Every new years day Clemency and I walk to the top of Mt. Flagstaff and back home again. This is the view of Dunedin from the summit.
I've lived all over the place in New Zealand: all the main centres and a few of the minor ones as well, but I can't imagine myself ever again living in any other city than Dunedin.
I lived here as a small child and returned at the start of 1999 to become Vicar of Roslyn. I can't even tell you what makes my home town so great, but it's something ephemeral; it's something about the wairua or spirit of the place. Perhaps it's the never thwarted expectation of being anywhere in the city in 10 minutes. Perhaps it is the several dozen beaches within a quarter hour's drive of my back door on which I can be, apart from seals and penguins, all alone. Perhaps it is the superb hospital and the presence of the best university in New Zealand which combine to give the city cultural and intellectual facilities on a par with towns ten or twenty times its size. Sure the weather is a bit nippy, but you get used to that pretty quickly and it sure does keep the Jafas away, which means that for a modest outlay you can have a great house with a large section and probably have enough change to buy a crib in Central. There's nowhere else in the country where your dollar can buy such a relaxed, friendly, roomy, beautiful, comfortable lifestyle as in Dunedin.
But you know what they say about pictures and words. So over the next few weeks I'm going to post some of my pictures of the town I love so dearly. I know some of you won't agree with me, and there does seem to be a bit of a stampede of people wishing to live North of the Bombay Hills. And why not? Each to their own. So, all you Aucklanders, take what I say with a pretty big grain of salt.Then relax and enjoy your 45 minute commute to and from the run down ex state house on a pocket handkerchief that you just paid $900k for.
Our house. 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms and a study on 3 levels. Our section is 1350 sq m with a view of the harbour and we're 7 mins drive from the centre of town.. It's hard to make comparisons but I would guess it might be worth 30% of what you would pay in Auckland.
Our back garden and view out to the harbour and to Dunedin City on the hills opposite.
The view from my deck on one of those characterful days when it's great to have the log fire burning and a single malt to hand.
Otago Harbour, about ten minutes walk from home
St. Clair Beach, early morning. This is a long way from home. Maybe as far as half an hour's walk.
Our deck again. Moonrise with an autumnal evening mist.