What to do in Dunedin?

Dunedin from Larnach small

Ottago Bay and Dunedin, seen from the tower of Larnach “Castle”. The harbour and town are the mouth of an extinct volcano.

Maoris lived here from about 1250 but it was first settled by sealers and whalers from 1810.

Dunedin, the largest city in the southern province of Ottago in the South Island is proud of it’s Scottish heritage. The name comes from the celtic name for Edinburgh the Capitol of Scotland and the town was settled in  1848 by a Company formed by the Free Church of Scotland who instructed the Architect to emulate the “Romantic” characteristics of Edinburgh in the town plan. As we drove into the city centre we found it closed off for a mass Pipe Band Competition!

Julie and the boulder small

Moeraki Boulders small

On the way into Dunedin we stopped for lunch and a walk and a look at the Moeraki Boulders, amazing spherical concretions.

Dunedin most important industry is Tertiary Industry – with the countries first established University of Ottago, attracting students from all over NZ and giving the town a population 22% aged between 15 and 24 years old. We arrived for the weekend of Orientation Week, the last chance for the students to let loose before the start of lectures. The streets were packed and so were the pubs. That night, a Saturday was also the first home game for the Ottago Highlanders in the Rugby Super 15 competition, playing the Canterbury Crusaders and several of us decide to go to the “Glasshouse” as their stadium is known.

The Zoo at Dunedin

At the Glasshouse one end of the stadium is exclusively used for the students who do not ceases from singing, cheering and generally having a good time all night.

Highlanders at Dunedin

The Highlanders win a line out from the Crusaders during the first half of the game. The Crusaders eventually won by 3 points. 

The almost highlight of my visit came at half time, soon after the photo was taken from the second tier of seating near the try line. For half time entertainment, a jeep with a gas powered bazooka drove around the stadium, firing cylinders into the crowd containing T shirts from one of the sponsors. They fired one high into the top tier above our seats but it bounced off a concrete support and dropped in my direction. For a short bloke I though my leap was well timed and adequate enough to get a firm right hand grip onto the mailing tube. Unfortunately the boof-headed young Kiwi from the seat in front wrestled it off me on the way to the ground and my moment of sporting fame as an old short rugby player in NZ was over.