Day 1 – Arrival 04.17.2019
Leaving from Christchurch I arrived early for my Intercity bus ride, the bus was overflowed so I was placed on alternative bus. This bus did not have WiFi which I was planning to use to work, so that was unfortunate. A good note for the future is to be sure to call the bus and confirm that I am on the one with WiFi because I have not determined how I was placed on the over flow bus, when the ticket I purchased came with WiFi.
Intercity is a very affordable way to travel around New Zealand. I have used them a handful of times. The rides do take a lot longer than driving. For example Dunedin is a fiver hour drive from Christchurch and this bus took seven hours. I arrived at the city center of Dunedin outside the main train station. I took a few photos before heading out to my Airbnb.
I arrived at my Airbnb, lovely host and family and place to stay. About at $10 USD one way trip to the city by Uber but overall staying a little outside the city should still be cheaper as I am only pay $17 USD a night and the cost in the city was around $50 USD a night. This was my first time staying with a host and it was a pleasant experience, when I arrived I learned about their Airbnb experiences and travel and got to share mine as well. Check out the place here and if you’re new to Airbnb use my referral code for $50 off.
Planning my trip to Dunedin I was uncertain what I was going to do, if it was raining I had planned to do the Taieri Gorge Railway and if it was nice weather I was going to do the Elm Wild Life Tours to see penguins. I had to make this decision when I arrived in Dunedin as the weather on the coast line is very unreliable. I decided to go with the Elm Wild Life tours (tomorrow), my YHA backpackers membership came in handy and saved me another $10NZD. The rest of my first day I walked around the city and saw some of the old churches and the railway station.
Day 2 – Elm Wild Life Tours 04.18.2019
I had about five hours until my Elm Wildlife tour started so I worked for a few hours in the morning and then hiked from my Airbnb to the Steepest Road in the World, Hiking from the Airbnb to the worlds steepest road was well worth it but also got lost multiple times and my gps was struggling to get signal. This caused me to be short on time so I wasn’t able to walk up the street, but it was worth the 5 minutes to see.
The Elm Wild Life tour started off with some bird watching, New Zealand is home to albatross, which has a 3.5 meter wing span, it was neat to see and impossible to take a photo of. After bird watching we headed to their reserve. One thing that is really neat about Elm Wildlife tours is they are using their profits to create a reserve to protect penguins. They are leasing land from a farming about 45 minutes outside of Dunedin.
Once we arrived at their reserve I got to walk within 1.5 meters of a yellow eyed penguin and also 3 meters from a 360kg (800 lbs) sea lion it was an excellent experience. We saw penguins coming in from the ocean and then finished the trip by checking out some fur seals.
One thing I love about traveling alone is its an opportunity to meet new people. During the tour I met Arpine (R pi nee), she is from Armenia and was studying abroad as well in New Zealand. Coincidentally we happened to be going to Te Anau on the same bus the next day and decided to meet up tomorrow to hangout before catching the bus. Below is a short video of my time touring Elm Wild Life.
Day 3 – Tunnel Beach 04.19.2020
My last day in Dunedin, I had about five hours until the bus left for Te Anau. I had planned to meet with my new friend Arpine to go the famous Tunnel Beach. She had told me she was meeting a friend that she met in Tahiti that was from France, I was a bit skeptical getting in someone’s car that I didn’t know but this year abroad is supposed to be about taking risk and adventures and it paid off. Both Nathan and Remy were excellent people and now new friends, who I eventually meet up with again multiple times throughout my stay in New Zealand. They were living the #vanlife. Tunnel beach is about 10 minutes outside of the city center by car and then an hour walk round trip to the beach front.
Once down at the bottom there is a huge cliff you can walk about to take some scenic photos and then you can walk through the cliff by way of a “tunnel” down to a beautiful beach. I was fortunate enough to walk down the tunnel without anyone walking up and have a video below to show you what its like, it took about 30 seconds to get down to the beach from the start of the tunnel entrance.
Overall I had a fantastic time in Dunedin, I wouldn’t recommend more than a few days there but if you’re there definitely check out the Elm Wild Life Tours.
Thanks for reading and liking my post. Let me know if you have any questions about Dunedin. Please let us out the adventure you had and what I missed.
Off to Te Anau.