Day 116 & 117 Dunedin, Baldwin Street, Tunnel Beach

Today was the day we decided to have a look around downtown Dunedin.  The best way to navigate this town which is built on some very steep hills is to leave the camper at the park and take the bus. So that is what we did.

We spent most of our time in the Octagon which is the inner circle or hub of the city.  Many of the streets and suburbs have the same names as in Edinburgh, Scotland.  In fact the name comes from Dun Eideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh.

We were going to go through the Cadbury Factory but we resisted.  Instead we just walked around and took a few pictures before heading back on the bus.

Tuesday (Day 117) was a glorious day, the sun was shining and there was no wind.  We had a couple of things planned today and the first was “The World’s Steepest Street”

Baldwin Street in Dunedin holds the Guinness Book Of Records as the Steepest Street in the World.  The grade is 35% and it is steep.  They do not let anything but small cars on the hill as there is no place to turn around.  It was quite a hike up the hill and until a few years ago they used to have a race that ended at the top of the street.  They called it the Gut Buster. 

Kiwi Rod and Dave stepping down.

Baldwin Street from the top

While we were there we met Dave Fernahan.  Believe it or not, Dave runs up and down Baldwin Street 30 times a day.  He estimates that he is has made the trip about 150,000 times.  Oh, did I mention that is he 60 years old.

Dave Fernahan
 The Kiwi’s have a saying that I think fits here.  Good on you Dave.  He was featured in the local paper back in 2006 when he was just a youngster.

Dave was also gracious enough to take us a to a view point that we hoped would give us a majestic view of the city.  However, it was not to be as the fog had rolled in again.  We were able to get a view from a little lower down.

We were also shown one of the oldest houses in Dunedin.  It was built in the 1850’s but I assume it has been refurbished a little bit.

We said goodbye to Dave and headed for our last stop of the day.  Tunnel Beach.  The story here is that in 1870 John Cargill had the tunnel built so that his daughter had access to her own private beach.  Must be nice.

The track down to the beach is over private farm land. It descends from 500 feet at its start, winding for just short of a mile to the top of the tunnel.  The tunnel is 72 steps, very dimly lit and ends at the beach.

There are no flat hikes in New Zealand

The beach with its sand stone cliffs, caves and rock arches was quite unique.  It is 120 meters long with 50 foot walls on three sides.  Very private and very beautiful.

The climb back up just about did us in so we headed back to Dunedin and settled in for the night. In spite of the rain we got late in the afternoon it was a good day. 

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