Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu
View of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Otago Settlers Museum

We spent a Saturday afternoon in the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin. This quality experience is provided for free. What a wonderful facility it is..... especially if you like old vehicles like Elder Edward does. This desk for 6 is from a bank, how is that for an early model cubicle?

Settlers Room
The most amazing thing we saw in the museum was the room full of paintings of some of the Otago area settlers. It is a very large room with all four walls covered in old paintings. In the center of the room are four interactive control consoles. Each console controls one of the walls. On the console screen is a view of all of the paintings you see before you. Click on any of the paintings and it will appear on your screen with the ability to zoom in and out. There is also a description of the person you are looking at. This is a genealogist's dream! What a wonderful way to share the past. These old settlers come alive again to those wanting to know their family history and the curious like us.

West Wall with view of control consoles.

East Wall
North Wall
South Wall
West wall again - notice the top, center painting.
West wall as it appears on the screen.
Screen after touching the top, center painting.

After touching the painting again, it appears larger. If you zoom in all the way you can actually see the brush strokes. They are very high quality renditions.

 Cable Cars & Trams

Great photo of an early tram. Ridership started to dwindle in the 1930s, spiked again during the war in the 1940s and then faded out in the 1950s as motorized buses took over.
Beautifully restored tram sits in the Otago Settlers Museum for everyone to enjoy.
The attention to detail in this restoration is spectacular. It is wonderful that the museum avoids a hands off everything mentality and lets people experience the beauty of the past. Sister Edward looks very relaxed.
We can only imagine how much stress it would have been to operate one of these trams, especially  considering all the people playing frogger with us as we drive through traffic today.
Hope they took the baby out of the stroller!

Another quality tram restoration.
As cool as it has been, the inside seats were probably preferred.

Other Modes of Transportation

Old whaling boat.

Early canoe.
Love the imaginative horses.

Harbor runabout.
Wonder how hard it was to ride one of those big wheeled bikes?

Let's try it and find out! Piece of cake with stairs, platform and training frame.
I'm glad our Sister Missionaries don't travel on these. Can you imagine balancing and riding down a bumpy brick or dirt road on this? And if you fell off, without a curb to climb onto it, how would you get back on??? Did women ride these bikes? It would be quite a chore in a dress.
Just add horses!!
Where's the fire?

Now the Fun Stuff!!

This vehicle I wouldn't want to drive. The roads are very narrow.
Sweet ride!!
Wonder what these would go for on American Pickers.
1939 Singer Automobile
I hope the quality is better than our last sewing machine.
Another 1939 Singer Automobile
Singer on the road.
Found the perfect bus for Sister Edward's next Orem High School reunion. Might have to change one word.

Elder Edward's Personal Favorite  (No Captions needed.)

 Did I mention Josephine the Locomotive?

That's all for now. You can check it out online at:


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Larnach Castle

     Three weeks ago the City of Dunedin had a Heritage Celebration. Several buildings around town were open to the public for tours. The Archives was one of those buildings and was going to be open for half a day. It was on a Saturday, which is our day off, but we volunteered to go in. The staff brought several groups of people back into our room and we got to explain what we were doing. 
     It was a fun experience, and it also gave us the opportunity to take this past Monday afternoon off and go to Larnach Castle and check it out. We invited along the Elders since it was their P Day. It was fun to share the experience with them. Dunedin is the last assignment of Elder Berryhill's mission. He will be returning home in about two weeks. We were happy to help create some memories for him and Elder Daniel.

     Saved from disrepair in 1967, it was empty of furniture and in a very sad state. It has been lovingly restored, with many original pieces purchased back or on loan. There are a few rooms left to be restored as funds allow. You will see by the photos how amazing the woodwork is. The outdoor grounds are incredible. It is early spring and not everything is blooming yet, but it was still wonderful to tour the many paths and take in the scenic views. Hope you enjoy!!

