For our last stop in New Zealand, the ship docked in Port Chalmers in the southeast of the Otago Peninsula, New Zealand. We boarded a tour bus to Dunedin, a well-preserved Victorian city, and soaked up the grandeur of its architecture from the classical A.N.Z Bank to the buildings surrounding the Octagon, an eight-sided plaza that forms the core of Dunedin’s lively business district.
A photo stop at the Octagon provided views of notable landmarks like the
Town Hall, the Women Jail and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The magnificent train station had a dedication to the soldiers who died during the war.
The center stage on our excursion was a guided tour of Larnach Castle, which is beautifully situated in the tranquil countryside. This neo-Gothic estate, built for William and Eliza Larnach and their six children by renowned architect Robert Arthur Larson, commands the highest point on the Otago Peninsula.
Approximately 200 men spent three years building the shell of the 40,000-square foot mansion overlooking Dunedin, Otago Harbour and the Otago Peninsula.
Then a team of European craftsmen stepped in to finish the interior, including a 3000-square-foot ballroom added for the 21st birthday of Larnach’s favorite daughter, with a lavish array of masterful embellishments.
The Barker family bought the castle as their home in 1967 and spent more than 40 years restoring it, filling it with original New Zealand period furniture and antiques, and gracing it with a “Garden of International Significance.”
After Dunedin our Captain announced a change of itinerary “due to adverse weather condition.” We understood his warning when the ship started rocking like a hammock out of control. I was almost thrown out of the treadmill and avoided the gym without guilt. The open decks were locked to protect people from being thrown overboard. The Captain said he didn’t want to hear, “Man overboard.” We were advised to hold on the rails as we went up and down the stairs. Less and less people showed in the restaurant at dinner time for the obvious reason. But I slept like a baby in my swinging stateroom bed.
Our little group surprised me with a birthday cake. I even received a birthday card signed by the Captain.
Stay tuned for the passage through the Fjords of New Zealand and arrival in Tasmania Island.
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