Sandra Smith’s advice for tourists to New Zealand and Kiwis on holiday, is to keep going south!
Head for the jewel in the crown!
By Sandra Smith
New Zealand has a similar land mass to the United Kingdom, but we have just shy of 4.7 million inhabitants here compared to 65 million in the UK.
You would be right in thinking that we are pretty sparsely occupied. We do have rather a lot of space taken up by farmland, mountains and smaller towns but then there are our cities…
Auckland – a huge commercial urban sprawl with a quarter of the country’s population; Wellington – the seat of parliament, picturesque and cafes by the 100’s; Christchurch – doing a stunning job of rebuilding its self after 2 disastrous earthquakes. These three cities were mainly settled by the English.
Then there is Dunedin.
Dunedin is a charmer
You can tell by its name that it is of Scottish origin. It was founded in 1848 by the Scottish Free Church and was originally to be called New Edinburgh but they settled for Dunedin which is derived from the old Gaelic name for the same city.
Dunedin is a charmer. Situated in the deep south it is the oldest city in New Zealand and is one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the southern hemisphere.
The Scottish settlement and the gold rush of the 1800’s brought with it this stunning architecture. With the gold mining came an influx of population to the region and saw Dunedin become the country’s first city in 1865.
After 10 years of gold rushes the economy slowed but Dunedin was left with a legacy of beautiful buildings including the Flemish Renaissance – styled Railway Station.
Plenty to do in the Edinburgh of the south
Dunedin is a wonderful place in which to spend some time. It has great museums, historic homes and botanical gardens (yes, that’s them at the top) that are beautiful all year round. Out on the Otago Peninsula there are blue penguins, yellow eyed penguins and the site of the only mainland breeding colony of Albatross in the world.
Inland is the spectacular area of Central Otago with its old mining towns and unique terrain.
Dunedin is also home to Otago University, our oldest and largest University which brings a vitality to the city and naturally there is no shortage of cafes, pubs and restaurants to cater for all tastes. Oh, and did I mention the Art Galleries?
Dunedin is truly worth a visit and you can find out more here … www.dunedinnz.com