WorldOceaniaNEW ZEALANDDunedin

Dunedin is known as the Edinburgh of the South and is proud of its Scots heritage. It has as its heart a statue of the poet Robbie Burns, and many of its streets carry the same name as streets in Edinburgh. It was built in a time before the car was king, when ships and railways moved people around. It is built in a natural harbour on a relatively small area of flat land. It is surrounded by steep hillsides. Some of its streets are steep: Baldwin Street is claimed as being the steepest street in the world, a claim which is celebrated during the annual chocolate festival by rolling 15,000+ jaffas down it. It does get cold: many of the streets are iced over in winter, and every two or three years, the city gets a snowfall.

Dunedin's University of Otago, established in 1871, is the oldest university in New Zealand. It is the South Island's second largest employer, and by far the biggest contributor to the Dunedin economy. 02:25, 14 April 2007 (EDT) Dunedin is a University Town rather than just a town with a university. The students make up over a tenth of the population. A consequence of this is that the city is significantly quieter during the university summer holiday period (approx November to February).

Dunedinites (the Dunedin people) are generally friendly, noticeably more friendly than in the bigger cities of NZ (& the bigger cities anywhere else in the world).

Other Destinations

  • Christchurch, 5 hours north
  • Wanaka and Queenstown, 4 hours inland
  • Invercargill, 2.5 hours south
  • Blueskin Bay 30 minutes north

  • Get in

    By plane
  • Dunedin International Airport, DUD, . A domestic and international airport.
  • * Air New Zealand, 0800 737 000, . Flies from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
  • * Freedom Air, 0800 600 500 in NZ or 1800 122 000 in Australia, . Flies from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Flying time ranges from 3 hours 20 minutes from Melbourne to 4 hours from Brisbane.

  • Dunedin airport is 30 kilometers out of town on the nearest piece of flat land that was big enough. Taxis and shuttle buses operate from just outside the terminal and are usually there when flights arrive. The fare for a shared shuttle is around $NZD 15 and for NZD$45-50 for a taxi to Dunedin. All of the major rental car operators also serve the airport.

    By train
    The railway station is close to the centre of town. Unfortunately there is no longer a regular long distance passenger train service, but some people arrive in the city by the local scenic trains. These are operated by the Taieri Gorge Railway, which run out as far as Middlemarch. A connecting bus service to Queenstown can be arranged.

    By car
    State Highway 1 passes through Dunedin. Allow 4 to 5 hours travel from Christchurch and 2 to 3 hours travel from Invercargill. Be sure to get a good detailed map as soon as you can. Most hostels have very detailed maps for the downtown area with reasonable details for the outlying areas. The roads can be very confusing with lots of one way streets and circles.

    By bus
    There are several daily services from Christchurch, Invercargill, Wanaka and Queenstown. The major operators are Intercity, Atomic Shuttles,, Wanaka-Connection and Knightrider (which offers an overnight service from Christchurch to Invercargill via Dunedin). The trip from (or to) Christchurch takes about 6.5 hours.

    Get around

    By bus
    The Dunedin Bus Service is fairly average but cheap and does get you around. The main line service, St Clair-Normanby, runs every 10 Minutes and is handy to about a dozen of the City's attractions. Most other routes are every 30-40 minutes. Some of the buses are not too attractive looking, but they are being added to by cast-off wheelchair friendly buses from other cities. The blue/gold coloured buses operated by Citibus and the beige/dark red buses operated by Passenger Transport share all the town routes. Most drivers from either company will tell you where to find the right bus if you ask nicely, or you can ask the Otago Regional Council or call 0508-474-082 free from a cell phone, but only during office hours.
    The Peninsula bus route from the Museum is a good way to see the Peninsula, unless you're terrified by oncoming traffic: in places the full sized buses are wider than the lanes they travel in. The traffic is generally used to this and travels very cautiously. All Buses on the Peninsula service are Wheel Chair Friendly.

    By bike
    There is a recycling centre down by the north-east end of the docks (in Wickliffe Street) which generally has one or two reasonable-condition bicycles lying about for NZ$10 apiece. Carefully add air (there's a service station due west back over the bridge) and oil and you're set to go. You will also need a skid-lid/stack-hat/helmet, which are generally unavailable second-hand for liability reasons, but can be had new for NZD$20 from the KMart in Meridian, between George Street and Filleul Street. There is another recycling shop called "The Recover Store" at the Dunedin Landfill on Brighton Road, Green Island.

    Dunedin's hills are extremely steep but the town centre is reasonably flat There is an excellent flat ride out along the western shore of the Otago Peninsula to Harington Point, although it's a narrow road shared by lots of tour buses. A cycle track runs along of the industrial eastern shore of the harbour, about half way to Port Chalmers (busy highway the rest of the way).

    If you like a bit of a hill-climb, ride out along North Road to the Organ Pipes, a collection of rapidly-cooled rocks which have self-formed into organ-pipe-like structures. The walk along a bush track up to the Pipes themselves is very scenic and well attended by small, harmless wildlife. The ride up along the ridge of the Peninsula to Lanarch Castle is also good high-energy exercise.

    If you like pushing a bike up a hill because it's too steep, dive off NorthRoad onto Norwood Street, or cross to the east side of the Peninsula, or head straight up the hill behind TheOctagon past the Beverly-Begg Observatory to suburbs with a view like Roslyn.

    By train
    There are no suburban trains.
    The Taeri Gorge Railway tel +64-3-477-4449 is a scenic tourist trip, ending at a small village called Middlemarch. Take your camera and lots of memory. The same company runs trips on the old Christchurch line as far as Palmerston, about 2 hours away. These go about twice a week in the summer.

  • Cadbury World, 280 Cumberland St,, 03, fax 03,, . Daily tours running every half hour from 9am-4pm, with hours extended to 7pm during the summer. Closed Christmas Day and the morning of Anzac Day. Take a guided tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, a factory that accounts for more that 75% of New Zealand's chocolate production.

