A trip to Dunedin recently made me look at the city in a whole different way. Sneaky backstreets, quiet corners, basement restaurants and hidey holes all wrapped up in a week of ID Fashion. I spent the day with Dunedin Tourism and a two hour tour quickly turned into a “do you want to keep going?” day. This was Dunedin. Of course I wanted to keep going.
Along for the ride was the wonderful Georgina Safe from Sydney who giggled in glee alongside me at all the delights we saw. Here is my 5 things you must do.
And yes you’re right it’s not 5 things, but 5 headings. There was too much to choose from. So sue me.
Get out of your car and walk the streets. There’s so many things you’ll miss from your four wheels that it would be a shame not to get wrapped up and get right into those lanes and alleyways. It’s where the magic happens.
Duty Bound Bookbinders was an amazing glimpse inside a totally wonderful art. David keeps the spirit alive and the smell inside that place is delicious.
57 Crawford Street
Made me feel like I was in New York (and I haven’t been to NY) but this amazing building with it’s beautiful tiles is on the corner of one of the steeper streets in Dunners. Across the road from Hard to Find Bookshop.
Cnr Dowling Street and High Street.
Just walk. Around and up and down and keep your peepers peeled. There’s always something new to find.
Look down (and up)
My mum always talked about looking up in cities but looking down also helps as many of the places to visit are in basement studios. Cafes, art galleries and whole foods shops a-plenty.
Natural Alley a new organic vegan and vegetarian cafe down a ‘don’t know it’s there and you’ll miss it’ alleyway.
I love the address: half way down the alley on Moray Place.
Rear Window Dunedin Art Gallery is at the back of Dunedin Art Gallery and has a new little exhibit that changes with every month in it’s window. A unique way to utilise every aspect of the gallery. Once you’ve seen that pop into the gallery proper. It’s a great space to stop and meander for a while.
30 The Octagon
Favourite tip: Pequeno is down a little alleyway and although it was closed when we meandered past it’s apparently amazing!
We began our day in Vogel Street St Kitchen which is a lovely captivating warehouse space turned cafe. Hot cinnamon scrolls and coffee. Big wooden tables and steel staircases leading up up and away.
The Standard Kitchen has been on my list for ages AND AND AND has metal straws instead of plastic so A-ok in my book. I had a orange juice which was massive and delicious and sat watching the traffic roll along.
Rez de Chaussee is another beautiful hideaway and their lemon meringue pie is to die for. I love these hidden spots as the locals hang out here and I want to feel like I live here all the time. City slicker and all.
Union Co cafe (Port Chalmers) is a lovely little cafe on the hill down towards the port. I was starving and quickly satiated with raisin bagels and hot coffee. Light streaming in, a Scandi lovers dream. Simple and elegant.
Asian Chinese Restaurant. You’d probably wander past it a million times but this little treat was pointed out by our amazing host as a must do for Dunedin. I wandered in later and quickly stuffed myself with delicious crunchy spring rolls, chinese tea and chow mein. Salted to perfection and crunchy cashews. I will be returning.
43 Moray Place
Blue Oyster Art Project Space is a gorgeous space housing some of the best free art to see in the city. Artists, writers, arts practitioners and curators all in one space.
Hard to Find Book Shop is an absolute haven of books and treasures. Up a flight of stairs this place houses over 10,000 books and magazines. Fiction, non, crime, art, history, sport, think it, it’s there all housed in this creaky musty building. I fell in love straight away and could have happily spend a few hours in there.
20 Dowling Street
I’ve been chatting and stalking Guild for around three years now as their Instagram page is awesome. I also want everything in it so I squealed when we headed to see them. Fashion, design, treats and lovelyness aplenty in this supportive Dunedin-designed product space.
Preservation Society is a complete vintage lovers dream. Sparkly victorian dresses sit alongside 70’s jumpers all ripe for the plucking. You can imagine yourself as a 1920’s movie star and then live it for real.
Rialto Cinema is obviously somewhere to go watch a movie but also to gasp at the beauty of this category 1 historic building. Ornate ceilings are a must see if you’re a photography enthusiast. Just ask if you can wander round and take some snaps. You won’t regret it.
Last but not least some added treats for you along the way if you have time.
Dunedin Railway Building is New Zealand’s most photographed building and when you see the outside (never mind the inside) you’ll know why. The Otago Farmers Market is also held there every Saturday. Getting quick for the beautiful pies and baking.
Maori Hill for No7 Balmac. The best flat white I’ve had in a while. And I’ve had a few. Delicious cakes and a lovely place to sit for the morning.
Id Fashion Week is a wonderful delight for the senses and shows off some of the best emerging designers from around the world. Launched in 1999 it just keeps on getting better.
Don’t forget to use the # in your Instagram shots!
#dunnerstunner #WildDunedin #Createdunedin #insidersdunedin
Ooh definitely keeping that Chinese place in mind for future Dunedin visits, sounds great. And adore that ceiling at the Rialto!
Chinese is SO GOOD! And I love that cinema, even if youre not watching something go wander round!
As a Dunedinite, The Asian is the last Chinese I would recommend. Super cheap but usually tastes like old grease. There are so many better authentic Chinese places – Dunedin was settled very early on by Chinese immigrants, who came for the gold rush. it’s part of what makes this place so great
I had a lovely meal! I’d love to know your picks 🙂
Hi I”m going to post your blog on our CITY RISE UP Facebook to spread the word. Dunedin is a great little city and as you say best seen by walking. We hope to extend the walks up above the city too. Great views, heritage homes and tracks everywhere. Watch this space……
Awesome! I Shall watch with interest!
Nor anyone who likes this wonderful city, I am very happy. Something drew me there and in 2014 I was the first time there. What a beautiful and happy time.
I like Dunedin 🙂 See you in November, Octagon, Aramoana, Port Chalmers. At the moment? Nostalgia!
Ahhh so glad you enjoyed! The octagon is one of my favourites!
So love you to come and check out my vintage shop lots of treasures and unexpected items.
I Love Pretty 475 Princes street.
Look forward to seeing you.
Next time i’m there!
Oh Amen for walking Dunedin! Such a fabulous place and full of surprises! Can’t wait to call it home next year!
I love cities which are good for walking. Park that car and leave it alone. Good luck on your move!