Wednesday 4 December 2013


Leaving Waimate our next short stop was Oamaru to have a look around the town, in the Victorian quarter & for me to take some church photos, and what magnificent churches they were. The white Oamaru stone comes from this area in Otago and most of the grand public buildings & churches along with a lot of houses were built using the cream sandy coloured stone.

Oamaru is the Steam Punk capital of the world, according to the guys who run their workshops & displays in & outside of this building in the Victorian Quarter.

If you put $2 in the slot this came to life spurting steam, rattling & flashing lights
In case you're wondering what on earth Steam Punk is; this from Wikipedia;  Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American "Wild West", in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.

We stopped for a quick bite of lunch in a little cafĂ© down the main street & David tried his very first "cheese roll". Cheese rolls are a very popular & specific food found nearly exclusively in Otago and Southland. David thought it was OK, nothing to write home about, he thought a stronger tasting cheese should have been used. The traditional flavour of cheese rolls is cheese(of course), onion soup mix and evaporated milk. He'll now at least have something to compare with when he has his next one. 

Beside one of the churches that I was photographing was an old square stone 1950s style flat (townhouse) with a rough overgrown lawn and this beautiful peony growing beside the letterbox. You know you're in the south when you can come across peonies like this randomly growing in abandoned gardens. A single bloom back in Tauranga would cost at least $5.

When I used to sell dried flowers a long time ago, I would have boxes of peony seconds sent up to me from the growers down here so I could de-hydrate them . It was exciting opening the boxes to see what varieties and beautiful colours had been sent. Peonies also remind me of our childhood farm, Mum used to have one plant at the top of the garden path, from memory it was red. Hawkes Bay was obviously cold enough for them to grow. For me they are the queen of flowers, the colours are stunning.

We didn't have too far to travel after leaving Oamaru, we're now at the Moeraki Holiday Park which is located in a very small seaside fishing village. The main reason we are here is that it is just a short five minute walk away from a very well known restaurant that we'll be having dinner at this evening.

After some fantastic backing by David through the gap between the motorhome & the bank we are now tucked into a corner of the camp ground for a couple of nights. When the motorhome couple walked in later their expressions said it all & then he asked "How on earth did you get that through there?!" David said "Can't you see the tyre marks over your roof?"

And there would have been no way to get it in if we had come later in the day, this was the line up when we walked back from dinner.

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