Discover the Scottish Soul of Dunedin.
Please contact us and we will help you to organize your trip! It's free and without commitment.
- Read the post
Schedule of the Visit.
- 1A Day in Dunedin, Capital of Otago.
- 2An Invitation to Travel.
- 3The Highlands in New Zealand.
- 4The World's Steepest Street!
- 5Green Tea & Beer Flavoured Ice Cream.
- 6A Tunnel Carved into the Rock with Dynamite!
- 7A Kiwi-Made Trainspotting.
- 8A Thousand Memories Later ...
1A Day in Dunedin, Capital of Otago.
Dunedin is the capital of Otago, a region of southern New Zealand famous for its mountains with rounded peaks and steep cliffs. A helping hand of destiny has propelled the city to the fore when an Australian prospector found gold in a river.
The gold rush of 1881 attracts immigrants from all over the world. A few months later, the population has multiplied by five!
Imagine 60,000 people, including 35,000 gold miners in an atmosphere of saloons, gambling dens and other brothels.
Colossal fortunes are won and lost every night, and the city limits increase to accommodate a thriving industry.
A quarter-century later, the veins are exhausted and the hunger for gold disappears. The city that had become the most populated of New Zealand undergoes the exodus of a large part of its population.
In our day Dunedin remains the second largest city of the South Island, and the 5th largest city of the country.
Its main characteristic is to be a student city, but it is also an architectural wonder. This is where the first university was founded in New Zealand in the year 1869.
Discover the Otago region.
I remember my last trip to Dunedin with some good friends as if it was yesterday. The international airport is located 30 km from the city center. There was a free seat in our car, you could have joined us!
I'm not the only one to be disappointed by the way cities are depicted in guide books. The principle which consists to list all the hotels and museums is pretty boring and looks like the Yellow Pages.
On Kiwipal, we will be happy to guide you to the encounter of the city and its inhabitants.
Rest assured, we are not going to try to visit everything at full speed. If we must choose between two activities, we will follow our mood without planning too much.
I have several alternative routes, the key is to have fun and experience beautiful meetings with the locals.
So, is Dunedin deserving its reputation of jewel of the South Island? We will go and see by ourselves!
2An Invitation to Travel.
The region benefits from a dry climate, warm in the summer and cold in winter. It does not rain much during the high season (remember that on this side of the globe, summer falls in December!).
You cannot miss the railway station on your arrival in town. Because of its original architecture, it is the most photographed monument in New Zealand.
Its construction mixes the beige limestone from Oamaru, the blue stone from the Otago and the beautiful marble from Aberdeen. Its Edwardian style earned its architect, George Troup, to be affectionately nicknamed "George Gingerbread". This is one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world, and an irresistible invitation to travel.
Its dimensions remain modest when compared to other more prestigious railway stations. But the perfection of its proportions give it nevertheless a sense of grandeur.
Watch the clock tower and its immense quadrants surrounded by carved lions.
Prior to entering the railway station, we will discover the covered gallery that served as a parking to former horse carriages. The interior is as decorated as the outside, and perhaps even more beautiful.
The stained glasses clearly reflect how important were the trains for the settlers who founded the city.
One cannot imagine the patience that it took to assemble 725,000 square mosaics which constitute the ground of the departure room. Stairs with elegant wrought iron railings give access to the first floor.
The "New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame" is a museum dedicated to the celebration of the country victories' during international sports competitions.
Of course, rugby is celebrated through the legendary exploits of the All Blacks.
It is probably too soon to lock ourselves in a museum. The desire to discover the city life and to explore the streets is too strong.
The bell tower that we can spot belongs to St Paul's Cathedral. It will be our landmark throughout the day.
3The Highlands in New Zealand.
The Octagon is a vast place with eight sides surrounded by old buildings. Large shaded green spaces allow the crowd to attend all kinds of events. We are in the heart of the city center.
Everyone is staring at St Paul's Cathedral with admiration. At the top of its broad marble staircase one can admire the central garden.
This is one of the nicest places in New Zealand. In the center of the Octagon, you will discover an imposing statue of Robert Burns.
