bit much. Several tour buses here as well! Onward!
When we arrived at the town of Ohau where we are staying for 3 nights, we drove down a slow winding road with great views of a lake and mountains, to the house where we are staying, the Brown House. There is a short and steep driveway down to this very rustic wooden cabin/house. The inside walls are very nice plywood with a light whitewash over it. Nice pine floors, a wood stove, and an all-wood kitchen add to the ambiance. Big doors and windows capture the view of the mountains and a full moon. This is going to be our favorite place to stay so far! Love the fact that it is all wood and slate and concrete. Sleeps 9 so we are going to enjoy the space and the wood stove. The house won some kind of architectural award here in NZ.