Dunedin is known by many different names: “Victorian City of New Zealand”, “Athens of the South”, and my personal favourite “City of Spires and Towers.” However, I did not know it would become my favourite city when I first stepped afoot in this wonderful city.
In fact, I did not know much about it at all. But after spending a week in Dunedin, I learned that its summers felt like winters and that its hills are difficult to climb when you have unfit leg muscles. Despite this, I learned to love my stay in Dunedin and I especially enjoyed its architecture and art. These combined to make my experience one to remember forever.
If you ever visit Dunedin, I can assure you that exploring is excellent, no matter how much walking is needed. We were guided by a newly-made local friend, who was pleased to give us a tour around her beautiful city. Usually, I am drawn to the many shops found in a city due to my ‘teenage love of shopping “ attributes. However, this time I ignored the shops and focused my attention on the classic architecture of the buildings around me. The buildings had similar architectural style with each other; common in 19th to early 20th century. They all showcased their own Victorian image. Each had a different architectural design but the use of materials was mainly stone or brick showing the illusion that the building could last forever; This apparently was an idea from the early Scottish settlers of the city. Dunedin definitely stands out from other New Zealand cities I have visited, due to the fact that its architecture does not fall under the category of urban high rises. Appreciating the preservation of Dunedin architectural heritage was without a doubt, pure bliss.
“That’s the University of Otago, because it has a clock!” I could clearly recall one of my friends confidently acclaim. Amusingly, she was wrong. Our Dunedin friend told us that the beautiful ‘clock’ building, with the same Victorian style, is in actual fact,the city’s train station. Now, I especially mention this feature not only because of my interest in its fantastic architecture but because of the garden found in front. The garden had a variety of flowers painted with the most vibrant colours. Nearby were bushes formed in a maze-like pattern and around were old-fashioned street lights which I imagine would be a perfect sight to observe in the night hours.
esides the great buildings, Dunedin is the home of some of the best and most incredible street artwork. This is called the Street Art Trail, done by various artists, all over the world brought to Dunedin by the DSA (Dunedin Street Art) group. We explored the city seeking these murals mainly for one of our artistic friends. In the beginning, I was not eager to do more walking just to see random art on the walls of buildings that I could find in the town I lived in. However, my impression completely changed when I saw the immense detail seen in each and every piece of artwork. It is a wonder how these artists manage to create such beauty on such a massive scale, without missing a single detail.
Sadly, we ran out of time and had to head back without seeing all 25 pieces of artwork. Apparently, it would usually take an hour to witness every piece. Nevertheless, the Street Art Trail should not be missed especially when visiting the city of Dunedin.
My week in Dunedin was amazing because I did not realize how much beauty a city can contain. From the Victorian architecture to the magnificent street art, Dunedin is a fantastic tourist attraction. The experience will always be in my memory. I tell myself now that one day I will visit again and maybe this time I’ll finish my Street Art Trail adventure.