is the second-largest city in New Zealand's South Island and the
principal city of the region of Otago. It is New Zealand's fifth largest
city in population, the largest in size of council boundary area and the hub
of the sixth-largest urban area.
For historical and cultural reasons and its location, Dunedin is considered
one of the country's four main centres, although Hamilton has overtaken it
in urban-area population and Tauranga has a slightly larger urban-area
The city stands on the hills and valleys
surrounding the head of Octagon Harbour which is
remnants of an extinct volcano.
As an university city of Scottish heritage, Dunedin, being the home of New Zealand's
first university, medical school and the
oldest New Zealand city, possesses a unique combination of cultural riches, fine
architecture, and world-famous wildlife reserves on the Otago Peninsula.
is the main centre of Otago, a region recognised for its spectacular
scenery. The sheer physical beauty of Dunedin, dramatic bush-covered hills
and valleys at the head of a long natural harbour, attracted Maori settlers
to the site over four centuries ago.
From small settlement beginnings, Dunedin has became the centre for the nation's
wealth. Soaring cathedral spires, a magnificent Flemish-style railway station,
fine banks and office blocks, a nineteenth-century castle, old university
buildings and a neo-gothic convent are among the city's architectural treasures.
Dunedin has flourishing niche industries including engineering, software
engineering, bio-technology and fashion. Port Chalmers on the Otago Harbour,
provides Dunedin with a natural deep-water port facilities.
is also notable now as a centre for ecotourism. Uniquely, the world's only
mainland Royal Albatross colony and several penguin and seal colonies lie within
the city boundaries on Otago Peninsula.
There is thriving tertiary student population has led to a vibrant youth culture
(so named 'Scarfies'), consisting of the Dunedin's unique music scene, and more
recently a burgeoning boutique fashion industry. A strong visual arts community
also lives in Dunedin and its environs, notably in Port Chalmers and the other
settlements which dot the coast of the Otago Harbour.
Dunedin is a hub for regular daily
bus and coach services from Dunedin to
Oamaru and by Air New Zealand Link regional services, Air New Zealand
National and Jetstar air services from Auckland, Wellington and
Christchurch. Dunedin is serviced with international air services to and from
There are no passenger train services from Dunedin to Christchurch, Queenstown,
Te Anau, Timaru, Oamaru, Mt Cook or Invercargill.