Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the principal city of the Otago Region. It is considered to be one of the four main urban centres of New Zealand for historic, cultural, and geographic reasons. Dunedin is known as the Edinburgh of the South and is proud of its Scots heritage. It has as its heart a statue of the poet Robbie Burns and many of its streets carry the same name as streets in Edinburgh.
It was built in a time before the car was king, when ships and railways moved people around. It is built in a natural harbour on a relatively small area of flat land surrounded by steep hillsides. Some of its streets are steep: Baldwin Street is claimed as being the steepest street in the world – a claim which is celebrated during the annual chocolate festival by rolling over 15,000 jaffas down it. It does get cold – many of the streets are iced over in winter – and every two or three years, the city gets a snowfall.
Dunedin’s University of Otago, established in 1869, is the oldest university in New Zealand. It is the South Island’s second largest employer and by far the biggest contributor to the Dunedin economy. Dunedin is a University Town rather than just a town with a university. The students make up over a tenth of the population. A consequence of this is that the city is significantly quieter during the university summer holiday period (approx. November to February).