When we arrived in Dunedin, its was graduation day for one of Dunedin’s surrounding universities. Everyone was out celebrating in their caps and gowns, families in toe, and big gleaming smiles. It was the best feeling arriving in Dunedin under the halo of graduation buzz (pun intended) after spending hours on the open road and not seeing a single soul – well I guess we did see a ton of sheep and cows, but discussing the possibility of sheep and cow souls is a little too deep for this blog. Anyways, the city’s energy and vibrancy immediately drove Dunedin to the top of my favorite New Zealand cities list. I mean how could it not!?
FUN FACT: Dunedin – Dùn Èideann – is the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh (and if you know me and my obsession with the Scottish based book and TV series Outlander, it is easy to understand why I swooned over Dunedin!)
The Dunedin Railway Station pictured behind me, was designed by George Troup, and was the city’s fourth station. Upon the completion of the Railway, its Flemish Renaissance style earned Troup the nickname of “Gingerbread George,” easy to understand why! The Dunedin’s Railway is the most photographed building in all of New Zealand, so it was easy pickings for this blog post.
Another exciting event taking place while we were in Dunedin was the Southern Festival Speed Racing. Our Airbnb owner shared that her son was competing in the race and we were lucky enough to be wandering by the Railway Station at the conclusion of the race and were able to partake in the celebratory champagne toast, or rather – get sprayed by champagne! It was a fun reminder of how much I loved going to Indy 500 last year with our good friend Andrew and his family. We were sad to miss the Indy festivities this year, but Andrew definitely made it clear we were invited for 2016, so Indy 2016, I am already ready for you!
I cannot gush more about how much I loved Dunedin. Arriving on Saturday night to graduation day, to watching all the families celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, Dunedin definitely put its best foot forward during our visit, and I will forever love this city.
With that said, below are a few suggestions of things to do in Dunedin:
1. Visit the Cadbury World and order a hot chocolate!
2. Grab a beer at Speight’s Ale House
3. Wander around University of Otago’s campus
4. Catch a glimpse of Baldwin Street, aka steepest street in the world
5. Enjoy the beauty of the Dunedin Railway Station
6. Drive to Portobello – if you dare, the road is traitorous but beautiful – and visit Larnach Castle
7. Admire the beautiful Victorian architecture of Dunedin
For more on Dunedin, check out Dunedin’s tourism page here.
For more up to date photos on our travels, follow along on Instagram! We are currently exploring Thailand!