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Dunedin - New Zealand Go to bottom of page/contents to skip this page. I've been here before.

Dunedin St Pauls Cathedral in background

A picture of Harvey

Scottish Heart of the South

Robbie Burns statue in Dunedin's Octagon


A brief history of Dunedin

       Within a 15 kilometre radius of Dunedin there are about 30 named hills over 300 metres above sea level. The settlement of Dunedin in 1848 was a joint venture by the New Zealand Company and the Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland, and it had specific guiding principles, described at the time as 'liberaland enlightened'.

     Dunedin is named so, because it is the Gaelic form of Edinburgh. In March and April 1848, the ships John Wicklifee and Philip Laing arrived in Otago Harbour with the first 344 colonists. During the 1850s about 12,000 immigrants arrived in Otago, mostly of Scots Presbyterians, most married with families.

      In May 1861 a Tasmanian miner named Gabriel Read found gold near Lawrence, in Otago. In 1860 there were 69 arivals in Otago Harbour, the next year 256 ships - most of them with gold diggers. During the 1860s a lot of businesses became established in Dunedin. Dunedin became the largest and most influential centre in New Zealand. By 1874 with a population of 18,500 it was still a bigger city than Auckland, which had 12,700 people then.

     


Firsts for Dunedin/New Zealand- First with a botanic garden, daily newspaper, paper mill and woollen mill. First with a secondary school for girls, a YWCA and St John Ambulance Brigade.

     In farming, Otago pioneered the refrigated frozen meat industry and dairy cooperatives manufacturing cheese. In this century city council initatives in hydro-electric schemes (Waipori Falls is a small hydro scheme) and forestry have earned national acclaim. Dunedin has inherited many beautiful old buildings and houses - the greatest collection of Victorian and Edwardian architecture in NZ.

     The climate in Dunedin is moderate - 1685 hours of sunshine a year, 784 millimetres of rain, and a mean temperature of 11 degrees Celsius.

     Albatross Colony - Albatrosses are born at Taiaroa Head each year. Yellow eyed Penguins come here to breed also.

     Moana Pool was opened in 1964 - when it was hailed as the finest Olympic swim venue in NZ. In addition to the main pool, it is equipped with a 3.8 metre diving pool, children's pool and playground, spa pool, exercise room and a double water slide. The main gallery can seat 1,200. There is a cafe on the ground floor with views of the main pool. {There is public comment that Dunedin needs a new pool complex that is more accessible to the public [Moana Pool is on a steep hill] due to heightened awareness of local swimming talent Danyon Loader who's a world class olympic swimmer -- who has now gone on to study in the USA. However his coach, Duncan Laing is much sought after to train possible would be olympic swimmers of the future.}

     Festivals- The Dunedin Festival - a gala week - is usually held about the second week of February, held since 1955. Featured are live shows, exhibitions of arts, crafts and flowers, and a procession of decorated floats. The opening ceremony in the Octagon is always followed by the Vintage Car Run to Brighton.

      Several other festivals are presented during the year. Scottish Week which coincides with St Patrick's Day. Rhododendron Week is the third week of October when the flowers in public and private gardens are at their best. Dunedin is the rhododendron capital of NZ, because of it's climate - more species are said to grow in Dunedin than anywhere else - from tropical to high Himalayan.

     In the cross-cultural area, a highlight is Japan Week, held at various timesof the year under the auspices of the Dunedin-Otaru Sister City Committee. Otaru (Hokkaido) is a city of similar size to Dunedin, situated on a harbour in the north of Japan. The sister-city connection was formalised in 1980.


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Dunedin ............ -------------------- Dunedin, New Zealand......................................................
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