New Zealand’s first city – Dunedin (Part #1)

Dunedin was constituted as New Zealand’s first city on the 4th July 1865 mainly because of the Gold Rush Era. Now, it’s the second-largest city of the South Island.

I would say that Dunedin is a compact little town with it’s unique blend of its Scottish heritage and the energy from the students of the oldest university (1869) in New Zealand. It is currently more of a university town than anything else.

I have grown to love Dunedin very much. I think mainly it’s because of the people. Dunedin people are generally very friendly wherever you go, irrespective of old or young. And, it is just so convenient to be in Dunedin as you can basically walk almost anywhere without any form of transportation. Unless you are heading to the Peninsula.

It’s sad that most travellers tend to just pass through Dunedin or simply just spending a night because it’s on their way. There’s lots of hidden gems in Dunedin and I am about to share some of my favourite with you.

My personal favourite of Dunedin

  • Exploring the Otago Peninsula

How? — I would take the low road (Portobello Road) towards to the [1] Taiaroa Head to visit the [2] Royal Albatross Colony (I was informed that this is the only mainland albatross nesting site in the world). And, trust me, you will not be disappointed. Seeing this majestic seabird with its wingspan was just out of the world. Just before you reach the Taiaroa Head, make a quick photo stop at the [3] Otakou marae. There, you will be able to see a Maori church and the Marae (meeting-house), which gave the Otago Peninsula its name. You will find the marae on a side-road near Harington Point, at the outer (northeast) end of the Peninsula.

After the Taiaroa Head, take the drive through the high road (Highcliff) to take the glimpse of the beautiful Pacific views when heading back to city. But, do not forget to stop at [4] Sandfly Beach to see the beautiful beach, sea lions and the yellow-eyed penguins.

at Sandfly Beach

However, the walk down from the parking area through the steep sand dune to the beach is probably not for everyone. But, if you do, I’m sure you won’t regret it as this could be your closest encounter yet with the sea lions in New Zealand. And, if you are keen and if the timing is right (at dusk), walk towards the end of the beach on your left once you come down from the sand dune to see the yellow-eyed penguins. Heads towards the hideout (*this is to ensure that you do not frighten/disturb the penguin) that is there for your glimpse at the marvellous yellow-eyed penguins when they waddled back to its nest. Do enjoy the beach while you are there. A lot of people were trying out sand boarding while being here, maybe you will too

From Sandfly Bay, continue on your journey on the high road back to the city center. If you are coming back after dusk, you will be in for a [5] great night city view of Dunedin.

Do stay put for my post on My favourites of Dunedin (Part #2)



[1] Taiaroa Head

[2] Royal Albatross Colony

[3] Otakou marae

[4] Sandfly Beach (see the yellow-eyed penguins & Sea Lions)

[5] Dunedin Night View

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