The city of Dunedin sits at the head of a fjord like inlet called Otago Harbour on New Zealand's South Island and is ringed by seven hills. Founded by Presbyterian Scots, the name is Celtic for Edinburgh. In early days it was the largest and wealthiest city in the country, thanks mainly to the gold fields and became the financial and construction centre. It is said to be the most perfectly preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the southern hemisphere. It has also been responsible for many firsts: the first to have gaslight, water mains, hydro power and steam trams. Dunedin is now the South Island's second largest city and a university town. It is a nice size and easy to explore on foot with the exception of Baldwin Street - said to be the world's steepest residential road.
Dunedin's Scottish heritage is everywhere. Find the statue of Robert Burns surrounded by civic dignity in the Octagon as well as New Zealand's only scotch distillery and kilt shop. The imposing railway station is worth visiting if only for its locomotives reproduced in stained glass. The Taieri Gorge Railway tourist train leaves from here. The First Presbyterian Church is a fine example of Norman Gothic and the Public Art Gallery has some interesting works by European and local artists. Other museums are the Otago Settlers Museum and Otago Museum. The Botanic Gardens, also New Zealand's first, are located at the northern end of the city on the lower slopes of Signal Hill.
From Dunedin you can also visit Olveston stately home with its excellent collection of antiques and the Otago Peninsula (Larnach Castle, Albatross colony, Yellow-Eyed Penguins). You may also take the Taieri Gorge Railway tourist train that runs from Dunedin to Pukerangi and Middlemarch. The Moeraki Boulders are giant spherical rocks called concretions that have mysteriously rolled out onto the beach north of Moeraki (37 miles north of Dunedin). Moeraki itself is an atmospheric little port and resort with a great fish restaurant.
Dunedin was founded in 1848 at the Maori village of Otakou (mispelled now as Otago) because of its fine harbour. It was given the name New Edinburgh and but this was later changed to the Celtic form - Dunedin. The discovery of gold in the area in 1861 attracted thousands of settlers particularly from Australia and brought growth to the city. In 1869 it became home to the University of Otago and more that 10% of the 120,000 population of the city are now students or faculty.
There are more
than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line
logo you are interested in to see details of the cruises.