On thursday we drove inland a bit and found very fascination landscapes full of rocks lying around. Like a big crater. Typical for New Zealand, the landscape constantly changed. Inland is very dry. The city of Alexandra (we have not been there, it's on the way to Lake Wanaka and Queenstown) is supposedly the driest city of New Zealand with about 350mm rain per year. Not many toursits travel route 87, but it was really beautiful. From the northern point we went east on the 85 to Palmerston and further north to Moearaki, where interesting boulders can be found on the beach. These are big balls of stone, formed over 14 million years. It all starts with one particle and then grows around it in a cristalline form. Really astonishing. That happens everywhere, but nowhere so obvious and in such a gorgeous shape.
A couple of words to Dunedin. It is a very scotish city, very historical and has been a blooming and technology driven city very early in the history of New Zealand (still under british colony). It used to be the biggest and richest city in New Zealand, mostly because of it's position to the gold mines and later the animals (sheep, catlle) in Otago and the strategic harbour thus being able to do trading by ship. In reference to New Zealand, Dunedin had the following: the first tram, the first long distance bus travel lines, first daily news paper, first telephone, first University, first higher school for girls south of the equator, first university in the empire without any restrictions for women, first kindergarten, first gas lanterns, first cooling house, first cooling ship to Europe, first art gallery, first licensed distillery. Many old buildings are still there and are being restored, they are quite beautiful. We found lovely housing areas all around. Either at one of the many coastal lines & beaches or in the hills of the former crater.
So now we just fuelled up in Port Chalmers, we are waiting for the sea outside to calm down a little bit and then we shoot out and head north. We'll arrive in Akaroa (that's the pensinsula at Christchurch) tomorrow early afternoon.