Legend says that the famous Scottish poet, father of Romanticism, turns his back to the Anglican Church to better keep the Oban Pub under surveillance (the establishment has closed since a long time).
We'll sit a moment on the grass. If you have a smartphone, you can easily locate our position on a map.
A free Wi-Fi network covers the whole Octagon place. But you might as well decide to go on an adventure to explore the neighborhood streets.
The enchanting terraced houses along Stuart Street have more than a century of existence. Most were converted into shops.
The atmosphere is relaxed and shopkeepers welcome you with a big smile, always curious to know where you come from.
At the corner of a street you will discover the old city jail. Built of red brick, this is a copy of the Scotland Yard building in London.
A little further, the Otago Daily Times Building is the headquarters of the oldest newspaper in the country. Its facade is typical of art deco of the 1930s.
You are likely to bump into bagpipe players, and many stores dedicated to the selling of kilts.
The Scottish atmosphere is not a coincidence; the Dunedin City was founded by 344 Scottish settlers who left their homeland in 1848.
First established as "New Edinburgh", the city will be renamed "Dunedin" a few years later (Dunedin means "Odin on the hill" in Gaelic).
The Scottish accent has also survived through a part of the population. Some traditions, such as the preparation of haggis (a Scottish speciality), are still vivid today.
For all Scotland lovers, Dunedin is a wonderful surprise.
We will reach the highest point of the city. You have surely heard people saying that San Francisco has the world's steepest street. But the true record belongs to Dunedin!
4The World's Steepest Street!
Baldwin Street is in the Guinness Book of Records. This amazing street climbs on 350 meters only, but with a 35-degree tilt! It is the steepest street in the world.
The pavement is made of concrete, because the asphalt could flow in case of strong heat.
Who decided to build houses on this hill? In fact, the city plans were not designed here, but in London in 1846. The truth is that the land was bought a pittance to the Maori, and the western architects did not have knowledge of the terrain relief.
A staircase on the side of the road allows to climb the slope in less than fifteen minutes. The large low-riser steps facilitate the ascent. The beginning of the journey will seem easy, but the slope becomes steeper.
If you are out of form, you will wake up tomorrow with body aches in your legs. Rest assured, a bench awaits you halfway nearby an information panel claiming the world record.
I recommend you take a nice picture by putting your camera parallel to the slope. The result seems to defy the gravity laws. Once at the summit you will find a drinking fountain to cool off.
At this altitude, the panorama is beautiful and the slope is much more impressive.
Each year the famous Baldwin Street “Gutbuster” is broadcast on television. A thousand runners are trying to beat the record set in 1998.
Speaking of the world record, do you think you can go up and down the street in less than a minute and fifty-six seconds? And do not expect to cheat by taking your car!
At the end of the article, Ben the Kiwi will tell you some anecdotes about the famous accidents in the street.
Baldwin St is the perfect place to test your fitness, with a record of 1 minute and 56 seconds!
I do not know if you've ever tasted the Jaffa candies? These small balls of chocolate with orange flavours are coated in red sugar.
These treats are very popular in New Zealand (Auckland residents are even nicknamed "Jaffa" but for another reason…). Going down the street, we meet John who lives in a small house nearby.
He tells us that during the chocolate festival, 30,000 Jaffa candies are dumped into Baldwin Street, to the astonishment of the public.
A siren can be heard and spectators start to yell the countdown. Five, four, three, two, one ... and the entire street turns into a candy river.
The candies are running down the slope at full speed.The noise is incredible till the arrival where a box collects the first five red balls crossing the finish line.
Each candy Jaffa is numbered by hand. The raffle helps raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities.
If your trip leads you to Dunedin in July (during New Zealand's winter when chocolate does not melt), do not miss this original event!
At the bottom of the slope there is also a small gift shop selling certificates.
You can buy one if you want to prove to your friends that you have climbed thesteepest street in the world
After all this exercise, we need to regain strength. To find our way back toward the Octagon, we can use the bell tower of St Paul's Cathedral as a landmark.
5Green Tea & Beer Flavoured Ice Cream.