  • Speights Brewery, 200 Rattray St, 03 (Tours) or 03 (Office), fax 03,, . Shop hours: M-Th 9:30am-7pm, F-Su 9:30am-5pm. Tours daily at 10am, 12 noon, 2pm. Close Christmas day, Good Friday, Easter Saturday/Sunday, and shortened hours on ANZAC day. Children under fifteen require adult supervision. The brewery has been a Dunedin landmark since its founding in 1876. The guided tour takes you through the Speight's brewery, sharing the hertiage and culture of beer, from the Babylonians to today. The tour's finale is a 25 minute beer tasting. You must be 18 years old to join in on the tasting.
  • Fortune Theatre, 231 Stuart St, corner of Stuart St and Moray Pl, Box office 03, Administration 03, fax 03, . Housed in a converted stone church, the Fortune Theatre provides professional live performances to the citizens of Otago.
  • Hoyts 6 Octagon Cinemas, 33 The Octagon, 03. Catch a feature film in the Octagon.
  • The Octagon. The city center - it is shaped like an Octagon instead of the standard square. This part of town is very active and lots of businesses strive to be near it.
  • Robert Burns statue. The over 100 year old statue of poet Robbie Burns sits in The Octagon and was recently restored. The statue was cast by a notable sculptor of Edinburgh, Scotland. This same sculptor made four other, nearly identical, statues, one of which rests in Central Park, New York.
  • The Organ Pipes small columnar rock format set in a hillside with splendid views. Pleasant hike up a steep bush track from a carpark about 5km out of town along North Road.

  • The architecture
  • Otago University has some great old buildings to wander about and see, when Uni's in its a good place to sit, people watch and take it all in, some good food/cafes/bars are nearby too.
  • The Royal Albatross colony, at Taiaroa Head, is the only mainland albatross nesting site in the world. It is an hour's drive along the western coast of Otago Peninsula on a road that skirts the water for most of its length without any guardrail. In places, the city buses which frequent the road are wider than the lanes (the local traffic is used to this, and drives very carefully), so if you don't trust your driving reflexes, take a coach instead. Albatrosses may be seen during the summer months, as well as other wildlife at all times of the year. Guided tours of the colony and the old fortifications on and under the headland are conducted daily.
  • Otago Museum
  • Carisbrook - The House of Pain! Where great rugby and cricket games are won and lost.
  • The university (Otago University) - some beautiful old stone buildings, with one or two impressive newer buildings and the Water of Leith running through.
  • Tunnel beach - The story goes that crazy old Cargill had a steep tunnel cut through the stone cliff, so his daughter could go to the beach. Some stories say she later drowned, but it's a lovely beach all the same, and the tunnel is very spooky. You need to walk over farmland to get there, so access is banned during lambing. See the visitor's centre in the Octagon for further information.
  • Otago Peninsula - much scenic coastline including rugged points and headlands, wildfowl-laden mud flats and beautiful Allans Beach (plus several smaller beaches) on the south/east coast, and picturesque hamlets on the north/west coast (including a pretty and peaceful cemetery on a little spit of land called Dunoon, many boat-houses and a miniscule beach). Seals, sea-lions and other interesting fauna turn up at all of the southern/eastern beaches.
  • Otakou marae - a Maori church and meeting-house, which gave the Otago Peninsula its name. Find it on a side-road near Harington Point, at the outer (nother/east) end of the Peninsula.
  • Larnach Castle . Billed as "the only castle" in New Zealand, it's very pretty but technically only a manor house and there is another (ruined, but being restored) building in the same predicament called Cargill's Castle in the southern suburbs of Dunedin. Lanarch Castle has a rich and interesting history.

  • Do
  • Baldwin Street. Located in Dunedin's North East Valley suburb. According to the Guinness Book of Records it is the steepest street in the world. Take the ten minute walk to the top or drive up to enjoy the view looking down! There is a drinking fountain at the top. Some people have tried, and a few have succeeded, cycling all the way up Baldwin Street - try it if you're a keen cyclist.
  • * Baldwin Street Gutbuster. Take part in a run up and back on the world's steepest street during the city's summer festival.
  • Swim or surf the beaches. Much more fun if you wear a wetsuit. If it's a bit cold, there's heated pooladjacent to the main beach.

  • Tramping; Dunedin has some of the most easily-accessible tracks of any city in NZ. In less than half an hour you can be in pristine bush far from the worries of the world. Ask about Green Hut Track, Carey's Creek, Possum Hut, Rosella Ridge, Yellow Ridge, Rocky Ridge, Rongamai, Honeycomb, Powder Creek, Long Ridge, Swampy Ridge, Leith Saddle, Burns, Rustlers, Nichols Creek, Nichols Falls, to name just some of the fabulous tramping tracks around this city. Ask at the Visitor Centre or get "The Ultimate Tramping Guide for around Dunedin" at DoC ($10) and cut loose.

  • Attend the University of Otago or the Otago Polytechnic . The students in Dunedin are referred to as scarfies and provide most of the volume at Carisbrook - the city's main sports ground. It helps to have the image of a Southern man and drink copious amounts of Speights - the local brew.

  • Buy
  • Tapui Childrens Books, 449 Princess St, 03 479 2940, fax 03 471 8036,, . M-Fr 9am-5:30pm, Sa 10am - 1pm. Founded in 1973, Tapui started focusing on children's books almost 20 years ago. The store is only 5 minutes walk from the Octagon and they also operate a travelling bookshop that visits area schools.

  • Eat

    For the desperate, McDonalds is at 232 George Street, where an internet cafe is attached -- but I wouldn't go there. George Street is just littered with all kinds of restaurants, starting about two blocks north of TheOctagon (in the centre of Dunedin). There are also a few interesting places on Albany Street, which runs across the south of the UniversityOfOtago.

