A drive out on the Otago Peninsula is a must on any visit to Dunedin, and the weather should not put you off. Today is cold misty day, cloud wrapping low over the hills. It is moody and brooding, a day when views are glimpsed through breaks in the cloud.
I decide to take the road along the tops, and am treated by glimpses of quiet bays on the harbour side peaking through the mist and wild beaches with waves crashing on the exposed shore on the other side of the Peninsula.
40 years ago on my first visit to Dunedin I decided to walk to Larnach Castle on a similar cold wintry day which threatened snow – very glad I was to catch a ride back to the city.
Today my first stop is also Larnach Castle – mist shrouded like the Scottish highlands, the old ballroom is open for coffee – there are three raging wood fires, large chandeliers, the obligatory stags heads hanging from walls, and excellent coffee.
The restoration work of Larnarch Castle is exquisite – beatifully formed rooms off a sunny wrap around verandah. Worth paying to see. You need to pay to either look at the gardens or the gardens and house.
I drop down to the harbourside road, to wind the coastal road out to the end of the Peninsula, and the Albatross Colony. A misty and windy day in the city becomes extreme out here at the end of the peninsula. There are hundreds of birds on the wing, riding the wind.
You need to book a tour to walk around the Albatross Colony – more here
Check out the Monarch Wildlife trip, including my favourite which is the cruise – check their timetable to see if you can join one of their cruises to see the birds from the sea, a wonderful way to experience the Albatross. In the winter they leave the wharf 45 minutes from Dunedin at 2.30.
They also have some half day options, options that include the tour of the Albatross Centre, and tour options that include going to the Yellow Eyed Penguins, and Larnach Castle