Monday, 26 March 2012

The New Zealand Diaries: No.8 - If you go down to Owaka're sure of a big surprise!

The wonderful thing about New Zealand is that it is always full of surprises. For example, the fact that most of the shops are open all day on a Sunday, or that even in the cold, you will still find someone in the sea surfing. But these are all quite mediocre compared to a land dedicated to teapots and teddy bears, all located in a small village. You've got to be joking, you ask?

Surprisingly not! Welcome to Owaka, situated in the heart of the Catlins area. Here we stayed for one night on our tour of the South Island. It's a quaint little village, with all the necessities you need, from the village store to the village pub. Our chalet was typical of the New Zealand holiday lodges, with its own little kitchen, bedrooms and bathroom. In fact, it felt like we had hired out a mini-pad just for the night.

With mountains and cloudless sky surrounding the village, it was a perfect opportunity to walk around, take pictures and snack on a cool, refreshing ice cream.

Along the way, we came across two places which both surprised and entertained me. It seemed surreal, but alas, in the middle of this little village were two 'worlds' (or museums, to be more precise), housing two rather interesting collections.

One was dedicated to 'Tea.' As in the stuff you drink. Featuring an array of cups, saucers, mugs and teapots, Tea World was an outside exhibit bright in colour, with an assortment of china and crockery.

Next door housed the inside exhibit, Dolly & Teddy Bear world. Again, rather surreal but thoroughly entertaining, the collection featured everything from Baby Born to Tinky Winky.

I'm not sure if either collections were made by the council or one mad kiwi with a fondness for drinking tea at teddy bear's picnics, but it has made for one interesting story to tell all my friends. So if you ever find yourself wondering around the Catlins, make sure to drop by Owaka. Because you'll be surprised what's in this little village.

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