You’ve probably seen those weird pictures of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni. You know: the ones where tiny people are flicked off spoons or balance in the palm of their friend’s hand. We all love a photo that fools the eye. In Bolivia, it’s the almost completely flat surface and absence of any distinctive features as far as the eye can see that fools us into losing all sense of perspective.
Baldwin: The Steepest Street in New Zealand
Not to be outdone, New Zealanders and visitors to Dunedin’s Baldwin Street, the steepest street in New Zealand, have been having a little fun of their own. Once incorrectly listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s steepest street – that accolade actually goes to Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – it’s still a very tough stretch of tarmac to hike up.
That hasn’t stopped the residents’ peace being shattered on a regular basis by people posing for snaps beside houses on the steepest street in New Zealand, that appear to be sinking into the ground. At first, you could be forgiven for thinking that they had suffered damage in a severe earthquake, but rotate the picture and you’ll see that it’s the street that slopes, not the homes.
Other Sights in Dunedin
When you’re done taking pictures of other people’s houses along the steepest street in New Zealand, there’s plenty more to see in Dunedin. It’s the site of New Zealand’s only castle, for a start. Larnach Castle was the brainchild of a banker named William James Mudie Larnach, the reward for his life’s effort and constructed in the 1870s. It’s had a chequered past – there aren’t many castles that can claim to have been a lunatic asylum and fewer still that their ballroom had been reinvented as a sheep pen – but now restored, it’s firmly on the tourist trail as one of the city’s best loved visitor attractions.
Even the city’s railway station is worth a second look. Its elaborate facade and no expense spared interior belie its use as a functioning station. From here you can catch the Seasider service or travel the scenic Taieri Gorge Railway.
Nearby you can visit Tunnel Beach, its wave cut sandstone arches and caves a breathtaking sight. Keep your eyes peeled for fossils in the rock here. And no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – the brachiopods, sea urchins and even the bones of an extinct whale that have been found here are quite real.