Port 5: Dunedin
Dunedin was our next port after we went through the Sounds.
Dunedin is an interesting place, as for most of the year it is teaming with university students, but most of them head home during the summer, so I don’t think there were as many locals around, but there were two cruise ships in, so there was plenty of people milling around.
The ship docks in Port Chalmers which is about 30 minutes outside of Dunedin, so we have to get a shuttle from the Port into town, which cost $15 return. The shuttle dropped us at the back of the town hall, and from there we could see the silo of the Cadbury’s factory, and knew that the train station was behind there, so we headed off in that direction.
The Dunedin Train Station is absolutely beautiful, both on the inside and the out. We spent a good 20 minutes in the train station, and wandering through the gardens outside, before heading to Cadbury’s. The tours were all full for when we arrived, but there were some spots in the afternoon tours so we bought tickets then so we didn’t miss out.
After buying the tickets, we decided to walk up to the Octagon, which is where St Pauls Cathedral is, and the Municipal chambers, but the streets around it, are shaped like an octagon. We wandered up past the town hall, and then into St Pauls Cathedral, which is a stunning church, at the time we were there, there was an organ concert going on, so there were quite a few people inside listening, but we just went in, had a look around and then left.
We then wandered around the Octagon, in search of a place for lunch. We ended up at Perc Cafe which was absolutely delicious, a very busy place with loads of locals with laptops and people coming and going for coffee.
Once we had finished lunch it was time for our Cadbury's tour. Which was very cool, and while the factory is still open I would highly recommend. So you start off by walking through the chocolate museum before getting to these large doors that only tickets holders can go through. Through the doors, your tickets get checked, and you get given a plastic bag with some chocolate in it, before getting given the safety spiel so that you can get started. So, no bags or phones or anything can be taken through the factory, so we had to leave those in a locker at the beginning. So the first stop on the tour is the sensory lab, where your tour guide will explain to you how chocolate is made, then there are these almost like soda machines that contain chocolate that you can put into a cup and eat, while you are in the room, which is awesome. Then someone else comes into the room to do a tempering demonstration with the chocolate which is really interesting.
Then its time to move on from the sensory room, and into the sugar spinning room, which is a small room, with a sugar spinner in it, which we are shown a video on how they make pebbles (Cadbury's M&Ms and the NZ versions of Smarties), and also Jaffas. So these machines are so loud that they actually cannot show you in person how it's done, so they play a video instead, but that's cool, cause before that happens the guide gives you more chocolate in your bag.
The next stop is the Cadbury purple silo, which used to contain crumb, which is a product that the factory used to produce and sell overseas, but now the silo is an attraction for the tour. So you climb up the stairs in the silo, about halfway — the silo is 30m so you go up about 15m— and the guide gives you a little talk about the silo, asks you to stand against the wall, and then pushes a buttons which drop something like 100 litres of chocolate from a suspended vat in the silo. This is what they call the chocolate waterfall, and its the biggest in the world or something like that, which is so cool. Then you climb back down the silo, get given more chocolate at the bottom, and the guide does another little talk at the end, answering any questions and explaining why the factory is closing and what is happening, and you get more chocolate. So the building next to the factory is currently being renovated and will be transformed into a chocolate museum, to be able to continue the legacy of Cadbury in Dunedin, which is super cool. The Cadbury tour then comes to an end, which is super sad, because it was such a fun tour and really enjoyable.
After the tour, we made our way back to the ship, and that was the end of our stay in Dunedin, on to the next stop, Akaroa.