The easy solution would be to buy a sandwich and improvise a picnic on the Octagon's green lawns. But can you wait a few minutes longer? I know a great restaurant near the port of Dunedin..
The Plato is one of the best restaurants in New Zealand. Despite its high reputation, it is quite affordable.
Fortunately, there is a free table for us. The shelves with their old coffee pots and vintage trinkets give a retro charm to the room. If the menu changes every day, seafood specialties are recommended.
Ingredients are fresh, beautifully prepared and served with a smile.
During dessert, the conversation turns to the afternoon's activities and the many choices we have.
Some want to visit the Settler Museum. This exciting museum retraces the history of the gold rush.
Others hesitate between the paintings of the Public Art Gallery and a stroll in the Chinese garden.
After tasting our beer ice cream (yes, it exists!) and still unable to make a decision, we decide to draw the short straw..
The Chinese Garden is only three minutes’ drive from the Octagon. It pays tribute to Asian prospectors who worked here during the gold rush era.
Dunedin has forged strong links with Shanghai, and the two cities are twinned today. The garden was opened in 2008, after eight long years of work to shape nature and carve rocks.
This safe haven does not merely reproduce the spirit of Chinese gardens of the Ming Dynasty.
Ten thousand tons of stone were imported especially from China for its construction in New Zealand. The little tea house worth the visit.
If the place is too crowded, you can visit the beautifulBotanical Garden instead.
Magnificent, it is above all appreciated for its Edwardian Winter Garden and its 300 varieties of rhododendrons.
In the spring when all the trees are in bloom, it is a real enchantment.
Early this afternoon, and as the fine weather seems to stay, a visit to the beach seems to be the most reasonable option. Dunedin is located on a peninsula and any half-hour walk or a short trip by car is all you need to get lost in the wild nature. I bet you want to swim!
6A Tunnel Carved into the Rock with Dynamite!
Otepoti was the name given by Maori to this location, long before the arrival of Westerners. During this era, the tribes that inhabited the region were often at war.
When they weren't fighting, tribes were fishing or hunting the moas (a kind of ostrich of three meters' high, now extinct).
The first contact with Europeans will be very difficult. Three whalers are killed for having offended their hosts. A beach still bears the evocative name of "Murdering Beach" since this epoch. But today we will visit St Clair Beach, the closest one near the city center.
Some brave people are swimming, but we will just dip a toe in the ocean. One must not be shy to swim in a water at only 18 °C!
Most surfers in the water are wearing a wetsuit.
You can take lessons to master a surf board. Since my first attempts at Hot Water Beach, I realized that this sport is not restricted to an elite of bodybuilders with blonde hairs.
You can follow a surf training with an instructor.
If you really want to swim, don't forget that there is also a heated seawater pool near the beach. There is even a cafe to buy ice cream when you'll be tired of playing frisbee on the beach.
We could have spent the rest of the afternoon having fun on the beach. But our Bath towel neighbors have revealed to us the existence of a fantastic walk named Tunnel Beach. They drew us some kind of a treasure map in the sand to show us the right direction.
Fifteen minutes later, we reach the beginning of the hike. Tunnel Beach Walkway is just 7 km south of the city. We must first park the car and continue on foot. Our route passes through a field before descending the hills toward the coast. One must wear good shoes to avoid slipping on the rocks.
We are approaching the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
A passage was dug with explosives in the rock to allow to reach a nice beach.
The view of the rocky spurs and the sandstone cliffs is breathtaking.
We arrived early but we are far from alone on this beach.
Some majestic albatrosses are watching us from the skies. Sometimes the place is also visited by fur seals.
Traces in the sand prove that these animals came before us. You may be lucky enough to observe them. A little further on, near the rocks, you will discover the bones of whales and marine fossils.
To admire fur seals and penguins, you can book a guided tours in the region. If you have enough time, this is probably the best place in the country for this kind of activity.
The descent toward the beach took a quarter of an hour. It will take twice as long to return. We had enough climbing for today! The afternoon is coming to an end and it is time to return to the city for the evening. Dunedin has a reputation for being especially lively on Friday nights.
7A Kiwi-Made Trainspotting.