    They're used to students and other tightwads, too. The wiki for the LCA2006 Linux conference hosts some photos of them, which will eventually be pushed into a local (Dunedin) wiki.

    Being NZ, if you want Fush and Chups, you go to a Chinese restaurant for them. Don't know why, but it works. The prices are pretty good, although the fish servings are typically only about 1/2 to 2/3 of the size of the Australian counterpart.

    One interesting local specialty is kumara chips, made with a local sweet-potato variant and typically priced at about double the cost of potato chips. Very tasty!

    The kiwis are also good at making icecream, and many places (including little delis and general stores at places like MacAndrew Bay) sell cones for fairly reasonable prices (e.g. NZD$1.90 for a double cone).

    The Satay Noodle house on Hanover Street (Opposite the Hannah's Meridian entrance) has good Cambodian and Thai food at cheap prices ~$7, Be warned they don't have EFTPOS but there's a ATM across the road.

    For the freshest local organic produce, including fruit, vegetables, eggs, bread, cheese, etc it's a good idea to check out the Farmer's Market. It's on Saturday mornings, 8AM til around 12:30PM next to the railway station.



    Bath St just before the Octagon off George St. Great small, dark & somewhat random place to enjoy sounds. Has a mix of music from banging drum n bass nights to reggae chill. Sometimes its the only place hidden away thats going off!


  • Adventurer Backpacker, 37 Dowling Street, 03 477 7367, 0800 422 257. Located in a converted historic building.

  • Arden Central Bed and Breakfast, 36 Arden Street, 03 473 8860, . Offers B&B, homestay and ensuite. 20 minute walk to the Octagon. NZ$45-NZ$130.

  • Chalet Backpackers, 296 High Street, 03 479 2075, 0800 242 538. 10 minute walk to the Octagon. No bunks are to found in this backpackers - and only a maximum of 5 people in the largest room!

  • Dunedin Central Backpackers, 243 Moray Place, 03 477 9985, . 1 minute from the Octagon in the heart of the city.

  • Elm Lodge, 74 Elm Row, 03 474 1872, 0800 356 563, . Friendly backpackers/hostel located 5 minutes walk from the city's center the Octagon. Limited parking is found on the street.

  • Hogwartz Backpacker Hostel, 277 Rattray Street, 03 474 1487. 5 minute walk from the Octagon. Maximum 4 share room, no bunks.

  • Leviathan Heritage Hotel and Downtown Dunedin Backpackers, 27 Queens Gardens, 03 477 3160, 0800 773 773, . 2 minute walk to the Octagon. Practically next door to a 24x7 Countdown supermarket and the railway station.

  • Next Stop Backpackers, 2 View Street, 03 477 0447 (fax 477-0430) , low $20s for a dorm, pretty, clean and quiet, very close to TheOctagon and central facilities. The street is nearly perpendicular, so not a good spot for wheelchairs.

  • On Top Backpackers, Filleul Street near TheOctagon and Moray Street, 03 477 6121 (fax 477 6141), , low $20s for a dorm bed, small dorms, good clean facilities, good staff, good attitude, right next to TheOctagon and two blocks from a 24x7 Countdown supermarket. Built over a pool hall and bar; literally one minute from most facilities including cinema, library, information centre, banks, food etc. 24x7 swipe-card access.

  • Mid-range
  • Abbey Lodge Hotel and Motel, 900 Cumberland St, 0800 505 380, . This Spanish style Hotel/Motel has its own restaurant and indoor pool. Borders the botanical gardens and 2 minute walk to University of Otago. NZ$120-NZ$150.

  • Cargills Hotel,678 George Street, 0800 737378,. A 50 room property surrounding a beautiful courtyard garden, award winning restaurant and lounge bar. Close to University, Hospital and CBD.

  • 10 Trinity Court Motel, 10 Carroll St, 0800 444 909, 03 477 2767, fax 03 477 2724,, . This Budget Motel Chain member offers private parking and all of the rooms are non-smoking with private facilities. NZ$60-NZ$105.

  • City Sanctuary Bed and Breakfast, 165 Maitland Street, 03 4745002, . A lovely restored villa in an oasis of gardens, yet only minutes from the city's attractions. En suite. Spa bath. NZ$100-NZ$175.

  • Hilltop on High Street, 433 High Street, 03 477 1053, . Come here for a little pampering. Offers backpackers, homestay, ensuite and B&B. NZ$70-NZ$90.

  • Leviathan Heritage Hotel and Downtown Dunedin Backpackers, 27 Queens Gardens, 03 477 3160, 0800 773 773, . 2 minute walk to the Octagon.
  • Magnolia House Non-Smoking Bed and Breakfast, 18 Grendon, Maori Hill. 20 min walk to Octagon. Beautiful old Victorian villa set in lovely gardens. NZ$120 dbl. NZ$100 sngl.

  • Splurge
  • Abbey Lodge Hotel and Motel, 900 Cumberland St, 0800 505 380, . This Spanish style Hotel/Motel has its own restaurant and indoor pool. Borders the botanical gardens and 2 minute walk to University of Otago. NZ$120-NZ$150.
  • Boutique Bed and Breakfast, 107 Jefferis Road, 2 R. D Waikouaiti, 03 465 7239, . Historic Bed and breakfast with remodeled suites set in the peaceful countryside 30 mins North of Dunedin. NZ$150.
  • 27 Pitt, 27 Pitt St, 03 477 5133, fax 03 477 5132, A quiet bed and breakfast NZ$220-NZ$250.
  • Elgin House, 31 Elgin Rd, 0800 272 940, 03 453 0004, fax 03 453 0004,, . NZ$195-NZ$250. Luxury bed and breakfast built in the late 1800s that is located 3km from town in the nearby suburb of Mornington.
  • Fletcher Lodge, 276 High St, 0800 843563, 03 477 5552, fax 03 474 5551, . Bed and breakfast with beautiful suites. NZ$175-NZ$550.
  • Hyland House, 1003 George St, 0800 HYLAND, 03 473 1122, fax 03 473 6066,. Suite rooms with private bathrooms. NZ$140 - NZ$300.
  • One Royal Terrace Bed & Breakfast, 1 Royal Terrace, 03 479 0772, fax 03 479 0775, . NZ$180-NZ$495.
  • Peacocks, 304 York Place, 0800 327 333, 03 474 1300, 0276 200 345, . Luxury bed and breakfast with ensuite rooms. NZ$200-NZ$350.
  • Station Masters Cottage, 300 York Place, 0800 327 333, 03 474 1300, 0276 200 345, . 3 rooms in a historic cottage. NZ$220-NZ$390.

