Bellbirds, books and baroque architecture: visiting New Zealand’s oldest city Dunedin

The South Island destination has gothic buildings and golden beaches, with plenty of wildlife, delicious food and live music

It’s midwinter in the South Island city of Dunedin but the sun is high and the thermostat has just pushed past 10C. Settled by the Scots and known as “the Edinburgh of the south”, Dunedin has long had a reputation in New Zealand as the country’s avant garde student haven, a gritty post-industrial city now home to artists, musicians, academics and more than a handful of eccentrics. Odd is acceptable in Dunedin – applauded, even.

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