Dunedin was a fleeting visit with an amazing trip to fill our day.
We found a camp site and headed straight back out to find the Cadburys factory. Greeted by a mountain of crunchies we bought our tickets for the next tour. After a short health and safety video and a brief history of Cadburys in New Zealand, I was swotted up for the tour. Yes, there would be questions and yes, there would be prizes. I was ready to wipe the floor with everyone.
We wandered through the factory, the air filled with the velvet scent of melted chocolate. The first question came about the ingredients of chocolate. No hesitation, I was straight in and was awarded a chocolate for my contribution.
The tour continued, as did my correct answers, filling my little bag with tasty treats.
I had thought that we would be filled with wonder, perhaps half expecting the workers to be Umpa Lumpas, or elves with the happiness they carry in Santa’s workshop. We were disappointed to find grumpy men and women dragging their heels around filling boxes and cleaning machines. Not very Willy Wonka-like.
As the guide explained the Easter Egg making processed, my mind wandered to whether or not the Easter Bunny collects the eggs direct, or if he has some sort of sophisticated delivery infrastructure.
The tour perked up when we entered one of the silo’s that used to be used for storage of milk. Now it was for touring purposes only and they dropped a tonne of chocolate in a waterfall for us unsuspecting guests.
We were then treated to some freshly melted chocolate shots. Holly and myself opting for seconds making us feel positively sick. It was worth it.
This was a great way to fend off our hangover and provided a great stop off before heading north again.
The next day we headed for Christchurch, the devastating location of a terrible earthquake a few years back.
The camp site was beautifully decorated with flowers, surrounding the main attraction that immediately caught our eye. Another trampoline. After another exquisite gymnastic exhibition, we drove into town.
The town was desolate. Any signs of the disaster had been cleared up, leaving only blank spaces in rows of other buildings to remind us that there was once a structure standing.
The cathedral in the centre was being rebuilt and seemed to be the only building that still looked half annihilated. This solemn area included a monument of stones, now with written messages of support for Christchurch from people from all over the world. We despondently slunk around the sign boards reading any information we could, trying to sympathise with the locals.
As we continued on, the streets remained barren until we came to the temporary shopping mall, a series of colourful metal containers making a village of shops. It was nice to see some life and smiles on faces, a stark contrast from the surrounding areas which resembled a horror movie, right before all the zombies hit.
There was only one thing that could bring us back from the gloom that had engulfed us. The trampoline.
Feeling slightly more cheered, the sadness surrounding this place still hung in our minds, and the sorrow we felt still clinging to our backs, anger and injustice unable to leave our soul. We left the following day, feeling like this place was just a shadow of what it once was, the experience not true to it’s actual personality, but with the overriding feeling that this place was pulling itself up and coming back to the glory it once had.