Dunedin is one of the biggest cities in the south island of New Zealand and has a very Scottish identity. Through words – and of course, lots of analogue photographs, let me show you some of the main points of interest in this city!
Dunedin is located at the head of Otago Harbour and was founded in 1848 by the “Free Church of Scotland” as the principal town of their settlement in this area. The name of Dunedin comes from the Scottish Gaelic name of Edinburgh (Dùn Èideann), the capital of Scotland. In a way, the builders of the city tried to re-create the spirit of the Scottish capital.
We only spent a few days in this area but there are at least four points of interest that you should see in this city:
First of all, the main touristic attraction when you arrive in the city (as everybody will tell you) is Baldwin Street. It’s not the main shopping street or the oldest historical area of the town but it’s “specificity” lies elsewhere as Baldwin Street has the official title of being “the steepest street in the world”! Indeed, this little residential street is told to have a 47% difference of height on a length of only 167 meters. That is for sure a steep way up, and you can’t run up to the top of the street, but need to have a slow rhythm to come the way up. Some people won’t do it by walking and prefer to use their car (although what’s the interest of this if you don’t even try it by foot?!), but even then you can hear the engines being pushed to their maximum limits in first gear. And if you want to have a proof of your physical effort on Baldwin Street, there’s a little souvenir and gift shop that gives you a certificate that you climbed up the steepest street in the world! :)
Near to Baldwin Street when coming back to the city center, and to have some rest after the efforts you made by climbing up the steepest street in the world, you should have a stop at the beautiful and huge Botanical Garden of Dunedin. It’s a little hill, with different types of forests and nature. In spite of being located in the middle of the city, you can still relax and forget the urban atmosphere, and enjoy this place of nature and calm.
Another point of interest in Dunedin is the railway station. Railway stations are often very good places to have a shoot for the architecture, the trains, and the sensation of real travel and discovery. I must say that I’m a big fan of railway stations, and the one in Dunedin is a beautiful one!
This station was built in 1906 and is one of the most famous buildings in New Zealand’s architectural history. The style is a kind of “Flemish renaissance revival” style, made out of dark basalt, white stone and pink granite. That gives the whole building a very stylish and seducing aspect.
Finally, after a long day of visiting and walking through the city, and to be in a very Scottish tradition, you must go to the Pub and drink some beers! Dunedin is the city where the NZ Speight’s beer is brewed and you can enjoy the big Speight’s Pub in the city center to drink some beer and relax after a long day!