  • Stay safe

    The Police Station is in Great King Street, next to Countdown and Real Groovy.

  • Albany Street Centre, 28 Albany St, 03 479 2169. M-Th 9am-5pm. Professional counselling services.

  • Octagon Amcal Pharmacy, 2 George St, at the corner of the Octagon and George St, 0800 ASK AMCAL, 03 477 1289, fax 03 477 1289, . M-Th 8:30am-5:30pm, F 8:30am-9pm, Sa 9:30am-4pm, Su 10am-2pm. Closed Christmas day, New Years Day, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.

  • Dunedin

    Urban AreaPopulation114,700 (2005 estimate)
    ExtentMosgiel to Port Chalmers
    NameDunedin City
    Land area3314.8km²
    Extenturban area, and to
    Waikouaiti and the
    Taieri River
    NameOtago Regional Council

    Dunedin (ÅŒtepoti in Maori) is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the region of Otago. It is New Zealand's fifth largest city in terms of population, it is the hub of the fifth-largest urban area and the largest in size of council boundary areas. For historical and cultural reasons, Dunedin is considered one of the country's four main centres.

    The city stands on the hills and valleys surrounding the head of Otago Harbour. The harbour and hills are the remnants of an extinct volcano. It is the home of the University of Otago.


    Modern archaeology favours a date round 1100 AD for the first human (Māori) occupation of New Zealand with population concentrated along the south east coast. A camp site at Kaikai's Beach, near Otago Heads, has been dated from about that time. There are numerous Archaic (moa hunter) sites in what is now Dunedin, several of them large and permanently occupied, particularly in the fourteenth century. Population contracted but expanded again with the evolution of the Classic culture which saw the building of several pa, fortified settlements, notably Pukekura at (Taiaroa Head), about 1650. There was a settlement in what is now central Dunedin (Ōtepoti) occupied as late as about 1785 but abandoned by 1826.

    Maori tradition tells first of people called Kahui Tipua living in the area, then Te Rapuwai, semi-legendary but considered to be historical. The next arrivals were Waitaha followed by Kati Mamoe late in the sixteenth century and then Kai Tahu (Ngai Tahu in modern standard Māori) who arrived in the mid seventeenth century. These migration waves have often been represented as 'invasions' in European accounts but modern scholarship has cast doubt on that. They were probably migrations like those of the European which incidentally resulted in bloodshed.

    The sealer John Boultbee recorded in the 1820s that the 'Kaika Otargo' (settlements around and near Otago Harbour) were the oldest and largest in the south.

    Captain James Cook stood off what is now the coast of Dunedin between February 25 and March 5 1770, naming Cape Saunders on the Otago Peninsula and Saddle Hill. He reported penguins and seals in the vicinity, which led sealers to visit from the beginning of the 19th century. The early years of sealing saw a feud between sealers and local Maori, from 1810-1823, sparked by an incident on Otago Harbour, but William Tucker became the first European to settle in the area in 1815. Permanent European occupation dates from 1831 when the Weller brothers founded their whaling station at Otago, modern Otakou on the Otago Harbour. Epidemics reduced the Maori population. By the late 1830s the harbour was an international whaling port. Johnny Jones established a farming settlement and a mission station, the South Island's first, at Waikouaiti in 1840.

    The Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland founded Dunedin at the head of Otago Harbour in 1848 as the principal town of its Scottish settlement. The name comes from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the Scottish capital. Charles Kettle the city's surveyor, instructed to emulate the characteristics of Edinburgh, produced a striking, 'Romantic' design. The result was both grand and quirky streets as the builders struggled and sometimes failed to construct his bold vision across the challenging landscape. Captain William Cargill, a veteran of the war against Napoleon, was the secular leader. The Reverend Thomas Burns, a nephew of the poet Robert Burns, was the spiritual guide.

    In 1852, Dunedin became the capital of the Otago Province, the whole of New Zealand from the Waitaki south. In 1861 the discovery of gold at Gabriel's Gully, to the southwest, led to a rapid influx of population and saw Dunedin become New Zealand's first city by growth of population in 1865. The new arrivals included many Irish, but also Italians, French, Germans, Jews and Chinese.
    Dunedin and the region industrialised and consolidated, and the Main South Line connected the city with Christchurch in 1878 and Invercargill in 1879. The University of Otago, the oldest university in New Zealand, was founded in Dunedin in 1869. Otago Girls' High School (1871) is said to be the oldest state secondary school for girls in the Southern Hemisphere. Between 1881 and 1957, Dunedin was home to cable trams, being both one of the first and last such systems in the world. Early in the 1880s the inauguration of the frozen meat industry, with the first shipment leaving from Port Chalmers, saw the beginning of a later great national industry.

