Baldwin Street is considered by the Guiness Book opf Records the world's steepest residential street.It is located 3.5 kilometres northeast of Dunedin's city centre.
The street is only 350 metres long but at it's steepest it has a gradient of 1:2.86 or 35% which means that for every 2.68 metres forward you go up 1 metre.
At the steepest part the street is surfaced with concrete because bitumen would eventually flow down the hill - especially on warm days.
Since 1988, each summer sees the running of the Baldwin Street Gutbuster in which competitors run from the bottom of the street to the top and back again.
Speights was founded by James Speight, Charles Greenslade, and William Dawson. Speight's was first brewed on 4 April 1876 in Dunedin at the present Rattray Street site at the foot of the City Rise. Since then the Speight's brand has been firmly planted in the deep south of New Zealand. (Wikipedia).
The secret of success is said to be the fresh spring water used in making the beer. There is an outlet on Rattray stret where people are able to fill water bottles for a gold coin donation.
Guided tours are run through this historic, working brewery. They are very informative - starting with the history of brewing from ancient Egyptian times; through the era of the Vikings; the importance Captain James Cook placed of beer; to present day. The the tour takes you through the brewery itself where you can experience the sights, sound and smells of a working brewery.
What about tasting? The tour finishes in the brewery bar where you can taste five of Speights finest beers and an apple cider. To add to the fun you get to pull your own beer! I recommend the ticket that includes a 2 course meal (lunch or dinner) at the next door Speights Ale House
Tours run daily except for Christmas Day and Good Friday. For times please refer to the website below.
There are three levels of accommodation offered at Larnach Castle.
Camp Lodge is new manor house bulit on the grounds which offers luxury accommodation.
Larnach Lodge is built over the original farm houses and offers views ove the Otago Penninsula to the south.
Stable stays offer budget accommodation in the 140 year old stables next to the castle
If you are not interested in historic buildings, furniture and stories; or if you choose not to pay the entry you can still visit the gardens at Larnach Castle. There are 14 hectares of grounds which are being lovingly restored.
The gardens at Larnach Castle have been rated by the New Zealand Gardens Trust as a Garden of International Significance. Margaret Barker has spent 40 years in the gardens.
The formal gardens have an Alice in Wonderland theme. Storybook characters can be found where you least expect them.
I loved the South Seas garden. Located on the south slope of the grounds this garden contains plants from many southern hemisphere countries.
Larnach Castle, better described as a mansion with turrets, is located on the ridge of the Otago Peninsula. It was built between 1871 and 1887 by William Larnach, an Australian of Scots descent who became a noted New Zealand business man and politician. The original part of the complex was designed by R A Lawson who also designed many buildings in Dunedin. The house and stables complex has 43 rooms and a ballroom.
Larnach did not have a happy life and after a series of family troubles and financial crises he committed suicide in 1898. He had no surviving direct descendants and the house passed out of family hands and was allow to go to ruin.
Larnach Castle is set in 14 hectares of park and gardens all of which has and is being restored by the Barker family.
The house and its grounds are regularly open to the public.
Much of the magnificent timber works and carving has survived and where not it has been replaced by craftsmen of similar skill to the original. Also much of the beautiful tile work on the floors remained intact.
None of the family's furniture remain in the house. While much of it has been recovered a search is still underway for any original pieces.
Photograpy is not allowed in most of the interior of the castle for conservation and security reasons. The verandahs are an exception.
This is one of the many picturesque spots along the Otago Peninsula.
Sandfly Bay is though by many to have been named after a small biting insect (sandfly) but in fact it gets its name due to the sand which flies into the bay fro the strong prevailing winds. The beach is surrounded by large sand dunes on the southern coastline of Otago Peninsula.
Yellow-eyed penguins and Hooker sea lions frequent here.
Walking time is about 30 minutes each way from the car park, but allow time for wildlife viewing. There is a viewing platform only about 5 minutes walk from the car park. From there, it is a steep climb down to the sand that leads to the beach near where a small creek (Morris Creek) crosses it.
A yellow-eyed penguin hide is located at the far end of the beach. Penguins may be watched at late afternoon or dusk. The penguins are very shy and will return to the water if people are on the beach. The beach and the dunes are also very popular for sea lions. These are large animals (300kg) and they are not at all afraid of humans. Be very wary of them, especially if exploring the dunes, you are likely to come across one!
