There’s a street of history in this southern delight, the city of Dunedin. Perhaps no other New Zealand street contains as many historic protected buildings as Princes Street. And near these historic buildings, with tales of the past, there’s a more recent addition on the sides of buildings.
Find a tremendous street art trail - wander, explore, and stop off nearby for delicious Dunedin food treats. It’s quite the way to spend some time, seeing the past come to life. And then there’s coffee….
Stories of the past
Princes Street runs south-southwest, from The Octagon in Dunedin’s city centre through to the Oval sports ground. Then, north of The Octagon, George Street continues the same line, north-northeast. It’s a pretty straight line, and the part just below The Octagon is the steepest section, an old cutting through Bell Hill.
Check out those buildings. Known as the warehouse precinct, this area dates back to Dunedin's 1860s boom from Central Otago’s gold rush…New Zealand, around here, grew from goldfield profits. Back in the day, Princes Street was the heart of Dunedin's central business district, home to head offices, warehouses and factories. That explains the gorgeous buildings, with about 70 buildings listed on the historic places register.
It’s tremendous, still here, to spy remnants of New Zealand food history, the Bell Tea Company building in Hope Street (now closed) and Crown Derby tiles of livestock on the old Bartons Butchery building.
With new additions, art and coffee…
Added to those buildings, there’s a treasure hunt of street art, to spy and seek out now. Street artists travel here from around the world, and from through the country, to be part of the precinct’s street art trail. It’s a tremendous combination of creativity and diversity, yesterday and today, and (as they say) heritage-led regeneration.
Walk the streets, and seek out a tuatara, a kakapo look-alike, a charging bull, star wars characters, a famous singer, and a fish swallowing boats (including sailing ships and a waka). The works link the past, the future, the buildings, and the local environment. And there’s new work to find each time you visit, it’s a growing art collection.
They make this part of Princes Street well worth a linger on a weekend morning, or any other time you have a few hours to wander. Spy them, then stop in for coffee, southern treats, and a delicious chocolate spot, right in sight of the street murals.
And for more…
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