    After ten years of gold rushes the economy slowed but Julius Vogel's immigration and development scheme brought thousands more especially to Dunedin and Otago before recession set in again in the 1880s. In these first times of prosperity many institutions and businesses were established, New Zealand's first daily newspaper, art school, medical school and public art gallery Dunedin Public Art Gallery among them. There was also a remarkable architectural flowering producing many substantial and ornamental buildings. R.A. Lawson's First Church of Otago and Knox Church are notable examples, as are buildings by Maxwell Bury and F.W. Petre. The other visual arts also flourished under the leadership of W.M. Hodgkins. The city's landscape and burgeoning townscape were vividly portrayed by George O'Brien 1821-1888. From the mid 1890s the economy revived. Institutions such as the Otago Settlers Museum and the Hocken Collections – the first of their kind in New Zealand – were founded. More notable buildings such as the Railway Station and Olveston were erected. New energy in the visual arts represented by G.P. Nerli culminated in the career of Frances Hodgkins.

    By 1900, Dunedin was no longer the country's biggest city. Influence and activity moved north to the other centres ("the drift north"), a trend which continued for much of the following century. Despite this, the university continued to expand, and a student quarter became established. At the same time people started to notice Dunedin's mellowing, the ageing of its grand old buildings, with writers like E.H. McCormick pointing out its atmospheric charm. In the 1930s and early 1940s a new generation of artists such as M.T. (Toss) Woollaston, Doris Lusk, Anne Hamblett, Colin McCahon and Patrick Hayman once again represented the best of the country's talent. The Second World War saw the dispersal of these painters, but not before McCahon had met a very youthful poet, James K. Baxter, in a central city studio.

    Modern Dunedin

    After World War II, prosperity and population growth revived, although Dunedin trailed as the fourth 'main centre'. A generation reacting against Victorianism started demolishing its buildings, and many were lost, notably the Stock Exchange in 1969. Although the university continued to expand, the city's population growth slowed and then contracted, notably from 1976 to 1981. This was, however, a culturally vibrant time with the university's new privately endowed arts fellowships, bringing such luminaries as James K Baxter, Ralph Hotere, Janet Frame, and Hone Tuwhare to the city.

    During the 1980s the city's popular music scene blossomed, with many acts, such as The Chills, The Clean, The Verlaines, and Straitjacket Fits, gaining national and international recognition. The term "The Dunedin Sound" was coined to describe the 1960s-influenced guitar-led music which came out of the city at this time. These bands were at the forefront of a much larger and diverse music scene which was the envy of far larger cities in New Zealand. The music scene continues today, ranging from rock bands to reggae, with a CD released annually to allow people to "sample the sounds". Popular venues for Dunedin music are those such as Bath St Nightclub, Refuel (Found on the University of Otago campus), The Arc Cafe, Sammy's Nightclub, and so on.

    By 1990, population decline had steadied and Dunedin had re-invented itself as a 'heritage city' with its main streets refurbished in Victorian style, and R.A. Lawson's Municipal Chambers in the Octagon handsomely restored. It was also recognised as a centre of excellence in tertiary education and research. The university and polytechnic's growth accelerated. North Dunedin became New Zealand's largest and most exuberant residential campus. The city has continued to refurbish itself, embarking on major developments and redevelopments of the art gallery, railway station, and Otago Settlers Museum.

    Dunedin has flourishing niche industries including engineering, software engineering, bio-technology and fashion. Port Chalmers on Otago Harbour provides Dunedin with deep-water port facilities. The port is served by the Port Chalmers Branch, a branch line railway that diverges from the Main South Line that runs from Christchurch via Dunedin to Invercargill.

    The cityscape glitters with gems of Victorian and Edwardian architecture - the legacy of the city's gold-rush affluence - many including First Church and Larnach Castle designed by one of New Zealand's most eminent architects R A Lawson. Other prominent buildings include Olveston and the magnificent Dunedin Railway Station. Other not-to-be missed attractions include Baldwin Street, the world's steepest street; the famous Captain Cook Tavern; and the local Speight's brewery. Tourists and students alike appreciate tours of the Cadbury chocolate factory.

    Dunedin is also notable now as centre for ecotourism. Uniquely, the world's only mainland Royal Albatross colony and several penguin and seal colonies lie within the city boundaries on Otago Peninsula. To the south, on the western side of Lake Waihola, lie the Sinclair Wetlands.

    The thriving tertiary student population has led to a vibrant youth culture (so named 'Scarfies'), consisting of the before mentioned music scene, and more recently a burgeoning boutique fashion industry. A very strong visual arts community also lives in Dunedin and its environs, notably in Port Chalmers and the other settlements which dot the coast of the Otago Harbour, and also in communities such as Waitati.

    Sport is catered for in Dunedin by the floodlit rugby and cricket venue of Carisbrook, the New Caledonian Ground soccer and athletics stadium near the University at Logan Park, the large Edgar Centre indoor sports centre, and numerous golf courses and parks. There are also Forbury Park horseracing circuit in the south of the city and several others within a few kilometres. St Clair Beach is a well-known surfing venue. Dunedin has four public swimming pools: Moana Pool, Port Chalmers Pool, Mosgiel and St Clair Pool.

    Transport in Dunedin

    Dunedin features the world's most southern motorway, the ten-kilometre section of State Highway One (SH1) from the centre of the city towards the southern suburb of Mosgiel. Dunedin is the northeastern terminus of the Southern Scenic Route tourist highway to The Catlins, Invercargill and Fiordland.

    Although Dunedin's railway station, once the nation's busiest, is no longer served by regular commercial passenger trains, it is used by local tourist services. The most prominent of these is the Taieri Gorge Limited, a popular and famous train operated daily by the Taieri Gorge Railway along the former Otago Central Railway through the scenic Taieri Gorge. Taieri Gorge Railway also operates to Palmerston once weekly. The station is also sometimes visited by excursions organised by other heritage railway societies, and by trains chartered by cruise ships docking at Port Chalmers.

