Visiting Dunedin, NZ Spring Break School Holidays – Day 2

Saturday 3 October 2015

Not much sleep last night, but finally with threats of separation and one missing out on sleeping in the bunks, Ella and Brook settled off to sleep.  Mark and I tossed and turned, a muggy sleepless night.

Everyone is up before me! I wonder if I can go back to sleep and catch up but hear the front door as they all head out without me! Yikes!! Get up time.  I quickly get the coffee and cereal down while sending off a text to locate them.

I can hear them.  Odd. Can’t see them.

Oh wow.  Our holiday home backs onto a beach with an amazing playground!

A very road alike area for the kids to scoota around and play.  Very cool.  Mark snapped these on his cell for us 🙂


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Just behind that hill there… that’s where our holiday home was and why I could still hear but not see the kids.

They’re home and ready to get to work on our itinery!

Off to Baldwin Street we go, the steepest residential street in the world, famous for the Cadbury Jaffa Race, and apparently a 1 meter incline for every 2.89 meters distance up it.

Bless my husband for this flattering shot of me holding me thumping and racing heart with a worried Brook beside me as I crawl, feeling sick and feint repeatedly to “just do it” this tourist heavy street.


I decided with just three meters left to go – bugger it… I don’t care about finishing! I’m totally a quitter! in fact I’ll proudly quit! this is ridiculous! but as always Mark pushed and cheered my lazy arse on.  Thanks Mark.

I heavily do NOT recommend doing this street if you don’t have anti-flamme packed in your holiday items.

A lady couple drive right up beside us and step out of their car.  Oh how I wish I’d have done that too.

They take a family photo for us, and turns out one of them works for MOE and is intrigued but not surprised to hear what we have to say about our former attended primary school.


We head back down this vertical nightmare and set off to the Dunedin Botanic Gardens.

A quick picnic lunch then into this hilly version of our own city’s gardens we find several large aviary’s, I give a poor indian accented hello to the bird and am given a gentle and shy “hel-low” back from the bird!! “Mark!! this one talks!!”

The kids come over and repeatedly say “hello… hullo… hella-ow” and the bird doesn’t do it.

He must like my fake indian accent.

I try again and wait quietly for him to speak back.

“Hel-low” the bird says.

That is very cool!!

We try again with all the other birds and one that looks like a completely black parrot also talks back.  We find one really acting and showing off… what a cheeky bird.  I want one!




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This cheeky orange bird with a long tail is circling around this little grey bird intimidating and bullying it….

Or maybe its getting it away from it’s nest… I”m not sure.


Mark snaps some photos of the oriental looking garden, he loves this style of garden and wants for us to visit there some day when on our OE, maybe we can incorporate it into our garden at home, we’re not finished landscaping so now would be the time to do it.  A waterfall would be really relaxing.  Hmmm

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We fueled up with an ice-block/ice-cream each,

and set the tomtom to the Otago Musem to visit their Butterfly Conservatory.

Before we make it inside we see some kids screaming and laughing… what on earth?

Brook and Ella are naturally drawn to the children’s joyous chaos,

and we’re left with no option but to follow our curious kids.


Mark whispers…. so quiet – even I standing next to him can’t even make out what he’s saying…

Ella yells “YEP!! I HEAR YA!!” from the other end several meters away.

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Finally we head inside and before even getting to the butterflies we’re absorbed by the technology in the museum.

Mark and Ella beat Brook and myself several times over, at Mind Ball, a head-band is wrapped around your forehead that measures your brain activity, the person with the most relaxed mind makes the ball travel into the opponents end of the table.  Very frustrating to watch as you both try to relax, and watch a ball you don’t want….head towards you!!  You also have a LCD screen of your brains activity as you participate, and that is interesting to read too 🙂


Finally we head off to the next floor up some beautiful marble/stone stairs.

 This is my FAVORITE part of our holiday.  It was just amazing and spellbinding to be so still while butterfly’s land and rest on your bare skin.

We were warned that the heat was a minimum of 28 degrees in there, so stripped off, and got water so the low-blood-pressured wifey didn’t pass out, especially after the Baldwin Street episode.

You go through a wide corridor, place your belongings into cubby holes, and enter a doorway of hanging metal chains, much like those doors with the plastic strips hung from the door frame to keep flies out in summer,

What are those door things called? Very 1980’s

Once through those chains you’re in pitch black darkness!! Ella’s aztec style dress went full fluro! that was quite neat.

You walk through the short length of darkness and open a heavy mirrored door into daylight, heavy humidity, and the tranquil sound of water falls.

I just want to sit and stay here for the rest of the day! such a bliss inducing environment.  I’m not sure where Mark or the kids are as I’m wandering bare foot up some steps, stopping as the heat hits me… I decide I must see what’s up there! and slowly climb the last few steps to reach the top of this three? four? leveled wonderland.

The stairs wrap around the outer walls of the encounter so as you look down over the rails you can see amazing foliage and so many! butter flies!! Gosh it’s hot up here…. I descend down just one flight of steps where it’s a little cooler, a breeze coming from the water falls I think, resting at a rail with my arm out – a butterfly lands. Whoa! forcing extra gentle breaths I try to not disturb the beautiful little thing… it walks up my arm and tickles so much I have to grit my teeth to stop from twitching!! Brook joins me to the left and one lands on him too! His face is like mine… whoa?!!

Mark snapped this photo of us with our arms out wanting more to land 🙂

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The butterflies are fed a nectar rich diet


We thought this one of the rail was dead, but the dead butterfly collecting staff member touched it and it flew away!



Sadly this one was dead.



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This one here was Bright BLUE when it opened it’s wings!!


On our way out we found a little glass fenced enclosure with turtles


We head back down to the Museum where Brook and Ella have a fierce stand off at the Mind Ball table.  The ball right in the middle refusing to roll to either end of the table! Such competitive kids 🙂

We have a quick dinner at the holiday home then are off to see the movie PIXELS at Dunedin Reading Cinema.

A very different experience to Reading Cinema’s in Christchurch.

We walk in, get some snacks then just go straight up some flights of stairs and into our cinema, no usher before heading up stairs and no usher anywhere outside or inside the cinema.  Once inside we see our tickets have no numbers.

I guess people in Dunners are more lax than other cities.  It’s a strange thing to be used to rules, and black and white, to then be somewhere where it’s so lax.

The plus side is – we’re early, so we got the BEST seats!

The movie gets a five out of five from Mark and the Kids, I myself dozed off at one point, understandably with the last few nights of minimal sleep.

We head back to the holiday home where the kids are SO chaotic in their bunk beds, both excited, over-tired and about to get at each others throats with bickering.

We threaten separation and sadly have to follow through.  Brook gets put in the non-bunk bed room, and Ella gets his place the following night.

Mark and I both have the best night sleep! Hurrar! and thank goodness… another big day ahead tomorrow.

Will blog Day 3 & 4 ASAP!

Hope you’re enjoying reading about our adventures in Dunedin!


2 thoughts on “Visiting Dunedin, NZ Spring Break School Holidays – Day 2

  1. Glad to read of your wonderful adventures. You are pretty much mirroring our footsteps from early last year 🙂
    I made it up Baldwin St – If an extremely unfit 57 year old can do it you cam my friend!!
    Butterfly House was amazing eh?
    Looking forward to reading the rest of your holiday posts xxx

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