Our departure from Akaroa was delayed last night by an accident which involved some passengers returning to the ship. I’m not sure what actually happened but the captain did make an announcement over the tannoy to explain why we had not departed. He later revealed that one of the Celebrity tours had been involved in an traffic accident while on their way back to the ship and of the 31 passengers involved, 6 required hospital treatment.
I do hope that it wasn’t too traumatic for all those involved. Having Googled the news this morning it looks like they were very lucky indeed not to have had any fatalities and to think we took that road ourselves just minutes before. We had spotted the Akaroa fire engine coming out at speed just as we got back to town but at the time never thought any more of it.
During the Cocktail hour the Club Hostess Angelina came round to all attendees to make sure we were aware that as Elite members there was in invite to enjoy the sail into Dunedin on the helipad and that we needed to be there for 7:15. As we had nothing planned in Dunedin we decided to do the helipad then take breakfast after.
We docked at Port Chalmers which is a suburb and the main port of the city of Dunedin, it lies approx ten kilometres inside Otago Harbour and it was a real treat to sail in on the helipad.
We were even served hot chocolate and Celebrity provided blankets to warm us up as there was quite a chilly wind this morning.
As with every port we have visited in New Zealand there are huge piles of logs ready to be exported to China, I am curious to what they are being used for as they are all still in log form.
Once again there was a shuttle service involved to get into town but today it came with a $20 per person price tag. I can understand the reason for the fee as it was a good 20 minute journey into the drop off point in the centre of Dunedin. We had put together a short list of places of interest and set off to explore.
First on the list was the railway station which was opened in 1904 and has some fascinating architecture. The old booking hall is quite impressive. Lots of our fellow passengers took a scenic ride from here today it wasn’t something that appealed to us and we have a train trip booked later on.
From there we visited the Chinese garden which was a short walk away and again a really picturesque place. There was a $9 NZ entrance fee but well worth a look round.
It was then onto the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum which was free entry and full of articles documenting the area since it has been habited by man and how they shaped the city they have today. We found it really interesting and would recommend a visit if you are ever in the area.
Having spent 3 hours or so wandering around, fatigue set in and we headed back to the ship for lunch and to lay in the sun. The last 4 days have been pretty full on and we have been feeling the effects of it. The ship was deserted so we enjoyed the peace and quiet while taking advantage of the sun and clear blue skies. From our vantage point on the Solstice Deck we had a beautiful view out over Otago Harbour.
Dunedin was good to see and experience but lacked the amazing things we have experienced on the previous three days and just didn’t have the same impact.