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The South Island of New Zealand packs a remarkable diversity of scenery into a fairly compact area. Perhaps most famous are the mountains and lakes of the western and southern sections of the island. But the Otago region offers superb scenery and a different set of attractions. Its historical heart is the vibrant city of Dunedin, where we will be based to enjoy three different rows in the vicinity. Rowing Dunedin begins with a row in the harbour and see the city from the water. Dunedin sits at the head of the Otago Harbour, which stretches for 21 km to the sea. There is lots of rowing exploration to be done here. For even more variety, we will trailer boats to row the very beautiful Taieri River to its mouth. Maybe we need to stay a week, not just a long weekend!
Dunedin is known as a city of students which contribute to a lively arts and restaurant scene. Perhaps even more famous is its fixation on things Scottish. In fact, the city’s name is the Gaelic name for Edinburgh. In addition to a statue of Robbie Burns, there are six whiskey distilleries. Surrounding the city is superb scenery. The Otago Peninsula forms the southern edge of the long, narrow Otago Harbour. While we might get distracted by Larnach Castle, the real attractions are some of the most accessible wildlife viewing opportunities. It is possible to see yellow-eyed and little blue penguins, albatrosses, fur seals and sea lions. There are also lovely hikes plus beaches to explore.
Consider a longer trip in New Zealand! Spend the weekend after rowing the South Island Rowing & Hiking trip and see a different part of the beautiful South Island. There is a day in between these two trips – perfect chance to go to Milford Sound! Read our blog post on 5 Fave Thing to Do on the South Island New Zealand for inspiration.
Non-rowing companions welcomed. Contact us for details.
|Daily Distances||Boats||Max Group Size|
|15-30 km/day||Coxed quads, quads and doubles||15 rowers|
Note that this is the first time this Rowing Dunedin trip will be run, so it is somewhat experimental in nature. Plans could change. Wind conditions will be an important consideration – safety is a priority. Hikes will be substituted if rowing is not possible at any given location. The sequence of rows may be changed as well.
We meet in Dunedin. Check into the hotel and join us for our welcome dinner.
For our first day of rowing we will explore Otago Harbour by the city’s edge. We might choose to scull past the busy port and follow the north shore past more rowing clubs. Or perhaps we will be intrigued by the shore along the Otago Peninsula to the beaches at Macandrew Bay or even Broad Bay. After lunch we will explore the peninsula from the land, heading to the world’s only mainland Royal Albatross breeding colony, and the home of two species of penguins. We might linger late to see them waddle home up the beaches. Dinner on your own tonight – there are so many great choices.
After loading the boats on the trailer, we will head south to enjoy a row down the Taieri River. Most famous for its gorges and the railway journey through them, towards its mouth the Taieri is very rowable, surrounded by lovely low hills. We will take the coastal road on the way home. This afternoon, after a restorative lunch, we will take a guided walking tour of Dunedin, to learn about its rich architectural heritage (fabulous train station, for example!) and colourful social history. We will gather as a group for an excellent dinner.
One more row awaits us, and it is a good one. Returning to Otago Harbour, we will explore the stunning scenery towards the sea, including around Port Chalmers. This town is part working port, part bohemian art scene. Islands dot the harbour as it widens and narrows, offering as many km of rowing as we want and conditions allow. Enjoy a final lunch with our New Zealand rowing friends before a late afternoon departure. If you would like to book an extra night at our hotel, we would be happy to assist you to do so.