    Dunedin International Airport
    Dunedin International Airport is located southwest of the city on the Taieri Plains at Momona. It is primarily a domestic terminal, with regular flights to and from Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Rotorua, Palmerston North, and seasonal flights to and from Queenstown, Wanaka, and Fiordland, but it also has regular international flights arriving from and departing to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Coolangatta.

    Media in Dunedin

    Local media in Dunedin include the daily newspaper The Otago Daily Times, several local weekly and bi-weekly community newspapers, local radio stations (including the University's station, Radio One), and Channel 9 a local television station.


    Dunedin City has a land area of 3314.8 km², slightly larger than the American state of Rhode Island or the English county of Cambridgeshire, and a little smaller than Cornwall.
    It is the largest city in land area in New Zealand. The Dunedin City Council boundaries since 1989 have extended to Middlemarch in the west, Waikouaiti in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the east and south-east, and the Waipori/Taieri River and the township of Henley in the south-west. It is now the fourth-largest city in the world by land area.

    Dunedin is also home to Baldwin Street, which, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is the steepest street in the world. Its gradient is 1 in 2.9. The long since abandoned Maryhill Cablecar route had a similar gradient close to its Mornington depot. The Dunedin skyline is dominated by a ring of (traditionally seven) hills which form the remnants of a volcanic crater. Notable among them are Mount Cargill (700 m), Flagstaff (680 m), Saddle Hill (480 m), Signal Hill (390 m), and Harbour Cone (320 m).

    The heart of the city lies on the relatively flat land to the west of the head of the Otago Harbour. Here is The Octagon - once a swamp, it was drained in the late nineteenth century to create a city centre. The initial settlement of the city took place to the north of this swamp and further south on the other side of Bell Hill, a large outcrop which had to be excavated in order to provide easy access between the two parts of the settlement. The central city stretches away from this point in a largely northeast-southwest direction, with the main streets of George Street and Princes Street meeting at The Octagon. Here they are joined by Stuart Street, which runs orthogonal to them, from the Dunedin Railway Station in the southeast, and steeply up to the suburb of Roslyn in the northwest. Many of the older, more established buildings in the city are located towards the northern end of this central area on the floodplains of the Water of Leith, and on the inner ring of lower hills which surround the central city (most of these hills, such as Maori Hill, Pine Hill, and Maryhill, rise to some 200 metres above the plain).

    Beyond the inner range of hills lie Dunedin's outer suburbs, notably to the northwest, beyond Roslyn. This direction contains Taieri Road and Three Mile Hill, which between them formed the original road route to the Taieri Plains. The modern State Highway 1 follows a different route, passing through Caversham in the west and out past Saddle Hill. Lying between Saddle Hill and Caversham are the outer suburbs of Green Island and Abbotsford. Between Green Island and Roslyn lies the steep-sided valley of the Kaikorai Stream, which is today a residential and light industrial area. Suburban settlements – mostly regarded as separate townships – also lie along both edges of the Otago Harbour. Notable among these are Portobello and Macandrew Bay, on the Otago Peninsula coast, and Port Chalmers on the opposite side of the harbour. Port Chalmers provides Dunedin's main deep-water port, including the city's container port.

    The hinterland within Dunedin city encompasses a variety of different landforms. To the southwest lie the Taieri Plains, the broad, fertile lowland floodplains of the Taieri River and its major tributary the Waipori. These are moderately heavily settled, and contain the towns of Mosgiel, East Taieri, and Allanton. They are separated from the coast by a range of low hills rising to some 300 m. Inland from the Taieri Plain is rough hill country. Close to the plain, much of this is forested, notably around Berwick and Lake Mahinerangi, and also around the Silverpeaks Range which lies northwest of the Dunedin urban area. Beyond this, the land becomes drier and opens out into grass and tussock-covered land. A high, broad valley, the Strath-Taieri lies in Dunedin's far northwest, containing the town of Middlemarch, one of the area's few concentrations of population.

    To the north of the city's urban area is undulating hill country containing several small, mainly coastal, settlements, including Waitati, Warrington, Seacliff and Waikouaiti. State Highway 1 winds steeply through a series of hills here, notably the Kilmog. These hills can be considered a coastal extension of the Silverpeaks Range.

    To the east, Dunedin City includes the entirety of the Otago Peninsula, a long finger of land that formed the southeastern rim of the Dunedin Volcano. The peninsula is lightly settled, almost entirely along the harbour coast, and much of it is maintained as a natural habitat by the Otago Peninsula Trust. The peninsula contains several fine beaches, and is home to a considerable number of rare species, such as penguins, seals, and shags. Most importantly, it contains the world's only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross, at Taiaroa Head on the peninsula's northeastern point.

    The climate of Dunedin in general is temperate, however the city is recognised as having a large number of microclimates and the weather conditions often vary between suburbs mostly due to the city's topographical layout. It is also greatly modified by its proximity to the ocean. This leads to warm summers and cool winters. Winter can be frosty, but significant snowfall is uncommon (perhaps every two or three years), except in the inland hill suburbs such as Halfway Bush and Wakari, which tend to receive a few days of snowfall each year. Spring can feature "four seasons in a day" weather, but from November to April it is generally settled and mild. Temperatures during summer can top 30°C, but temperatures in the high 30s are rare.

    Dunedin has relatively low rainfall in comparison to many of New Zealand's cities, with only some 750 mm recorded per year. It has a somewhat unwarranted reputation for damp weather, probably due to its rainfall occurring in drizzle over a larger number of days, whereas northern centres such as Auckland and Wellington receive more rain overall through heavy downpours on relatively fewer days. Dunedin is one of the cloudiest centres in the country, however recording approximately 1700 hours of bright sunshine per annum. Prevailing winds are from the south (cool, damp), and from the northwest (hot and dry in summer, cold and dry in winter). The circle of hills surrounding the inner city shelters the inner city from much of Otago's prevailing weather, often resulting in the main urban area having completely different weather conditions to the rest of Otago.

