go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Dunedin

History

The Otakau area’s early history was particularly bloody, involving a three-way feud between peninsular tribes that escalated in the early 19th century. This brutal warfare was closely followed by devastating diseases and interracial conflict ushered in via coastal sealing and whaling. The first permanent European settlers, two shiploads of pious, hard-working Scots, arrived at Port Chalmers in 1848, including the nephew of the patron saint of Scots poetry, Robbie Burns. That the city’s founders were Scottish is a source of fierce pride today: a statue of Robbie still frowns down upon the city centre, there are a handful of civic haggis-n-bagpipe occasions every year, and the city even has its own tartan.