Across the Ditch in 2012: Chocolate and Beer – Who Wouldn’t Come Here?

Monday – you would think we could manage one quiet day over Easter, wouldn’t you? Maybe for our 29th anniversary today. Nope, not us.
We arrived early for our 9.30 tour for the Cadbury factory which gave us time to walk to the Railway station and admire its beautiful architecture and decoration.

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Our Cadbury tour was a shortened one for some reason. Possibly due to Easter though I’m not sure. In any case, it was a bit cheaper than normal and probably a good thing. It wasn’t particularly interesting and not something I’d recommend unless you have kids who probably would enjoy it, especially the “free” samples.
Afterwards we wandered and did a bit of shopping before our Speight’s brewery tour.

P1000561 P1000559This one was much more to our taste – both literally and figuratively. Production had stopped for Easter. This meant the tour was slightly shorter than usual, which gave us more time for sampling the wares. Much better value than the Cadbury tour.

P1000562 P1000563We didn’t know about the tap outside the building, so hadn’t taken our water bottles with us. But there were plenty of people stocking up on supplies for the week. Apparently it’s really good water and anyone can take as much as they like.
By now it was well past lunch time so we popped into a random Chinese restaurant for Yum Cha (or “Yum Char” as their menu proclaimed). After we’d sat down started to look around we were a bit concerned. I’m not sure when the tablecloths had last been washed, but I don’t think it was that week. Or the one before. Or possibly the one before that.
Well, we needn’t have worried. We ordered dim sims, steamed pork buns (compulsory!) prawn dumplings, black bean spare ribs and Singapore noodles, which turned out to be the best noodles we’d ever eaten.
Always one to walk up something, I then insisted on visiting Baldwin Street – the steepest street in the world. And you thought that would be in San Francisco, didn’t you? Stu didn’t think his knee would hold up so dropped me at the bottom and picked me up at the top. Let me just say that if you make it to the top you have definitely earned the right to buy the T-shirt. And I did.

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Still with some daylight left we headed out to the Sinclair Wetlands that we’d skipped in favour of the Orokonui Ecosanctuary. It looked like a nice spot for a walk but the weather was dismal and we didn’t really have the right gear with us so decided not to.
Another one for the “next time” list.
We hadn’t seen this area promoted at all which is a shame because it seems like a valuable wildlife resource. Horace Sinclair, after whom it’s named, should be acknowledged for not giving in to the pressure to turn it into farmland. So lovely that areas like this can be preserved close to populated centres.
We left the wetlands and, trying to turn back onto the highway, we thought we’d made a serious error in not considering the returning Easter traffic, but we did manage to get on the road and had a good run back to town.
As we drove, “blanketed in cloud” took on a whole new meaning. We watched the low cloud settling on the mountains like … well … a blanket.
Considering we’d wondered as we drove in 3 days ago how we were going to fill our days here I don’t think we did too badly. And there are plenty of reasons to come back. I think Stu secretly (or, perhaps, not so secretly) would like to take part in the annual Otago Easter Bunny Hunt. And that alone might be his motivation. I won’t object.

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One thought on “Across the Ditch in 2012: Chocolate and Beer – Who Wouldn’t Come Here?

  1. Pingback: Across the Ditch in 2012: Chocolate and Beer – Who Wouldn’t Come Here? | Kendrickmusicfreak

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