Here we are back at the Octagon. The atmosphere has changed slightly since this morning. A much younger population now wanders the streets downtown. Dunedin has 120,000 inhabitants plus the 20,000 students living in the campus during the school year.
The campus of the Otago University is just few minutes from here, in George Street. The campus has expanded to accommodate an ever-growing student population. The reputation of University is well established, especially in the medical field.
The bells of the tower of the Registry Building call students.
You might hear the bells of the tower of the Registry Building. They punctuate the start of each new semester since 1878. All other buildings with slate roofs are built in the Victorian style using gray basalt.
The small houses once occupied by the first professors of the University are lined up at the edge of Leith Stream, in a green surroundings.
Since 1977, many students meet up at the Governors' cafe which is also famous for its delicious omelettes.
Feel free to engage in conversation with some Scarfies.
This is the nickname that is given to students of Dunedin. The term refers to the old blue and gold scarves worn by the students in the past.
To dive into the spirit of the campus, it is recommended watching a movie named “Scarfies”.
This comedy from 1999 relates the cohabitation of four students from Dunedin. They divide their time between rugby, university lessons ... and cultivation of marijuana plants discovered in their cellar.
The tension rises when the real owner of the marijuana returns…
You are never too old to join students at The Robbie which is the oldest pub in Dunedin. Another Scottish tradition that continues since the gold rush. It's a good excuse (if you need one?) to taste the local beers near a chimney fire. And what a friendly welcome!
We stay in the move and are going to have dinner at the Pequeño. Its cozy atmosphere and its leather sofas are a real blessing after a walking day. After countless beer and tapas, it will take a crowbar to extricate you from your armchair. The evening continues with a tour of the downtown bars. A great opportunity to discover very original local bands.
The Dunedin Sound is a musical movement that mixes the influences from pop, rock and punk music.
A very creative sound that had its moment of glory in the 80s with the Chills or the Verlaines.
If you still have some energy, you can experiment the electro scene of Dunedin. There are countless student parties to join if you are not shy. But you can also admire the photogenic railway station with its night lighting.
8A Thousand Memories Later ...
Architecturally, this is the most interesting city, with buildings full of history. This is the ideal place to study and party. Observe Scarfies practice these activities with enthusiasm makes you want to attend university.
The dream of the first settlers was partially accomplished. By choosing to bid on youth, Dunedin proved that decline was not a fatality, and the city regained prosperity.
The parallel with Edinburgh or Glasgow seems obvious. Some common street names (Princes Street for example), and a similar architectural style. But it is especially the warm and friendly character of the people, that has been perpetuated to the other side of the Earth.
Alas, we did not have enough time to visit Larnach Castle, which is the only one of its kind in New Zealand.
And the blue sky kept us away from the Otago Museum and the Public Art Gallery. So many good reasons to return another time to explore all these wonders.
There is a market each Saturday nearby the beautiful railway station. The Otago Farmer's Market offers regional products, with a great deal of them produced in biological farms.
Musicians are playing everywhere. One could believe that someone wants to prevent us from getting on the train!
Taieri Gorge Railway follows a railway regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world.
The train runs along many steep gorges and crosses tunnels and spectacular viaducts. The journey of 4 hours takes place aboard the old wagons built in 1920 but very comfortable. The terminal leaves you close to the cities of Queenstown and Wanaka.
But you can also take the train as part of a round trip that will take you back to Dunedin.
You surely know Ben the Kiwi. He is the mascot of Kiwipal and an expert guide from New Zealand. Our brave companion was born in the wild nature, but he is not afraid to go downtown.
You will be able to ask him any questions. He loves above all the pictures from New Zealand. Remember to send your best shots when you'll come back from Dunedin.
If you are leaving Dunedin by car, do not miss the famous Moeraki Boulders located 75 kilometers north. These strange round stones look like dinosaur eggs, and are just amazing!
Questions & Answers.
What can I do for you? If you ask me what to do in Dunedin when the weather is bad, I suggest going to a great pub like the Robbies. For those who know Edinburgh, it will necessarily recall great memories.
