The World’s Steepest Street, Dunedin
Dunedin is a city in New Zealand, at the head of Otago Harbour on the South Island’s southeast coast. We stopped in Dunedin for a couple of days, after a cruise through Milford Sound. Even though our hosts were not at home when we arrived, we were very warmly welcomed into their home. And after an amazing night of sleep, we were ready to explore the downtown area of Dunedin. It was, however, hard to pry ourselves away from the beautiful home where we were staying!
Dunedin is known for its Scottish and Maori heritage, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and a large student population. Hiking and cycling trails criss-cross the dramatic landscape of the adjoining Otago Peninsula, home to colonies of albatross, sea lions and rare yellow-eyed penguins.
The World’s Steepest Street
Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, New Zealand is the world’s steepest residential street, according to the Guinness World Records. It is located in the residential suburb of North East Valley, 3.5 km from Dunedin’s CBD. It is a short straight street a little less than 350 metres long. The street runs east from the valley of the Lindsay Creek up the side of Signal Hill towards Opoho. There is an average slope of roughly 1:5.
Standing on this street is an interesting experience for the legs. It almost feels like you are about to lie down on the tarmac in front of you. hehehe
The street’s steepness was unintentional. Most of the early New Zealand streets were laid out in a grid pattern with no consideration for the terrain. The planning was usually by planners in London, so they had no idea what terrain they were working with.
For cars it is a cul-de-sac, but Baldwin Street is linked across the top by Buchanan Street. The streets running parallel to Baldwin are all quite steep: Arnold Street (1:3.6), Dalmeny Street (1:3.7), and Calder Avenue (1:5.4).
At the very top of Baldwin Street, there is a bench, and wall, painted with the view of the street from the bottom of the hill. I found it so intriguing! We sat on the bench for a quick selfie, and then made our way back to the car.
I’m actually getting ahead of myself on this post. We had done a bit of exploring in the downtown area earlier that day, and ended our explorations with a drive to the famous Baldwin Street.
First Church of Otago
Our day started at the First Church of Otago. This is a prominent church of Dunedin. It is located in the heart of the city on Moray Place, 100 metres to the south of the city centre. The church is the city’s primary Presbyterian church. We parked across the road, meandered around the church, taking some pictures, and then continued on.
Stomach Grumblings on Stuart Street
Stuart Street is one of the main streets of Dunedin. As with many of this city’s streets, it is named after a main street in Edinburgh, Scotland. We walked around for a bit, and then settled to eat and drink at Ratbags.
Eli was asleep when we arrived. When he woke up, he played around a tree nearby. The tree was on a elevated platform so we would see him get down before he could run anywhere, so it was just perfect!
We have probably mentioned this cider in a couple of previous posts. Wild Side Cider, and specifically the one with Strawberry and Lime, is so unbelievably delicious. I thought that we had good ciders in South Africa, but New Zealand really reeeeeally surprised us in this department.
We sat outside, under some umbrellas and took in the hustle and bustle around us. It was so relaxing.
An amazing day in Dunedin!
If we had more than a week left, we probably would have stayed in this city for longer than we did. Unfortunately though, our time was running out and we needed to be in Christchurch in a couple of days.