Dunedin / Ōtepoti
Dunedin is located on the southeast coast of the South Island of New Zealand, nestled in the hills surrounding Otago Harbour.
It is suggested that Dunedin was first inhabited first by Māori in around 1100 AD, primarily along the south east coast. Māori hunters were attracted to the area for its abundant supply of fish, seals, penguins and whales. This bounty also brought sealers in the late 19th century who established Otago Harbour as an international port.
In 1848, the city was founded by Scottish settlers and named Dunedin, which is Scottish Gaelic for Edinburgh. The settlers attempted to copy the characteristics of their beloved Edinburgh, giving Dunedin its unique European feel.
In the 1860s the discovery of gold at Gabriel's Gully near Lawrence marked rapid commercial expansion in the area, with veteran gold hunters from California, Australia, Europe and China descending on Otago in the hope of making it rich. More gold was found in Clyde, and the Arrow River near Arrowtown.
The gold rush made Dunedin New Zealand's centre of commerce and culture and the city retains an elegant grandeur often missing from larger cities in New Zealand. Today, the city is rich in heritage and culture that leaves lasting memories for its visitors and is regarded as New Zealand's architectural heritage capital.
The Otago Peninsula hosts the world's only mainland breeding colony of the northern Royal albatross, and is home to the world's rarest penguin, the yellow-eyed, and various species of seals, sea lions and pelagic birds.
Further inland from Dunedin sits the picturesque town of Queenstown at the foot of the Southern Alps. Queenstown, on the banks of Lake Wakatipu is a tourism mecca and during winter months plays host to skiers and snowboarders from all over the world.
Dunedin maintains a position of national importance as a major seat of learning with a strong arts and cultural focus. Dunedin is recognised as a centre of excellence in tertiary education and research as home to the University of Otago, New Zealand's first university, is recognised as a major force in education and enjoys an international reputation.
Throughout the wider Otago region, the wine, food, film, horticulture, farming and light manufacturing industries are well established. A strong tourism and hospitality industry caters for the holiday destinations of Queenstown and Wanaka.
Dunedin is a compact city with a population of 123,000 (including a student population of 23,000) adding to the city's youthfulness and vibrancy. The population of the Otago region is around 203,500 or approximately five percent of New Zealand's total population. The major centres include Dunedin, Queenstown, Oamaru, Wanaka, Alexandra and Balclutha.
Hot summers and cold winters provide the perfect climate for winter sports, summer holidays and adventure. The Clutha River surges through Otago feeding the grassy valleys and the vineyards that make award winning Otago wines. Coastal Otago tends to have a reasonably cloudy maritime climate and there is a relatively small shift in temperature from summer to winter. Inland there is less cloud and the climate is more continental.
- New Plymouth
- Palmerston North
- Team Bases