And the South Island is veddy, veddy British in many ways. Especially in the far south. Dunedin is a nice little university town with excellent coffee and a good music scene. The University of Otago give the whole town a youthful buzz. It’s the kind of place where you go to the bandshell on the weekends in the botanical gardens and listen to the local brass band resolutely huff and puff their way through Sousa and Dion alike while the sun shines down and you feel the grass between your toes.
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St Clair Beach Resort
I'm not sure why, but I hadn't expected Dunedin to have such an elegant resort. This is one of the best hotels I've experienced in New Zealand. They have a pillow menu, and although my allergy-free down pillow was pretty good the first night, I slept on a tempur pedic pillow the second night.
I went to Dunedin to see little penguins. I didn't expect to fall for a beer during my visit. I wish we could get Speights imported into the U.S. On a brewery tour, I learned that beer dates back to Babylon. Vikings enjoyed it, and so can you at the end of the tour when you can sample up to 6 brews.
Penguin Place is a private nature preserve in Dunedin that's dedicated to helping endangered yellow eyed and blue eyed penguins. Many areas are off limits to visitors, and the tour is conducted so that you can observe the penguins without disturbing them. I was in love with this place until I observed penguins in the wild the next day in the Catlins, and nothing beats actually watching wildlife in the wild rather than in the confines of a preserve.