- All topics ... 54 answers in total
- Culture, Museums and Festivals 16 answers
- Taieri Gorge Railway 8 answers
- Excursions in the Area 5 answers
- Practical Information 5 answers
- Baldwin Street 5 answers
- History of the Region 3 answers
- Traffic and Transport in the City 3 answers
- Restaurants, Pubs and Markets 3 answers
- Beaches and Activities 3 answers
- Gardens 2 answers
Culture, Museums and Festivals
- Does the visit of the station come for free?
It is a public station, so its access is free. On the other hand, the access to the museum on the first floor is paying.
- Should we visit the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame?
The motto of the museum proclaims: "Honor, preserve, educate and inspire". If you are a rugby fanatic and you are not too chauvinistic, the visit is probably worth the detour. You will be able to contemplate relics "sacred" like the arm guard worn by Colin Meas when he played a game with a broken arm. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm and its entrance is subject to charges. The official website will tell you more:Dunedin New Zealand Hall of Fame
- What are the opening hours of the Chinese garden?
It is open from 10am to 5pm.
- What is the use of the Municipal Chambers building?
Built in Oamaru stone and inaugurated in 1880, this building welcomes the municipal councilors who sit on the Council Chambers. The clock tower, 47 meters high, was rebuilt in 1989.
- What does the interior of St Paul's Cathedral look like?
The visit of this church consecrated in 1919 is free. You will especially admire the high vault of 40 meters, supported by neo-Gothic pillars. It is the only stone nave of this size in New Zealand. The floor is covered with Italian marble tiles.
- Can we visit First Church?
The rose window of this imposing Presbyterian church stands at 56 meters. If you cross the church door on Friday noon, you have a good chance of attending a classical music concert. They are often free.
- What is the name of the rugby team based in Dunedin?
The Highlanders (again a Scottish reference) defend the colors of the city. This team is playing the Super Rugby championship.
- Does the entrance to the Public Art Gallery to be paid?
Admission is free as is often the case in museums in New Zealand. A little donation would be welcome...
- What artworks are exhibited at the Public Art Gallery?
This museum located next to S Paul's Cathedral features paintings by Frances Hogdkins (an artist from New Zealand) as well as paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries. A vast space is devoted to modern and contemporary arts. The opportunity to admire the works by Monet, Gainsborough, Constable, Pissaro or Reynolds.
- Is the entrance to the Otago Settlers Museum to be paid?
Free entry. The city has financed the new installation for more than ten million dollars. Please remember that there is a "donation box" at the entrance.
- What are the exhibitions at the Otago Settlers Museum?
Closed for 4 long years for works, the museum reopens its doors in December 2012. The main exhibition is devoted to the history of the city through all its periods. You will find many items from the past, such as old coins or thousands of photos. My favorite part exposes vintage vehicles, such as fire engines, a tramway car and even a steam locomotive (named Josephine, now moved to the lobby). Otago Settlers Museum, 31 Queens Gardens (Tel: 03-477 5052). Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm.Dunedin Otago Settlers Museum
- Is the entrance to the Otago Museum to be paid?
As often, admission is free but you can donate a few coins.
- What are the exhibitions at the Otago Museum?
The neoclassical museum proposes to discover the natural history of the Otago through several rooms. You will discover the dinosaurs that have populated the region, geology and Maori culture (including a carved wooden canoe). A tropical greenhouse is home to a thousand butterflies. An entire section is devoted to the world of the sea. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Otago Museum, 419 Great King Street, Tel: 03-474 7474Otago Museum
- Do we need to visit Olveston House?
It is an authentic mansion built of oak wood, which dates from 1906. It was bequeathed to the city which has preserved it intact as testimony of the past. If you have a passion for antique furniture, you'll be happy, otherwise pass your turn. Open every day except at Christmas, from 9.30am to 4pm. Go to 42 Royal Terrace to find the entrance.
- When is the Dunedin Summer Festival taking place?
It is held during the third week of February. You can see parades, car races or dragon boat races, and the famous Baldwin Street "Gutbuster". Visit the city's official website for more information.Dunedin Festival
- Should we visit Larnach Castle?
