Why Does Dunedin Have Such a Bad Reputation?

Seriously, why does everybody seem to think Dunedin is a shithole? I really don’t understand why people think it’s so uncool and so they decide not to visit Dunedin. Dunedin hasn’t exactly been on the backpacker trail but more and more backpackers are heading to the Southland so maybe a well-deserved rise in popularity for Dunedin may appear. Perhaps it’s a case of Dunedin being one of those pleasant surprises where you think it will just be another city stop but actually it’s not such a bad place.

In fact, Dunedin is a great place for backpackers to go and stick around for a little while. Why stop in Christchurch when you can head a bit further South and get Christchurch but with an awesome sense of humour? Dunedin combines all the positive aspects of New Zealand’s other cities and has fun with it.

Here are some great reasons why Dunedin should have a better reputation than it seems to currently have.

11 Reasons Why You Should Visit Dunedin

1. Men outnumber women

Come on girls, stop moaning that there are no eligible men out there and get yourself to Dunedin. What’s even better is that Dunedin is filled with great bars and restaurants so you’ve a good chance of being taken on a pretty sweet date.

2. It’s New Zealand’s quirky capital

Ok, so Tourism Dunedin gave itself this official title but they certainly haven’t lied. A statue of a giant Scottish man, naked rugby and heart attack inducing cheesy rolls – Dunedin is bringing a whole new meaning to the term quirky.

3. Taiaroa Head, Otago Peninsula

You can’t be a true New Zealand city without some form of natural beauty and Dunedin ticks the box with Taiaroa Head. It is here that you can find the Royal Albatross Breeding Centre. The only place in the entire Southern Hemisphere and according to bird lovers out there this is a major deal. There is no other place in New Zealand that you can get an experience like this.

4. Baldwin Street

No mention of Dunedin is complete without mentioning Baldwin Street, which is officially the world’s steepest street. Even though I had the feeling that I had to collapse on the middle of the street on my way up I finally made it to the top and could take a great picture from above. Of course you should be very proud of yourself for this achievement, so get in the souvenir shop down the road and get a certificate for climbing Baldwin Street.

By Andy king50 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

5. Yellow-eyed Penguins

Continuing on the bird theme, the rarest penguin in the world and you can see them living it up in the wild around Dunedin. If rare birds like Dunedin then surely the rest of us are missing something.

6. The Octagon

The heart of Dunedin’s city centre. The Octagon has everything you need in one area all overlooked by that infamous Scot. From cafes to restaurants, a cinema and markets it’s just perfectly formed for relaxation. Due to its smallish size it means that there are no dud cafes or restaurants, each place is as good as the next so you get spoilt for choice.

By Ulrich Lange, Dunedin, New Zealand (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

7. An eclectic mix of tourist attractions

It’s good to cater for all types of personality and Dunedin epitomises this from history and education in the form of museums and architecture to lighthearted fun with the Cadbury Factory and Speights Brewery Tour.

8. It’s beautiful to look at

Whether you are exploring the hinterland, coast or city centre there is something to admire. The natural environment is true New Zealand splendour but the city’s architecture and historic buildings stand out in comparison to newer New Zealand cities.

9. St Clair Beach

Not even 15 minutes from the city is an awesome beach to go and chill out on, surf, or watch the surfers (remember point number 1 girls). A day on the beach taking in the coastal air is the cheapest spa treatment you will ever find.

10. Students

Think logically, where there are students, there are cheap drinks and people up for a good time. Who else likes good times and cheap drinks? Backpackers. Why hang out in trendy wine bars in city centres when you can meet like-minded people and do what you do best, socialise and enjoy people’s company.

11. It’s a city without the city mentality

You know the feeling that living or staying in a city brings, nobody chats to you or smiles or even looks like they are enjoying themselves. The combination of small city centre and student life brings that slightly more relaxed air to Dunedin. Students are quirky people, the people of Dunedin seem like quirky people and the city just oozes that air of enjoyment.

So really there is a lot to love about Dunedin and I would love to see a few more backpackers heading towards the city but the question still remains and I would love to hear some answers, why, oh why, does everybody think Dunedin is a shithole?

Heading to Dunedin? Stay at On Top Backpackers – Check it out!