|View from the deck of Sun Princess at Port Chalmers|
|Taieri Gorge rail excursion waiting to leave dock|
Our first port visit on the trip was Port Chalmers on 12 November.
Like most of the ports we visited, we were tied up at a working cargo port, and had to take care where we walked after leaving the ship. Despite that, the views were pretty good!
Nigel and I had booked the "Speight's Brewery & Dunedin Pub Hop". The group comprised largely of Australians - not surprising, since they made up the largest nationality group on the ship. After meeting at our designated area, we were taken ashore and boarded a bus, and were taken into Dunedin.
Our first stop was the Dunedin Railway Station - not exactly on our itinerary, but our hosts thought it important that we see this beautiful building. And lovely it was.
|Public spring-water tap outside Speight's Brewery|
Next stop was the Speight's Brewery. "Founded in 1876, Speight's Brewery is a Dunedin icon. During your 90 minute tour discover the long history of beer, taste the ingredients that go into the brew mix at Speight's and sample six of Speight's finest fresh from the brewery."
We were split into two groups. Our group was taken upstairs, then led through the brewery by one of the brewers, who was very good at his tour-guide job. It was interesting to see the whole process, from raw ingredients coming in to the finished product.
Speight's have their own bar onsite, where we ended our tour with tastings of their products. A great way to start the day!
From there we walked down the hill to their pub, where we had a two-course lunch in their upstairs restaurant. Very good food, I had the seafood chowder and steak with peppercorn sauce. Large servings - either course would have been an adequate lunch on its own.
|The Duke of Wellington|
Then it was off down the road on foot, to the Duke of Wellington pub, for a drink. The bus then took us to place further out of town, whose name I don't recall. We'd been given four vouchers each, one for each pub we visited, for a beer, wine or soft drink of our choice. A good time was had at each place!
|The Bog Irish Pub, Dunedin|
Second-to-last, and the last city stop if my memory serves about two weeks later, was The Bog Irish Pub. Unremarkable inside, but pretty enough on the outside. For me, it had the distinction of being near a pharmacy where I was able to get some anti-seasickness medication that saw me through the rest of the trip!
|Careys Bay Historic Hotel, Port Chalmers|
Last stop saw us go back to Port Chalmers and past the ship, to the Careys Bay Historic Hotel at Careys Bay. As you can see from the photo above it is a gorgeous little building, and it has been lovingly restored inside.
At each stop we sat with different people in our group, and chatted with them. For the rest of the trip, we'd recognise each other and say hello when we passed on the ship.
It was a good day out, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to see around Dunedin, take in a few drinks (they don't have to be alcoholic!) and get to know some new people on the way.