    Inland, beyond the heart of the city, the climate is continental: winters are cold and dry, summers hot and dry. Thick freezing ground fogs are common in winter in the upper reaches of the Taieri River's course around Middlemarch, and in summer the temperature frequently reaches into the high 30s celsius.

    List of Dunedin suburbs
    Inner suburbs
    (clockwise from the city centre, starting at due north)

    Woodhaugh; Glenleith; Ross Creek; Dalmore; Pine Hill; Mt Cargill; Normanby; Mt Mera; North East Valley; Opoho; Dunedin North; Ravensbourne; Highcliff; Shiel Hill; Waverley; Vauxhall; Ocean Grove (Tomahawk); Tainui; Andersons Bay; Musselburgh; South Dunedin; St Kilda; St Clair; Corstorphine; Kew; Forbury; Caversham; Concord; Maryhill; Mornington; Kaikorai Valley; Belleknowes; Roslyn; Kaikorai; Wakari; Maori Hill; Anderson's Bay; Halfway Bush; Fernhill; Kenmure.

    Outer suburbs
    (clockwise from the city centre, starting at due north)

    Burkes; St. Leonards; Broad Bay; Company Bay; Macandrew Bay; Burnside; Green Island; Waldronville; Saddle Hill; Sunny Vale; Fairfield; Abbotsford; Bradford; Glenross; Brockville; Halfway Bush; Helensburgh.

    Towns within Dunedin City limits
    (clockwise from the city centre, starting at due north)

    Waitati; Waikouaiti; Karitane; Seacliff; Warrington; Purakanui; Long Beach; Aramoana; Deborah Bay; Carey's Bay; Port Chalmers; Sawyers Bay; Roseneath; Otakou; Portobello; Brighton; Taieri Mouth; Henley; Allanton; East Taieri; Momona; Outram; Mosgiel; West Taieri; Waipori; Middlemarch; Hyde.

    Technically, since local council reorganisation in the late 1980s, these are suburbs, but it is rare for Dunedinites to describe these places as suburbs. They are usually regarded locally as towns or townships, and none has the usual qualities associated with suburbs. All are separated by a considerable distance of open countryside from the central Dunedin urban area.

    Noted inhabitants

    The arts
  • Thomas Bracken (21 December 1843 – 16 February 1898), the noted late-nineteenth century poet who wrote the New Zealand National Anthem God Defend New Zealand and who was the first person to publish the phrase "God's Own Country".
  • Illustrator and engraver John Buckland Wright.
  • Māori sculptor Carissa Proffit (born 1974), who works in Oamaru stone.
  • Nobel Prize short-listee Janet Frame, born there in 1924, died there in 2004: NZ Edge biography
  • Writer James K. Baxter was born in Dunedin in 1926 and wrote many of his plays there in the 1960s in association with Rosalie and Patric Carey's Globe Theatre.
  • Cartoonist David Low lived in Dunedin before making his fame in London.
  • Caricature artist Murray Webb remains a resident.
  • Māori painter Ralph Hotere lives and works in Port Chalmers.
  • Painters Grahame Sydney, Jeffrey Harris and Claire Beynon all live in Dunedin.
  • Actor Sam Neill has close associations with Dunedin. He was raised to the west of Dunedin, in Queenstown, Central Otago, where he still resides.
  • Playwright Roger Hall lived and wrote in Dunedin for several years.
  • Prominent architects Francis Petre and Robert Lawson both lived and worked in Dunedin.
  • Many of New Zealand’s top bands of the 1980s and early 1990s started out in Dunedin, establishing the Dunedin Sound. These include The Chills, The Clean, Straitjacket Fits, Sneaky Feelings, The 3Ds and Toy Love, and musicians Martin Phillipps and David Kilgour.
  • Malaysian novelist John Ling is a resident.
  • Frances Hodgkins (1869 – 1947), New Zealand's most celebrated expatriate painter, was born in Dunedin, trained at the Dunedin School of Art and first matured here as an artist.
  • Alfred Henry O'Keeffe (1858-1941, a prominent artist during the early 20th Century
  • Colin McCahon (1919 – 1987), New Zealand's best regarded native-born painter, was brought up in Dunedin from infancy, trained at the Dunedin School of Art and first matured there as an artist.
  • Children's book illustrators Robyn Belton and David Elliot currently live in Dunedin, David in Port Chalmers.

  • Politics and business
  • A large proportion of the country's leading companies in and beyond the twentieth century originated in Dunedin. A selection of relevant company or brand names includes Arthur Barnett, Donaghy, Fletcher, Fulton Hogan, Hallenstein, Methven, Mosgiel, NZI, Ravensdown, Wests, Whitcoulls, and Wrightson.
  • The Bell Tea Company was founded here in 1898 and still has one of its factories in Hope Street.
  • Postage stamps for New Zealand and many other major Southern Hemisphere countries, such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Western Samoa and Tonga, are printed in Dunedin by Southern Colour Print Ltd.
  • Deputy Prime Minister (since 1999) Michael Cullen was Member of Parliament for the Dunedin electorate of St Kilda from 1981 until 1999.

  • Science
  • Tramway and mining engineer George Smith Duncan was born in Dunedin in 1852, attended the University of Otago and was instrumental in building the Dunedin cable tramway system.
  • Two of the founders of modern plastic surgery, Harold Gillies and Archibald McIndoe were born in Dunedin in 1882 and 1900 respectively.
  • Popular email program Pegasus Mail was written by David Harris while he was employed by the University of Otago.
  • Michael Woodruff a pioneer in the science of organ transplantation lived in Dunedin while teaching at the University of Otago.
  • Andrew Wilson created the first Bose-Einstein condensate in the southern hemisphere in 1998 at the University of Otago.
  • John Carew Eccles became a professor and head of the Department of Physiology at the University of Otago from 1944 to 1951; before winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1963 for describing the electric transmission of impulses along nerves. Eccles’ 1944 – 1951 contributions to academic medicine, neuroscience, and the general life sciences which includes a great many people he mentored, were of major importance for the further development of biomedical research in New Zealand.
  • Political scientist Jim Flynn, discoverer of the Flynn effect in IQ, is based at the University of Otago.

