Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dunedin is not dull

Whenever I mention I want to move to Dunedin, NZ, people think I am mad. Today there is an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. St Paul's Anglican Cathedral is on the left in the photo. 

Behind the heritage facades beats the heart of a buzzing university city, writes Briar Jensen.

Dunedin, winner of New Zealand's most beautiful city award last year, is often considered conservative. But with almost one-fifth of the city's population being university students, it is not dull. Among the beautifully preserved gold rush-funded heritage buildings are funky fashion and design stores, hip cafes and wine bars.
Despite having the world's steepest street, the central city is flat and compact and you can navigate comfortably on foot.
The Otago Peninsula is a treat for nature lovers, being home to rare yellow-eyed penguins and the only mainland breeding ground of the northern royal albatross.

If you're a discerning coffee drinker, head to Strictly Coffee in a side street just behind the Octagon city centre, where you can watch the industrial-sized roaster in action. The best way to explore the city is on foot, so start at the Octagon, overlooked by St Paul's Anglican Cathedral, the imposing Municipal Chambers, Dunedin Public Art Gallery and, in the background, the Gothic spire of First Church. Read the pavement plaques around the Robert Burns statue, which feature intriguing and revealing quotes from notable Dunedin writers and poets.

Walk down Stuart Street to the Flemish Renaissance railway station, reputedly New Zealand's most photographed building, with its Royal Doulton mosaic tiles and leadlight windows. Here you can book the scenic Taieri Gorge Railway, which runs half-day return trips to rugged Central Otago. Ditch the diet and follow the delicious smell to nearby Cadbury World for a factory tour with loads of samples.

Follow Cumberland Street to the University of Otago, New Zealand's oldest university and the first to admit women, where imposing volcanic rock and limestone buildings cluster around a tranquil, tree-lined stream.

I just want to sell my house and get going.


Birdie said...

My mother, a travel agent, has traveled the world many times over. The only place she ever wished to leave the U.S. for was New Zealand. It is at the top of my wish list for travel. I hope someday to sit down with you at a local cafe. Meanwhile, we'll meet here.

Brian R said...

Would love to meet with you anywhere, Birdie, Chicago next September?, not sure if I can fit in a diversion to Indianapolis.
My sister sent me a heads up on this article which was good as I might not have got round to reading it for a week or two. I really needed it as I was feeling very depressed about preparing the house and wondering if it will all be worthwhile.

Fran said...

A lot of people that I used to work with have visited Dunedin when in NZ. As it happens, the company had an office, at that time, in Dunedin, Florida. So we all would think about this faraway Dunedin. When someone would make the trip, they always made sure they got there.

I'd love to go!!!

toujoursdan said...

I lived visiting Dunedin when I was in NZ. I always thought it was a beautiful town. Quiet by Auckland standards but had quite a bit of charm to it.

There was one time when I was down in the South in December, caught a plane to Auckland and then to Vancouver and was thrown into shock from going from mid-Summer to mid Winter. I was depressed for several days until my body adjusted.

I am jealous that you can move there without jumping through the immigration hurdles. If I could I would go back to NZ in a heartbeat.

toujoursdan said...

"lived" should be "loved"