The Carriage House to the side of the castle contains a cafe in a beautiful rustic setting. You can see the early blooms on some of the vegetation.
They keep the grounds up meticulously.
The glass area behind the left lion is where the Verandah starts inside.
The glass area behind the right lion is reception and gift shop area.
Front door to Larnach Castle.
Our co-adventurers..... Elder Daniel and Elder Berryhill.

The castle grounds have an “Alice in Wonderland” theme.  A quote from the story shows why Larnach Castle decided to do it:

Presently she began again. "I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I think," (she was rather glad there was no one listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all the right word), "but I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma'am, is this New Zealand or Australia?"

I wonder if this door returns Alice home?
All the plants in this area are native to South Pacific Islands.
Which way to wherever?
The beautiful views keep coming.
Elders Daniel and Berryhill taking in the great view. The blue sky helps accent the beautiful trees.
Here is that great view. This is looking North towards the entrance to Otago Harbor. Just stunning.
Same view, different location.
These plants would be so cool back home.
This path behind the Carriage House leads to the "Queen of Hearts" Chair.
Elder Daniel enjoying the sunshine.
Side view of castle showing turret and roof area.
We found Alice in the back yard area near a wishing well.
We also found the White Rabbit but missed the Cheshire Cat. It's up a tree somewhere. We will find that critter next time we go.

One of the highlights of the tour was to climb the small circular stairway in the turret  to the roof….. what a 360 degree view. We enjoyed the serene beauty from above. The weather was one of the few semi-warm, sunny days we’ve had since we arrived in New Zealand. We are excited to return in the summer when the flowers and vegetation that are now dormant are in bloom. That being said, there is still enough vegetation growing to make it worthwhile to see.

Started down the stairs and met someone coming up. Had to turn around and go back up. Next time I called out "Coming Down" as I began my descent.
The long climb up the spiral staircase was worth the effort.
The view behind us is to the Otago Harbor side of the castle. Sister Edward, Elder Edward, Elder Berryhill and Elder Daniel.
This view is to the South Pacific side of the castle.
Larnach Castle is about thirty minutes from our housing. We are surrounded by beauty. This is the view from the top! Love it!


Told you the woodwork was incredible.

The castle tour is very inviting. They welcome you in and you are on your own to tour the place. There are a few areas that are off limits, but most of the place is yours to roam. They have the basic “Do Not Touch” rules, and a few items are roped off, but there is nobody watching your every move. By people respecting the rules, it makes for a much more enjoyable experience.

Drawing Room off of the Main Foyer.
Inner door of the Drawing Room.
Tile floor in the Main Foyer.
Stairway to lower level off of the Verandah.
Lower level landing.
Verandah continues around side of house with an entrance in the rear.
Bart is totally amazed at all this woodwork. Maybe we could expand our home when we return.
All the ceilings in the castle are incredible. This one is above the rear entrance off of the Verandah.

One of the fun things the owners offer people is the chance to have dinner in the dining room of the castle. There is limited seating, and it isn’t cheap, but what a fun thing to experience on an anniversary or special date.

Every castle needs a gorgeous sideboard.
Did I mention the ceilings? This one is in the Dining Room.
This is the Dining Room fireplace. I would love to eat dinner here.
The Master Bedroom is at the front of the castle.
Caught a castle tourist in this photo. She looks familiar.
Entrance to the Master Bedroom is on the left. There are two other bedrooms on this level.
Top level landing. The closed door is to the spiral stairway to the roof.
Did I mention the ceilings? OK.....  I did. This is the top of the staircase.
Treasures in every room. This is the Library.

In the music room there is a wonderful antique piano with a “Do Not Touch” sign. But there is also another piano with a sign that encourages those who can really play a piano to fill the room with music. It was fun to hear that happen.

This is the "Do Not Touch" piano.

Elder Berryhill filled the room with beautiful music.

Hope you enjoy the pictures!! You can see more at