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Introducing Dunedin

Two words immediately spring to mind when Kiwis think of their seventh largest city: 'Scotland' and 'students'. The 'Edinburgh of the South' is immensely proud of its Scottish heritage, never missing an opportunity to break out the haggis and bagpipes on civic occasions.

In fact, the very name Dunedin is derived from the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh: Dùn Èideann. The first permanent European settlers, two shiploads of pious, hard-working Scots, arrived at Port Chalmers in 1848, and included the nephew of Scotland's favourite son, Robbie Burns. A statue of the poet dominates the Octagon, the city's civic heart, and the city even has its own tartan.

If there were a tenuous link between the Scottish and the students that dominate Dunedin in term time, it would probably be whisky. The country’s oldest university provides plenty of student energy to sustain the local bars, and in the 1980s it even spawned its own internationally influential indie music scene, with Flying Nun Records and the 'Dunedin sound'.

Dunedin is an easy place in which to while away a few days. Weatherboard houses ranging from stately to ramshackle pepper its hilly suburbs, and bluestone Victorian buildings punctuate the compact city centre. It's a great base for exploring the wildlife-rich Otago Peninsula, which officially lies within the city limits.