Magnificent Dunedin

We’re in Dunedin for a few days: my favourite New Zealand city. Dunedin is right at the bottom of the South Island while Auckland is right at the top of the North Island.

It’s a lovely city: small, fairly compact for the Antipodes, magnificent views from most parts, and in my view, it’s the most classless and egalitarian of all New Zealand cities.

The city was very wealthy a hundred or so years ago from rich gold deposits in Central Otago. Lots of lovely architecture was built at this time and because the city has been relatively poor ever since, it was fortunate enough to miss out on the ugly 60s and 70s construction – simply because there was no money here to build during this period. So there’s still all the old magnificent architecture but none of the more ugly modern stuff.

I’m going to be working the whole time we’re here so I’m not sure that I’ll have the chance to get out and photograph the lovely architecture but I’ll try. However I did go for a run this afternoon and stopped to take this photo of the view:

14 Replies to “Magnificent Dunedin”

  1. Really fascinating to hear how the city’s history shaped its architecture. That’s a nice view – it reminds me of watching Top of the Lake and thinking how other countries have so much more vastness than the UK, and the way that affects different countries’ cinematography.

    1. The South Island of New Zealand has some amazing scenery. It’s very different to the North Island and much more spectacular in my view. It’s nice to come back here. The only downside is the Alpine Fault which runs diagonally straight through the middle of the South Island. The Alpine Fault is the actual tectonic plate boundary so it generates big earthquakes. It hasn’t ruptured since Europeans settled here but it is expected to sometime in the next 30 years. Dunedin is a fair way away from it though and so probably the best city to be in when it does eventually happen.

  2. This March we spent 5 amazing days in Queenstown to celebrate our 7th anniversary and we absolutely loved it. A small part of my heart is still in Queenstown.

    True, South Island has got amazing scenery. We intend to visit Dunedin in the coming times.

    1. Queenstown is magic. I love the countryside in the South Island – this is where my heart is too.

  3. Never thought much about Dunedin, being a Cantabrian, it was always just ‘down there’ and I never bothered.

    Nice post.


    1. Canterbury is beautiful as well. There’s something very special about Central Otago though. I also love Mt Cook and Lake Tekapo and that whole area. It’s one of my favourite parts of the country.

      1. I only visited Cenral Otago once, my stomping ground was more CHCH to Blenheim & Nelson, or the Westcoast, Arthur’s and Lewis…


    1. Lots of breathtaking scenery and not many people: I guess both things are good for film-making.

  4. A friend of mine and fellow (now-ex) PhD student has literally just moved there, to start a post-doc at the University of Otago. He posted up some photos today and it looks lovely 🙂

    1. Dunedin is a University city. There’s not much else here so the University and the students are a big part of the culture so I imagine it’s a great place to be if you’re studying. My husband is from Dunedin and went to University here. He liked it.

  5. We visited Dunedin once and quite enjoyed it – uniiversity towns often “play above their size league” for amenities, and the scenery is nice. Having visited the South Island 10+ times, there is pervasive great scenery of almost every sort.
    However, I do believe that “right at the bottom of the South Island” title belongs to Invercargill, home of the Southernmost McDonalds in the world, I think.

    1. However, I do believe that “right at the bottom of the South Island” title belongs to Invercargill, home of the Southernmost McDonalds in the world, I think.

      I was hoping no-one would notice that :). But yes, Invercargill beats Dunedin for the bottom spot on the South Island.

      I agree about the University towns too – they often make great places to live and have a nice energy about them.

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