  • Sport
  • World record-breaking middle-distance athlete Jack Lovelock lived in the city, as did Olympic champions long jumper Yvette (nee. Williams) Corlett and swimmer Danyon Loader.
  • Greg Henderson, former world champion and Olympian in track and road cycling.
  • Other sporting celebrities to have lived in Dunedin include cricketers Glenn Turner and Clarrie Grimmett, netballer Lois Muir, yachtsman Russell Coutts, rugby and rugby league player Marc Ellis and double international (cricket and rugby) Jeff Wilson.

  • Military
  • Sir Keith Park, World War I air ace, later Air Marshal in the defence of London during World War II.
  • Duncan Boyes, English recipient of the Victoria Cross in 1864 in Japan, was buried in Dunedin in 1869.

  • Events

    Annual events
  • January - Whare Flat Folk Festival ends
  • January - Southern Festival of Speed classic car road-race
  • February - New Zealand Masters Games (Biennial event)
  • February - University of Otago & Otago Polytechnic Orientation Weeks
  • February - Dunedin Summer Festival
  • March - Vodafone Id DunedinFashion Show
  • May - Capping Week (University of Otago)
  • May - Dunedin Film Festival
  • May - Otago Rally
  • May - Regent Theatre 24-hour book sale (reputedly the southern hemisphere's largest regularly-held second-hand book sale)
  • July - New Zealand International Science Festival (every second year)
  • July - Gay Pride Month
  • July - Taste Otago Dunedin Food and Wine Festival
  • July - Cadbury Chocolate Carnival
  • July - International Film Festival
  • September - Samstock Music Festival
  • October - Otago Festival of the Arts (and Fringe Festival) - every second year (even numbered years)
  • October - Rhododendron Week
  • December - Santa Parade
  • December - Whare Flat Folk Festival begins
  • December - New Years Eve Party Octagon

  • Past events
  • 1865 - New Zealand Exhibition (1865)
  • 1889 - New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition (1889)
  • 1898 - Otago Jubilee Industrial Exhibition (1898)
  • 1925 - New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition (1925)
  • 1948 - Centennial celebrations
  • 1998 - 150th anniversary celebrations

  • Prominent Dunedin buildings and landmarks
  • Dunedin Railway Station
  • Larnach Castle
  • Cargill's Castle
  • Moana Pool
  • Cadbury World
  • Olveston
  • Speight's Brewery
  • Carisbrook
  • Otago Boys' High School
  • University of Otago Registry Building
  • Regent Theatre
  • Fortune Theatre
  • Municipal Chambers
  • Allied Press Building
  • Dunedin Public Hospital
  • Meridian Mall

  • Museums, art galleries, and libraries
  • Otago Museum
  • Otago Settlers Museum
  • Dunedin Public Art Gallery
  • Dunedin Public Library
  • Hocken Library

  • Churches
  • St. Paul's Cathedral
  • First Church
  • Knox Church
  • St. Joseph's Cathedral
  • Kaikorai Presbyterian Church
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Hanover Street Baptist Church

  • Places of education
  • University of Otago
  • Otago Polytechnic
  • Dunedin College of Education
  • Dunedin Community College

  • Secondary
  • Otago Boys High School
  • Otago Girls High School
  • Columba College
  • St. Hilda's Collegiate School
  • John McGlashan College
  • Kavanagh College
  • Bayfield High School
  • Logan Park High School
  • Kaikorai Valley College
  • King's High School
  • Queen's High School
  • Taieri College

  • Twinning

    Dunedin is twinned with several cities throughout the world. These include:

    More information
  • The city was possibly the origin of the first Anzac biscuits .
  • Dunedin was the city in which Speights beer was first brewed.
  • Dunedin is the most remote city in the world from London (19100 km, 90 km more than Invercargill, and 100 km more than Christchurch) and from Berlin (18200 km). Its antipodes are some 300 kilometres north of the Spanish city of La Coruña, in the Bay of Biscay.
  • Dunedin is one of several settings featured in the H. P. Lovecraft horror classic The Call of Cthulhu.
  • Curiously enough, the word "Dunedin" resembles "Dúnedain" from J. R. R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings, the film version of which was partly filmed in Otago.
  • Current Mayor is Hon. Peter Chin.

  • External links

  • City of Dunedin official website
  • LiveDunedin - Art, Culture and Lifestyle events in Dunedin (weekly listing)
  • Profiles of relevant websites categorised geographically
  • Tourism Dunedin
  • Dunedin Directory and Information website
  • Dunedin International Airport
  • Dunedin College of Education
  • Dunedin Public Art Gallery
  • Dunedin City Web Cams
  • Photos of Dunedin
  • Dunedin Street Map
  • City of Dunedin Choir

  • Further reading
  • Bishop, G. & Hamel, A. (1993). From sea to silver peaks. Dunedin: John McIndoe. ISBN 0-86868-149-0.
  • Dann, C. & Peat, N. (1989). Dunedin, North and South Otago. Wellington, NZ: GP Books. ISBN 0-477-01438-0.
  • Herd, J. & Griffiths, G. J. (1980). Discovering Dunedin. Dunedin: John McIndoe. ISBN 0-86868-030-3.
  • Smallfield, J. & Heenan, B. (2006) Above the belt: A history of the suburb of Maori Hill. Dunedin: Maori Hill History Charitable Trust. ISBN 1-877139-98-X.

  • Leisure Pro Gear

    Leisure Pro Gear
    Leisure Pro Gear