Well, by southern I mean “geographically”. It was the southernmost city I visited in New Zealand and I was expecting it to be frigid but, mercifully, it was not. In fact, we had some really beautiful days though one morning we had minor rain.
Dunedin with about 130,000 inhabitants is quite a pleasant town to explore. Not far from Christchurch, it does feel very different. Dunedin has Scottish roots but, never having been to Scotland, they were not as easy for me to identify (Christchurch is said to be more English). However, I enjoyed the town as it was quite walkable – except for the steep hills! Dunedin sits by the water but it is surrounded by hills. The city’s area includes the slopes of these hills where many neighborhoods are located. It is a nice drive to go up to higher ground and see the old houses as the road curves along, while looking down on the city.
But having walked a few of these streets, I can certify they are steep! In fact, Dunedin does lay claim to the steepest street in the world and I am not surprised.
During my visit, I explored the Otago Museum right by the university. It is a very nice museum (and free to boot!). It is an excellent place to take the kids. http://www.otagomuseum.govt.nz/
I also took tours of the Cadbury factory (also good for the kids) where they kept giving us different chocolate bars along the way (not all were to my liking as they were mainly milk chocolate based and I am a dark chocolate fan) as they showed us how chocolate is made (very interesting) and of the Speight’s brewery (where, of course, we sampled their beer – very nice! sure, why not, also good for the kids! lol ).
Dunedin’s railway station is a piece of art onto itself, both the exterior and the interior, and a must-see if you visit. The style is such that its architect, named George, became better known as “Gingerbread” George!
Finally, the main street itself has a good number of places to eat as well as places to shop so walking it up and down a couple of time is certainly worth it.
I found Dunedin to be quite charming and the people friendly. I got there after crossing the Southern Alps and exploring majestic fjordland I am not sure how cold it gets in the winter being so far south but I counted my blessings of not finding out in person!