Ah Dunedin. Located 2.5hrs from my home town, Dunedin is a town I know well. I lived there for three years while attending The University of Otago. Scottish influence, a student vibe, beaches, and hills. Friends, let me tell you all about Dunedin.
Dunedin is home to Otago University, ranked second in New Zealand overall (Auckland Uni is first, boo). The student culture is like no other. If you’re brave enough, venture into North Dunedin, the main mecca of students. Points of interest include Castle Street, particularly 660 Castle Street. This is where kiwi band Six-Sixty got their name and their beings. Unfortunately the flat is no longer tenanted as there was a fire which damaged most of the inside.
Another famous street is Hyde Street, home to the infamous Hyde Street Keg Party. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Once a year, thousands of students descend on this tiny street and party all day. Each flat has a different theme (pirates, smurfs, etc) and you must dress to one of the themes. In recent years the party has become more safety orientated after a roof collapsed under the weight of quite a few students dancing on it. Whoops.
Don’t worry, I’m not sending you on an alcohol tour of Dunedin. In North Dunedin you can also find the steepest street in the world. Baldwin Street. This street had to be constructed out of concrete because during the hotter months tar would melt and run down the street. Also, the footpaths are actually stairs. It’s a rewarding walk. During July there is also the chocolate festival with the jaffa race down Baldwin Street. I’m not quite sure what the point of rolling a heap of candy down the street is, but it looks pretty cool.
You could also take a wander around the Botanical Gardens of North Dunedin. This
sprawling mass of park has gardens divided up into different themes, a duck pond, and plenty of grassy areas with the shade of trees to sit and watch the world go buy. If you have access to a car, next door to the Botanical Gardens is a road which goes up Signal Hill. If you want a great view of the city from up high, you must go up Signal Hill. I cannot stress this enough! SIGNAL HILL EVERYBODY.
Moving on to South Dunedin and you will find Saint Kilda and Saint Clair. Head to Saint Clair for a meal overlooking the ocean, while you are there you might be able to watch the crazy surfers braving the freezing water. During the summer a great way to unwind is to go to Saint Clair, buy an ice cream, sit on a park bench, and just watch the surfers do their thing. After you are full, take a walk along the beach and keep an eye out for any weird student antics.
Also, one cannot write about Dunedin travel without mentioning Larnach Castle. While technically not a Castle and just a really, really, really, really fancy house, it’s a must visit. The views over the peninsula are amazing, the gardens are beautiful, and inside the castle is just so much to look at. There is a café in the ballroom, which will make you feel very posh. Larnach Castle can also cater to weddings and there is accommodation on-site. So knock your socks off!
Honourable mention: Rob Roy Dairy. Located in central Dunedin this Dairy has the most value for money ice-cream. You ask for a single scoop and they just keep piling it on. Somehow they seem to think single scoop means “five scoops please!” And then they only charge you like $3NZD. It’s insane, I love it.
Have you been to Dunedin before? What do you think? Do you want to go to Dunedin? Let me know in the comments!