It seems only right to end my New Zealand travel series here in Dunedin, my hometown. The lovely little city that I left in 2007, and returned to in 2010; the little city that sometimes drives me insane with its size, but is the only place I wanted to raise our children.
During the university year, the population of Dunedin is approximately 170,000. Around 50,000 of those people are students, so come summer holiday time, the streets are quieter and much less colourful. When we first arrived back, I would get quite frustrated at the lack of people, the lack of change, the lack of pace – coming from London, then the bustling cities of South America, Dunedin just felt sleepy and tiny. I remember overhearing two men discussing how “busy” town was one particular day, as I giggled about being able to weave and swerve without upsetting the pedestrian “flow”.
Dunedin is a beautiful city, surrounded by hills, the harbour and beaches. Green spaces abound, with many walking tracks in close proximity to the town centre. In saying that, nothing is much further than 15 minutes from town; the airport is the exception, but even this is only 20-30 minutes away.
There is something in Dunedin for every kind of tourist. Beaches for surfy types, museums and galleries for arty types, op shops and design stores for fashionable types. There are so many things to do with children of all ages, meaning we are not often at a loss as to what to do or where to go. We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to exceptional cafés, restaurants and bars, and there’s a great coffee culture which has emerged in recent years.
To be continued…