If you are surprised by the title of this post, don’t be. Scotland is alive and well and living in New Zealand.
Much as in the cold North of the UK, as you head to the cold South of NZ, you find places, scenery and indeed architecture which is reminiscent of Scotland. I can only imagine what the European settlers must have thought when they arrived here to see a landscape that reminded them of home – albeit with much clearer waters around. At least they didn’t decide to build the grey pebble-dashed houses that I have seen in so many parts of Scotland!
The first stop was Dunedin (gaelic for Edinburgh) which is a city in a beautiful location at the end of the Otago harbour. It is the second largest city of the South Island, after Christchurch. Here are some views for you to enjoy…note that the magnificent railway station was made from Oamaru limestone and granite which came all the way from Aberdeen! Did no-one notice that there is plenty of granite already here? A seagull pays its respects to a statue of Robert Burns also.
There are many streets in this part of NZ with Scottish names. Dunedin is home to the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street, complete with a gift shop and a rather nice bench to sit at when you reach the top. The average gradient is 1:3.41…but 1:2.86 at its maximum. Tiring.
To the west of Dunedin, you have Invercargill. I am not going to tell you that this is a place to linger. There really isn’t much here and indeed I read that they have been trying to expand the city with free higher education which does seem to be working. While there are some nice architectural features in the city, the real gem was the enormous Queen’s Park with beatiful gardens, bird aviaries and even a stumpery (something I had never seen before – enclosed for your viewing pleasure here).