Dunedin’s North East Valley begins at the glorious Botanic Garden and follows Lindsay’s Creek to Bethunes Gully on the lower slopes of Mt Cargill. Follow North Road to discover this vibrant suburb with its range of services including a supermarket, retro shops, and eateries. The Valley Project aims to enhance the quality of life for Valley people through activities and spreading the word about what’s happening in this end of town. They even have their own radio show Valley Voice Radio on Otago Access Radio. So, spend a little longer here if you’re visiting Baldwin St ( the steepest residential street in the world) on the right just past the North East Valley School. You’ll see what the locals love about this self-contained and linked up patch of Kiwi heartland.
Being a valley that encourages innovation and community feel, it's no surprise that the cafés and foodie spots are cutting edge, while welcoming you with age old charm. ADJØ has its Nordic feel, danish pastries and coffee shots down pat. Beam Me Up Bagels is so popular it started up a second branch in the city centre. Crusty Corner is a North East Valley institution, placing pastry crumbs on happy chins since 1985. Blacks Road Grocer keeps your pantry full of tasty veges and gives you the strength to carry away bags of local produce by serving great coffee and real fruit ice creams. Filadelfios is a long-time haunt of those who like their pizza New York-style with a cool beverage.
Just 6 km from the Octagon, in Normanby at the end of North East Valley, peaceful Bethunes Gully offers several possibilities for walkers, mountain bikers, and picnickers. A gravel track follows Lindsays Creek and leads through pine forest and regenerating native forest to the summit of Mt Cargill, a round trip off around 3 ½ hours with fabulous views. For a longer walk continue to the Organ Pipes (basalt columns) or the A H Reed Memorial Walkway. Lindsays Creek is a favourite spot for children looking for koura the freshwater crayfish among the rocks and there’s a playground, gas barbecues and toilet beside the carpark.
If you enjoy beautiful old trees like beech, maple, yew and macrocarpa, with added birdsong, history and solitude then Chingford Park, with it's secret garden feel, is a fine place to visit at any time of year. Tucked away on North Road between Beechworth and Tannadice streets, it contains sports fields, a playground, an archery range, an orienteering course and a frisbee golf course. A wide path leads across Lindsays Creek to Chingford Stables at the rear of the park, built of basalt in the 1870s, a grand structure now used for functions, originally built to house the horses of the family whose homestead once graced the hill side above.
Above North East Valley you'll find Signal Hill (Te Pahuri o te Rangipohika). Drive, walk or bike to the top and you'll find a unique monument featuring two large and unusual bronze figures representing "History" and "The Thread of Life" designed by F. W. Sturrock and F. W. Staub, placed there to commemorate the New Zealand Centennial of 1940. It's an instagrammers' favourite and one of the best spots to get your bearings if you haven't been to Dunedin before, or want to give a visitor great idea of Dunedin's impressive landscapes and layout.
North East Valley to Waitati or Port Chalmers
For a scenic day out, journey along North Road and begin climbing up what was once the main route north out of the city. Winding, narrow roads pass through farmland and native bush towards Upper Junction. From here you can either go left along Mt Cargill Road all the way to Waitati ,or turn on to Upper Junction Road to Brick Hill Road, then Stevenson Ave and Borlases Road to Port Chalmers. Either way, there are quaint farms, stone fences, views of craggy inland ranges or hazy coastal vistas to be savoured.