Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dunedin offers southern comfort in classic New Zealand city

Dunedin is known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, and has the green one sees in Scotland.
Dunedin's Railway Station is beautifully restored to its 1906 grandeur. 
STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE MEYERS

WHEN THE Scots came to Dunedin in 1848 they brought their culture along -- from bagpipes to cattle to a love of flowers and , yes, haggis.
But if you don't like the squeal of the pipes or the mess of innards and arcane cooking methods, never mind.
Dunedin has plenty of modern day appeal.
The approach, via a pretty bay, previews the day.  You'll see lumber -- a major industry, and a well planned one -- an interesting skyline and plenty of critters, trees and flowers.
Dunedin offers art aplenty, often
 in unexpected places.
DUNEDIN has the feel of a big city minus the crime, pollution and sleaze.  The country's second largest town has a distinct, rural feel. You'll see plump sheep grazing on the drive into town -- the harbor is a few miles from city center.  And you'll see dairy cattle, responsible for beautiful cheese you'll find at the fashionable shops.  Once in town, head to the train station to book a trip on the famed Taieri Gorge Railway, then enjoy the galleries, churches and restaurants galore -- we had a Turkish wrap and Greek food one day, and gorgeous lamb chops another.
Rare penguins on the south island.
For theater, books and art, click for lilianslastdance.com
DUNEDIN ALSO has plenty of city allure, including the southern
hemisphere's second-most-photographed building, the iconic Dunedin Railway Station.  Fully restored to its 1906 splendor, it hosts a weekly farmers' market and is where you'll go to book any of the exciting trips to the Taieri Gorge or elsewhere.


Lumber is a huge industry in Dunedin.
Left, the Taieri Gorge Railway offers
a spectacular country ride.
Dunedin's famous Railway Station.











Known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin is the country's city of the south, wearing its Scottish heritage with pride. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbor, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the southern hemisphere.
ACCOMMODATIONS are varied and abundant, from charming B&Bs to luxury hotels such as the Hotel Regis, the St. Clair or Southern Cross. There's lots of nightlife, including funky, colorful places that reminded us of Melbourne's showy "after hours" places.  The food is as varied as the hotels, the bistros architecturally unique and fascinating.
Come with Cookie to the 'Jeopardy' set
Wellington's people are rightly proud of her
cable cars and the views they offer of the city. 
WE DROVE up the Otago Peninsula - the views are broad and beautiful and the beaches are rugged.
Nestled at the foot of Taiaroa Head is the Royal Albatross Center, the only place on the mainland where you can view Northern Royal Albatross in its natural habitat. You'll also find near Dunedin a remarkable, rare penguin colony. We even found a shop selling vegetarian haggis! No mess, no fuss!

COMING UP: Cable cars, vintage autos and organ music as we take to Wellington, New Zealand. Remember to explore, learn and live and visit us Wednesdays at: www.whereiscookie.com

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