Purakaunui Inlet is about 18kms (25 minutes) north of the Dunedin CBD either accessible via the Port Chalmers Road or from Waitati by Blueskin Bay on the main highway north.
It is a gorgeous inlet, views out to sea and over the hills. Beautiful walks can be taken on the beaches or in the hills.
Nearby (8kms) is the Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Port Chalmers is a spectacular 15 minute drive away where you will find restaurants, cafés, supermarket, garage, ATM, chemist and boutiques & craft shops.
A great day or half day trip from Dunedin, but with lots of boutique places to stay to soak it all in.
The Dunedin Chinese Garden opened in July 2008 and is the only authentic Chinese Garden in New Zealand having been crafted by artisans and craftsmen from Dunedin's sister city of Shanghai.
Many local Chinese families and others made generous donations to make this construction possible.
The Dunedin Chinese Garden is an example of a late Ming, early Ching Dynasty Scholar's Garden, surrounded by a four metre perimeter wall. A Chinese Garden is more than just a garden in the European sense. The rocks, water plants and buildings are important, symbolic, elements.
The Garden features hand-made wooden buildings, hand-made tiles, bricks and lattice-work and hand-finished granite paving stones. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm, 7 days per week and 7pm to 9pm on Wednesdays.
I always advise people to visit the Visitor Centre, aka Information Office.
The one in Dunedin is excellent, and in order to make the most of your time here, take time to visit this place and get information about all the activities and places to see, so you can make a good personal decision how to spend your time. They also hold some nice souvenirs and great maps and brochures on the area.
This office also provides Bookings for Travel, Accommodation as well as Activities.
It is a member of the Visitor Information Network, and is linked to most of the country.
OPEN 7 DAYS
Dunedin's Botanic Garden - the oldest in New Zealand and established in 1863 - is not as flat and easy to walk as the one in Christchurch but it is even more spectacular, with its several levels, the huge areas of rhododendron and azalea walks, more diverse plant collections, and aviaries with native birds including keas and kakas.
You can walk around on the 28 hectares the whole day and feel like after a little tramping tour afterwards.
The Lower Garden is flat and has very nice gardens with herbs, roseses and camellias, fountains and statues, and a pond with ducks. The centre piece is the Winter Garden Glasshouse, set along with a café and shop. Especially the orchids are very impressive.
Already at an elevated level is the rock garden with a lot of colourful ground covering plants.
Several pathways lead further up the hill to the Upper Garden and the aviaries. Some areas are really garden-like, with perfect lawns surrounded by azalea and magnolias, and also the Australian and New Zealand gardens. But there are also sections which look very naturalistic and forest-like, especially the rhododendron walk, which is called Rhododendron Dell.
The Botanic Garden is fabulous at all seasons. Even in winter there are a lot of blossoms to admire, for example the early flowering camellias. They also have free brochures and maps for all seasons, available at the shop. Entry free.
Every year in spring (end of October) the Rhododendron Festival is held in Dunedin.
More info about this:
Tel. (03) 474 5162
Botanic Garden websites:
Photo 2 shows the Wintergarden Glasshouse in the Lower Garden.
On photo 3 you see a brilliant example of the fantastic rhododendrons.
Olveston House was build in 1906 for the Theomin familty. A wealthy Dundedin familywho filled it with expensive art and collectables. The youngest daughter, Dorothy left the house to the city of Dundedin when she died in 1966.
Guided tours are provided daily and cost $14.50
Bookings are essential
There is one service out of Dunedin station, a tourist railway known as the Taieri Gorge Railway, which I would like to do in the future.
The Southerner (Christchurch-Invercargill) used to stop, however the service was discontinued some years ago, short-sightedly in my view.
In any case, it is a very attractive building.
Out on Otago peninsula is Penguin Place, a private Penguin conservation reserve. They do a great job in supporting the yellow eyed penguin, a rare species. On the tour you get to have a good look at the penguins, although most of the adults were out at sea when we were there.
Tours cost $45 and it is more or less necessary to book in advance. Recommended.
Have you been putting on weight whilst on holidays and need a workout?
Walk up the World"s steepest street.
Baldwin Street is located 1.3ks from the Botanic Gardens. At its steepest section the gradient is 1 in 1.266. Each year, in February, the "Baldwin Gutbuster" is held. This is when Athletes run from the bottom to the top and back down again, about 1000 of them.
In July, a charity event is held, it involves rolling 10,000 Jaffas down the hill. Each Jaffa is sponsored, with a prize going to the winner.