The unique castle of NZ has been converted into a hotel. The setting is very nice and the entrance is at 145 Camp Road St, Dunedin.
Taieri Gorge Railway
- When should we book the Taieri Gorge Railway excursion?
Whatever the season, it is simply unavoidable. However, beware of misty days. I prefer to travel in winter when the hills are snowy.
- How much does Taieri Gorge Railway cost?
Approximately $85 per adult. The good news is that you have a free child's ticket. The official website will give you all the details.Taieri Gorge Railway
- What are the schedules for Taieri Gorge Railway?
There are two departures a day, sometimes more in summer. The only annual closing is for Christmas. Check the official website to book your trip:Taieri Gorge Railway Schedule
- How is the train ride from Taieri Gorge Railway?
You will enjoy a 4-hour walk on an old 77 km long line. The journey takes place in old but very comfortable 1920 wagons. The train is not going fast, and that is on purpose. We are on an old line of 1879. Comments are broadcast during the visit, and some breaks are regularly scheduled.
- Can we take pictures during Taieri Gorge Railway?
Some windows can open and there is even a special wagon with an outdoor deck. You should have no trouble taking hundreds of pictures all more successful than each other. Just be careful not to drop your camera (consider wearing a wrist strap). If you go out on the platform to take pictures, remember to put a sweater even in summer.
- Are the seats numbered aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway?
The places are not numbered you can sit wherever you want. Some seats offer more leg space.
- Can we have lunch on the Taieri Gorge Railway?
You can bring your own sandwiches or enjoy the buffet on board. There is general agreement that the quality of the food served is correct and the rate charged is not excessive.
- Do children enjoy Taieri Gorge Railway?
Even the most beautiful landscape in the world can't compete with a Nintendo for a long time... A 4-hour trip can be a bit long for young children if they don't like this kind of excursion.
Excursions in the Area
- What is the best view on the city?
Ideally, you should visit Mount Cargill which rises to 680 meters. The view is remarkable when the weather is good. But clouds often interfere with visibility.
- What is the best route to admire the peninsula?
There are two routes which have been summarily called "low road" and "high road". Contrary to what one might think, it is the low road that must be borrowed to have the best view on the peninsula. It will be necessary to use the high road for the return. The journey takes about 1h30 and is not recommended for occasional drivers. This is the old track designed for carriages and horses. Therefore, expect a winding and very narrow road.
- Why should we visit Signal Hill?
Because the view over Dunedin and the peninsula is great. The monument itself is of no particular interest. It was erected in 1940 to commemorate the first century of British sovereignty.
- When can we visit Tunnel Beach Walkway?
The visit is granted from November to July. Whatever the time of the year, watch your children because the cliffs are steep.
- Do you recommend visiting the Organ Pipes?
They are strange basalt pillars that have been nicknamed "Organ Pipes". It takes an hour's walk from Mount Cargill at the north of the city. The view is very pleasant and the originality of the rock formation justifies the displacement.
- Where can I find the Dunedin iSite?
Go to the ground floor of the Civic Center on Place Octagon. The iSite is open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm, and the weekend from 8:45 am to 5 pm.Dunedin iSite
- Where can I buy Jaffa candies?
If you like this little orange chocolate invented in 1931, you can find it in supermarkets. It is manufactured by Cadbury which produces 112 tonnes per year!
- Where can I find an Internet connection?
And to say that at the beginning of the history of the city it was a vacant land ... The Octagon has changed well and it offers free Wi-Fi access. A limit was set at 150 people at the same time to maintain an acceptable flow. You will find all the connection tips on this page:Octagon Free WiFi
- Is the city safe?
You are most likely to encounter drunk students if you stay out very late. Even if crime is very low in New Zealand, you can always make bad encounters. But you have very little chance of having trouble.
- Where to find the concerts list?
Just visit the website dedicated to music groups in Dunedin:Concerts & Music in Dunedin
- Can we drive in Baldwin Street by car?
Baldwin Street access is reserved for the residents. You will notice a "no exit, no turning!" sign post at the entrance.
- What if I drive in Baldwin Street anyway?
