Once you’ve lived in Dunedin for a while, there are certain assumptions about the place that you just come to accept. One is that it’s cold and raining all the time with absolutely no distinction between winter and summer. Another is that there really isn’t much to do and yet another is that the students are always drunk and if you leave a couch unattended on Castle Street and it magically transforms into a smoldering pile of ash, you’ve got no-one to blame but yourself.
If you mention to anyone north of the Waitaki River that you plan on spending some time in Dunedin, you’ll inevitably find yourself in a conversation that includes the words drab, cold and ordinary. You’ll find yourself being advised to pack a rain jacket, an extra layer of clothing and maybe spend some time visiting Central Otago.
Personally, I take a different view. I find it a place of wonder, curiosity and energy. Yes, it can be cold at times but you don’t live in Dunedin for the weather. There’s a warmth to the city that is all together pleasant with an unwritten charm. Or, as the city’s Scottish founders might say, ‘it’s a bonnie wee place.’ It’s a place that celebrates the Bagpipes, Kilts, Haggis and Oatcakes. There are traditional Scottish Whisky Bars, an annual celebration to poet Robbie Burns and plenty of street names that have been taken from the Scottish Capital City. It even has its own tartan! And if that isn’t worth celebrating, I don’t know what is!
I recently had arrived home from my summer holidays, and now considering myself a local tourist, I set about planning how on earth I was going to post a new photo every day on my blog for an entire year in an effort to rediscover what it is I love so much about Dunedin. I had camera gear to check, Spotify playlists to adjust and just enough time left in the day to walk to the Dunedin wharf and Steamer Basin.