There’s a couple of food trucks on the promenade, waves crashing against the sea wall, and black dots of dozens of surfers offshore at a Dunedin southern beach.
Take the chance to sit overlooking the water at the local Italian, enjoying spot on house made pizza and pasta. And watch a busy host ushering locals and visitors to tables, as they flock through the door. It’s a little bit of Italy, blended with a little bit of New Zealand, and all part of what makes up New Zealand’s excellent classic kiwi food.
Loads of local favourites
Just a hop skip and jump down the road, you’ll still hear the sea’s roar, and there’s more local favourites. Cafes heaving, and more, and different, kiwi fare. All to be enjoyed with all from the community, visitors from further afield, and well behaved dogs sitting patiently under pavement tables. And the playground is just across the road for the smaller ones with energy to burn.
This is a special seaside place, comfortably occupying a good stretch of the Pacific Ocean coastline. And it’s a popular spot. Sea air, walkers, runner, diners, surfers. You can’t miss the shark bell, and history reveals it’s there for good reason. And, at winter solstice, you can’t miss the locals’ annual midwinter plunge, a chilly local tradition.
And local landmarks
And there are other notable landmarks. The piles just up the beach toward St Kilda, a fixture for a century or so, slowly being reclaimed by nature. Originally put there as part of a structure to arrest the movement of sand, to conserve the level of the beach. The poem, by the late poet Jean Lonie… Dunedin in summer… The days are twice the nights… It might be just past the height of summertime, but when the sunshine’s happening, it’s true - there’s nothing like a Dunner stunner. And the salt water pools, heated pools, open in summer, drawing water from that ocean. They date back to 1884. No sharks here.
For those on the road not ready for that bracing (or warm) seawater, there’s always a beach walk to blow out the cobwebs when the tide’s right. Or climb Jacob’s Ladder just a little back in the hills, to the top of the cliff of houses, for a spectacular vantage of this east coast settlement. And like we said, if all that sea air makes you hungry…. well, there’s a super range of kiwi food moments to fix that.
Your road trip companion…
To find more on The FoodPath NZ’s handpicked eateries and food producers, for our collection of spot on New Zealand food moments to check out on your next New Zealand trip, including in St Clair, download The FoodPath NZ’s app here.