City of Grace and Grandeur
Of all New Zealand cities, Dunedin can boast the largest concentration of Victorian and Edwardian buildings.
This is mainly due to its rapid growth before and just after the turn of the century and its slower growth rate since.
Settled largely by the Scottish immigrants under the Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland in 1848, Dunedin was slow to prosper initially. It was not until the discovery of gold in Central Otago in the 1860s that a city of the size and consequence you see today began to grow, and then at a pace which several decades later, saw it rise to become the country's leading commercial and industrial centre.
Trace the roots of New Zealand's biggest manufacturers, importers, commercial and transport firms today and you will find many had their origins in Dunedin.
Dunedin is also New Zealand's first University City, with educational buildings and traditions that are still the envy of the country. Fortuitously, the mid to late Victorian period of Dunedin's growth and prosperity coincided with an exciting era in the history of architecture, with revivals of Gothic, Italianate, Palladian and Georgian forms to name a few. Readily available building materials such as Leith Valley andesite and Port Chalmers bluestone, combined with "white stone" from North Otago and locally kilned bricks, complemented these forms handsomely, as well as helped reinforce the settlers' aspirations for Dunedin as the "Edinburgh of the South".
Although much of Dunedin's early prosperity later headed northwards, much of the city's solidly built heritage remains to gain renewed appreciation more than a hundred years on.
The homes and buildings on this page have been registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as worthy of permanent protection because of their architectural and/or historical significance. As many are privately owned, viewing is from the street only.