Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. Known as the Edinburgh of the south, Dunedin lies on the central-eastern coast, surrounding the head of Otago Harbour. The city suburbs extend into the surrounding valleys and hills, onto the Otago Peninsula, and along the shores of the Otago Harbour and the Pacific Ocean.
The city population at 5 March 2013 was 120,246. Around 88 percent of people in Dunedin City belong to the European ethnic group. English is the most common language.
For a city of its size, Dunedin is easy to get around. It has very accessible recreational and cultural venues, great shopping, supermarkets and restaurants, as well as first-rate health care and education. The accommodation is good and plentiful; the nightlife buzzes with funky bars and good restaurants and the natural attractions are unique and fascinating. There’s a lot to do.
Dunedin is the financial hub of Otago and excels in agriculture, engineering, hi-tech manufacturing, information communication (IT) technology, biotechnology, fashion, forestry, tourism, the meat sector and more. The city's most important economic activity centres around tertiary education –New Zealand's first university was established in Dunedin in 1869.
Dunedin was designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Literature in 2014.
Dunedin enjoys several successful sister city connections, including with Edinburgh, Scotland; Otaru, Japan; and Shanghai, China.
What to expect
Dunedin’s coastal and temperate climate is characterised by cool winters and warm summers. Winter is frosty but sunny with occasional snow; significant snowfall happens every two or three years. Spring can feature "four seasons in a day" weather, but from November to April it is generally settled and mild. Temperatures during summer can briefly reach 30 °C (86 °F).
New Zealand is a land of extremes so bring clothing to cover all seasons and weather conditions, no matter the time of year. Warm waterproof jackets, several layers of warm clothing and good footwear are recommended for winter and the cooler days. Light clothing will be needed in the summer months, as will sunscreen. Tidy casual clothing is required for eating out and nightlife.
Described as Pacific Rim, New Zealand's cuisine draws from Europe, Asia and Polynesian influences. New Zealand people are known for their laid-back nature, and this is reflected in the country’s cuisine. Dunedin people, as with the rest of New Zealand, enjoy their summer by having barbeques and eating outdoors. People generally eat a hot meal at the end of the day, and frequently eat sandwiches for lunch in the middle of the day. Families often eat their evening meal earlier than many cultures as they are home from work and study promptly – Dunedin’s compactness means not much commuting.
Dunedin is known for its culinary eating experiences and for producing an abundance of fine food and beer. Dunedin tap water is safe to drink.
New Zealand Now has some good general information on what to expect in New Zealand.
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