Curious and Beautiful Dunedin
Historic and sophisticated, Dunedin is the quintessential university city. Originally modelled on Edinburgh in Scotland, it is one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. But what truly distinguishes Dunedin is the spectacular coastal landscape on which the settlement was founded.
A long, natural harbour gives way to church spires and towers of the historic town centre and university, set back against high, green forested hills. A golden trail of beaches and dizzying cliffs skirt the city’s thundering Pacific Ocean flank, where seals, penguins, albatross – and incredible surf – can be found. Deservedly, Dunedin is now a popular tourist destination in its own right.
The heritage feel of Dunedin is a legacy of Otago’s 1860s gold rush, which briefly turned this port city into the industrial centre of New Zealand. The boom did not last, but Dunedin developed a solid tradition for education, while retaining its sophistication and grandeur. The city has since produced many of New Zealand’s greatest novelists, poets, artists, scientists, journalists, musicians, sportsmen and women, business people and leaders. It has always occupied a special place in the nation’s heart as a haven for creativity and a producer of fine minds.
Exploring the City
As well as the lure of the coast, other attractions include the fairy-tale-like historic Dunedin Railway Station, and reputedly the World’s steepest street, Baldwin Street, which runs an annual (and literal) gut-buster race. A recent and popular addition to the city is the peaceful Chinese Gardens, created to remember the city’s Chinese industrial past.
The colourful city centre, just a few minutes’ walk from the historic campus area, is full of cafes, restaurants, bars, boutiques and shopping centres of an international standard. The harbour, a popular place for kayaking, rowing, wind-surfing, fishing and yachting, is also a short distance from the eastern side of the campus.
The 28 hectares of trees and park-land in the city’s Botanic Gardens, located just a few hundred metres from lecture theatres, is a popular lunch-time venue with students and staff. And there are sporting facilities of an international standard to cater to any discipline.
Dunedin's Botanic Gardens are a popular lunch-time venue with students and staff.
The city centre hosts a modern public art gallery housing one of New Zealand’s best international art collections, with theatres, museums and libraries which rank among the country’s finest. Modern infrastructure, including an airport, public transport and health facilities, service the population of more than 120,000.
Dunedin is known for its culinary experiences. Award-winning restaurants serve up fresh local seafood and delicacies, quirky bars are found in intriguing alleyways, funky cafes filled with coffee purists and connoisseurs and an entertainment precinct that thrives on the vibrancy, brought about by being a university city.
Dunedin has an iconic style. Visit the studios of the country’s top designers; browse the contemporary designer boutiques, artisan jewellery workshops and the hidden delights of our vintage shopping precinct.
Dunedin is often dubbed ‘Rugby City’ for the infectious carnival atmosphere that takes hold every time a major rugby match is hosted. The hospitality of Dunedin at these events is the envy of the rest of the country.
Dunedin’s coastal and temperate climate is characterised by cool winters and warm, occasionally hot summers. Significant snow-falls occur perhaps once every two to three years, although frost can make a more persistent presence in winter.
Other attractions further inland from Dunedin include the Catlins native forests and the ski fields and wineries in the Queenstown Lakes/Central Otago region – just a few hours’ drive away. Historic Oamaru and Moerakei Boulders are les than an hour away, with many idyllic coastal villages to visit along the way. Dunedin is a vibrant, stunningly beautiful and peaceful place to live and study – and the gateway to the rest of the best New Zealand has to offer.
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