The rear passengers of the car are going to be afraid, because a tilt of 35 ° is very impressive. If the residents are used to the maneuver, it is because they have a garage and have become accustomed to it. What's more, with a rental car, the insurance will not cover any damage.
- I understand that I must not, but I don't care…
You should avoid this road in winter when it freezes or when it rains. Know that at the top of the street, space to maneuver is very narrow. It is very difficult to turn around. The locals know a great deal of anecdotes with motorhomes that have slipped across. I'll let you guess how this ended most of the time... No, seriously, let the car down, do not ruin your trip!
- Is Baldwin St more inclined than the 22nd St in San Francisco?
The 22nd Street of San Francisco is inclined at 31.5 ° against 35 ° for Baldwin Street. Dunedin holds the record despite an erroneous first measure of 38 °.
- Can we go up and down Baldwin Street by bike?
If you can climb to the top without putting your foot on the ground a single time, you will earn my eternal respect (if you achieve to go down in one piece, of course). From a general point of view, Dunedin is not the ideal city for biking. There are very few flat areas except in the city center.
History of the Region
- How to explain the relief of the region?
Dunedin is located at the entrance to the Otago Peninsula. The city is surrounded by hills which are often ancient extinct volcanoes. This is the case, for example, with the Harbor Cone, which rises 300 meters above sea level and was formed 13 million years ago.
- Who discovered the region?
The Maori at first. For Westerners, it is most certainly Captain Cook. He reported the presence of fur seals, but he did not take the time to explore farther.
- Who founded the city?
A first wave of 344 Scotsmen landed in the region after a schism within the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. A second wave followed a few years later, consisting mainly of English and Irish.
Traffic and Transport in the City
- Is there a tram in Dunedin?
Dunedin has long owned a tram, installed during the gold rush. There was a time when the city held the largest number of tramways per capita in the world. Only San Francisco preceded Dunedin in the installation of the cable traction. Even the famous Baldwin Street was served by a tram line! The buses gradually took over and the tram disappeared.
- Where is the airport?
The international airport is 30 km from the center (south-west of the city). It takes 30 minutes to reach it by car or 40 minutes by shuttle.
- How to get there by bus?
Bus companies are numerous. They all serve the railway station with the exception of the Innercity company which leaves from St Andrews Street. Here are the websites you can consult for travel schedules and fares:Bus schedule
Restaurants, Pubs and Markets
- Where is the Plato restaurant?
Often cited as a culinary reference of New Zealand, it is located at number 2 of Birch Street in Dunedin. Reservations by phone at 03-477 4235.Plato Café Restaurant
- Where is the Governor’s Café?
Frequented by students since 1977, it is located at 438 George Street. It closes fairly early with weekly hours from 7am to 9pm and from 8am to 9pm on weekends. If you just want to have a coffee, you should consider going to Modaks Expresso which is the most fashionable at this time (turn to 337-339 George Street).
- Where is the Dunedin Farmer's market?
It stands next to the railway station every Saturday. Consult the program on the official page:Otago Farmers Market
Beaches and Activities
- Can we swim at St Clair?
Yes, even if the water is fresh (about 18 °).
- What are the best beaches in Dunedin?
The beaches of St Clair and St Kilda are the most popular. They are both easily accessible.
- What are the best surf spots nearby?
The locals will recommend Blackhead which is at the south of Dunedin. At the North of Otago Harbor you will find Aramoana.
- Do you recommend visiting the Botanical Garden?
Yes, especially since it is close to the city center (20 minutes walk). It covers 22 hectares of which a large part is devoted to rhododendrons. You can take your children there, there is a playground and a coffee shop on site to enjoy ice cream.
- Are there other gardens in town?
The gardens are numerous in Dunedin. There are about twenty of them! In addition to the famous Chinese and botanical gardens, I recommend the Glenfalloch Woodland Garden and its 30 acres dotted with azaleas and magnolias.
On the Country Map
Dunedin is the capital of Otago, a province on the South Island of New Zealand.
Seek advice from experts in New Zealand:
A Kiwipal guide will answer to you as soon as possible. Thanks!