Today was a driving day, Christchurch to Oamaru. Once again lots of beautiful countryside, green rolling hills, agriculture, sheep, cattle and hecka hedges. The drive was mostly inland, but we stopped at the seaside port town of Timaru for lunch.

Monteith’s apple cider and lemon/lime radler bier

English garden in Timaru

Considering we booked all our lodgings via the Internet, we’ve been pretty happy with our accommodations. Sometimes they are a bit less desirable than portrayed on the Internet but they’re usually pretty close. We’re at a B&B today and it’s a little funky. I feel like I’m staying at my grandparents’ house. Norman greeted us at the door, and that grandparent smell just wafted out of the house. It seems that Norman and his wife Stephanie live downstairs and rent out the 3 rooms and two baths upstairs. We got the room with the ensuite bath. They carved out 3 feet under the eaves and tucked in a skinny bathroom. You step down about two feet from the bedroom to get to it. The bedroom door knob is located about 4 1/2 feet up the door and the only chair in the room is 8″ off the floor. Shawn looks like he stepped into Alice in Wonderland.

Pretty cute from the outside

Grandma’s room

View for Grandma’s room (this picture was NOT on Expedia)

3-foot wide bathroom with slanted ceiling

Shawn in Wonderland, note position of door knobs

The town of Oamaru is a bit odd too. It was like a ghost town for a Saturday afternoon. We had a quick stop at the Whitestone cheese factory to taste some local cheese. Delicious double cream Brie and blue. We had their special: a ginger biscuit (cookie) with a slice of blue cheese. Weirdly tasty.

Ginger biscuit with blue cheese

The downtown area is known for its Victorian limestone buildings. They also have this odd steampunk theme going on in many of the shops and outdoor art. We killed as much time as we could waiting for the infamous blue penguins to make their walk up the beach. Unfortunately, there is only one place to view the penguins and they charge you $28 NZD per person for the opportunity and they won’t even let you take pictures. We decided to skip the show and headed to another beach lookout reported to have yellow-eyed penguins. After waiting about 30 minutes at the top of a bluff, we saw a speck of a penguin walk up the beach. A little anti-climatic, but hey we saw a penguin in New Zealand.

Limestone buildings

Whiskey tasting room

Yellow-eyed penguin beach, prior to penguin arrival

Sleepy seal

At Scott’s Brewery waiting out the rain

Steampunk art

Swingset at the local playground

This slide was crazy tall and steep, no way they would let us build something like this in a public park in the US

Shawn: “I wonder if this moves?”

Shawn: “How does this stop moving?”

Trust me, there is a tiny penguin walking from the shore to the hillside in this picture. I will just assume his eyes are yellow.

Cute sign, but no penguins

Daily ratings:
Monteith’s Brewery and Grill – 3.5 Kiwis
New Zealand Whiskey – 5 Kiwis
Scott’s Brewery – 3.5 Kiwis
Highway House B&B – 2.5 Kiwis

Steps taken = 5,989
Penguins spotted = 1