Sunday, October 9, 2016

Larnach Castle + Otago Peninsula Travel Headfirst

The combo cost me $165 NZ (student price). The Otago Peninsula tour was operated by Elm Wildlife Tours which I costs ($93) if you book it separately.

It was a gloomy ride going up the castle. At one point all I could see was fog outside my window. This was on the day when the weather told me it was going to be sunny. But I guess not that high up. So it was a bit chilly, and had an occasional drizzle  when I visited.

Larnach castle did not really feel like a castle to me. More like a very large mansion with impressive grounds. Even the one who had the castle built Mr Larnach called it "The Camp" instead.

I went to this tour without doing any research beforehand on the history of the castle. I figured, that's what I paid them for.

Background info:
Mr. Larnach was very rich. When his first wife died, he got depressed about it. He married her wife's half sister about a year after. There was a bit of info about the Decease Wife's Sister  Marriage Act being passed wherein Larnach was now allowed to marry his sister in law. Unfortunately, his second wife died as well.

He married a third time to a young woman who was nearly half his age. Since he was so busy, his son accompanied his new wife to a lot of social functions and eventually they had an affair. When Larnach found out, he shot himself. It was also found out that he was in debt when he died since his business ventures failed.

This sounds like a tragic classic cliche plot or rather in this case it is a real life story where all those tragic cliche plots were probably based from. 

His son and his widow did not get married after his death. So I guess it was not true love after all.

Larnach's eldest son also died by gunshot, when his wife decided to leave him.

Do I see a pattern here?

Larnach Family Tree

Larnach Family Picture

The Gardens were Amazing. Think, the Secret Garden. And the flowers haven't even bloomed yet.

Lots of nice photo ops here

Gazebo - makes me think of princesses and fairytales,

Into the Woods

You are free to take all the pics you want in Larnach castle, unlike in Olveston house (another place I visited here in Dunedin). However I found some of the rooms small. Here's a look on some of the rooms.

A bed warmer. They put hot coals and the servant girl will warm the bed during cold Dunedin winters, a hundred years ago. 

A hip bath. Where only the hips are submerged in water and the legs are probably sticking out. 

Constance, the third wife's actual wedding dress. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Otago Dunedin Museum - Planetatrium

I spent my Sunday to bask in the wonders of our universe with the 360 degrees theater in Otago museum. I watched two shows, 'The Sky Tonight" and "Amazing Universe."

If you can only watch one, I suggest you pick Amazing Universe. If you are into stars a lot though, then I think you might like The Sky Tonight. However, it was underwhelming for me.

I did not regret buying another ticket to watch The Amazing Universe.

The Sky Tonight was all about the stars, the constellation and what you can see if you look up at the sky here from the South. From what I learned, you cannot see the Big Dipper here since it can only be found in the Northern hemisphere.

I love looking at the stars, sadly I don't have enough imagination to visualize images as they used to do eons before. Libra, Capricorn, etc just look like a bunch of dots to me.

The Amazing Universe was much more impressive. You travel to each of the planets and learn cool info about them. Like for example, on some planet, the day takes longer than a year! Simply because the rotation of the planet takes longer than its rotation around the sun.

It is also interesting to know that when we look at the stars, we are actually looking at the past. 

Stars, like our sun, have a lifespan. They are born, and they die as well. Now that's scary to think about. What happens when our sun dies?

There are tons of other tidbits you can pick up from Amazing Universe but one thing that really struck me was that the realization that we are just a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny spec in the universe. We are not anything special. There's a big, big, big universe out there. 

How's that for a thought when we are all so caught up in our mundane, problematic life?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dunedin: Cadbury Factory

For choco lovers, the thought of  a chocolate tour is mouthwatering. But don't expect too much on this tour. Don't expect to get inside the factory and see chocolate spouting off machines and it being packed right in front of your eyes.

Here's what happened though:

1. How chocolate is made is explained by your guide.
2. You get to try liquid form of chocolate (milk, dark, and white) in a little cup which you can add some candy, sprinkle etc.
- This was the highlight for me. I actually got a bit of a sugar happy rush licking that chocolate off my plastic spoon. Lots of happy endorphins working at that moment.
3. You go to another room and get to see a video on how jaffra and pineapple chocolate are made.
4. You go up the stairs and watch a chocolate waterfall for several seconds and bask in the smell of yummy chocolatey goodness.

I think I must have missed some parts, but basically that's it. They give away chocolates throughout the tour though so it 's all good. Not bad for my NZD$18 (student price).

OMG it's the easter bunny

My Cadbury Goodie Bag (Freebies)

TIP: For a better discount, try booking at