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Dunedin

Dunedin's dramatic hills surround a long, natural harbour, which attracted Maori settlers to the site over four centuries ago.
 
More recently the area was settled by whalers, gold miners and migrants from Scotland and China. Memorable for its historical architecture, Dunedin is one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. On the doorstep of the city, you can find incredible wildlife - the world's rarest penguins, a mainland albatross colony, fur seals and sea lions.

The Clutha district, gateway to the deep south, provides rural experiences, superb fishing and wildlife adventures along majestic sweeping beaches.


MY TRAVEL AGENT'S suggested things to experience in Dunedin:

 

1.  MARVEL AT THE VARIOUS ARCHITECTURAL STYLES

Dunedin was founded largely by Scottish immigrants, who raised the impressive buildings which now add much to the city's charm. These buildings incorporate a diverse array of styles, including the Italianate clock-tower of the Municipal Chambers, the grandiose Flemish Renaissance railway station, the Gothic revival-styled First Church and the Victorian architecture of New Zealand's first university, Otago. Tudor, Jacobean, Georgian, Carpenter, Gothic and Arts and Crafts styles also feature. Dunedin is regarded as one of the best preserved Victorian cities in the Commonwealth.

 

2.  SEE AN ACTUAL CASTLE

Larnach Castle, located on the Otago Peninsula, is New Zealand's only castle. William Larnach - Minister of the Crown, banker, financier and merchant Baron, built the castle for his beloved first wife, Eliza Jane Guise. Construction began in 1871 and 200 workmen laboured for five years before the family moved in. Gifted European craftsmen worked for eleven more years to embellish the interiors with the finest materials from around the world. The ornate interior carving, detailed stonework, woodcarving, plasterwork and glass are outstanding. The castle consists of forty-three rooms and a large ballroom. It is open for viewing every day.

 

3.  TAKE A DAY TRIP TO SEE THE MOERAKI BOULDERS

The famous Moeraki boulders lie scattered along a beach 40 kilometres south of Oamaru. According to Maori legend, the boulders are gourds washed from the great voyaging canoe Araiteuru when it was wrecked upon landfall in New Zealand some 1000 years ago.

Scientists explain the boulders as septarian concretions formed about 65 million years ago. Crystallization of calcium and carbonates around charged particles in muddy undersea sediments gradually formed the boulders. The process took as long as four million years. The soft mudstone containing the boulders was raised from the seabed around 15 million years ago, and the sea is gradually washing away the mudstone to expose the erosion-resistant boulders.

The viewing platform, just a few minutes walk through regenerating native forest, offers good views of the boulders. If you're lucky, Hector's dolphins will be playing in the waves.

 

4.  RIDE THE RAILS THROUGH THE TAIERI GORGE

The Taieri Gorge Limited train is Dunedin's prestige tourist train operating from the historic Railway Station.  Departing daily (except Christmas day) it takes you on a journey through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge, across wrought iron viaducts and through tunnels carved by hand more than 100 years ago.


 

5.  CLIMB THE WORLD'S STEEPEST STREET

Every year, in the springtime, around 1,000 people race to the top of the world’s steepest street. After some debate with San Francisco the Guinness Book of Records confirmed Dunedin’s Baldwin Street as the world’s steepest with a gradient of 1 in 2.86 metres. The Baldwin Street Gutbuster attracts professional runners, skaters, pram-pushers, skateboarders and people from all over the world.

 

6.  SATISFY YOUR CRAVING FOR CHOCOLATE

Cadbury World will delight you and your tastebuds. You'll experience the total Cadbury chocolate sensation with a fascinating and fun-filled guided Chocolate Factory Tour with exciting, interactive displays, and take a little bit of Cadbury World home with you!


 
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