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Outdoors

Baldwin street, steepest street in the world

  • 3 minutes

Dunedin attraction

Puff, huff and stagger up Baldwin St, Dunedin, the steepest street in the world. The ground rises a metre for every 2.86 metres you step.

In Dunedin, Baldwin Street is located in the North East Valley approximately 4 km from the Octagon. Guinness World Records calls it the steepest street in the world, meaning no street gains more altitude in 10 horizontal metres, measured along the street’s centerline

The painted bench with a painted wall behind showing Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world Dunedin, New Zealand
The painted bench with a painted wall behind showing Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world Dunedin

Why is Baldwin Street, Dunedin so steep?

Baldwin Street, Dunedin is so steep because bureaucrats had never visited the terrain and in fact were likely sub-dividing Dunedin from the colonial office in London. The street is named after William Baldwin, an Otago Provincial Councillor and newspaper founder, who subdivided the area. Baldwin Street – Wikipedia

The average speed to walk to the top is 10 minutes and the distance, a mere 350 metres.

INTERESTING FACT

Started in 1998, 2,000 tennis balls were released in a sponsored event raising money for Habitat for Humanity.

 

GETTING THERE

Public bus service, no 8Yes, there is a direct bus departing from North Rd, 338 and arriving at George St, 664. Services depart every 30 minutes, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 13 min.

HOW FAR IS IT TO WALK TO BALDWIN STREET FROM DUNEDIN’S OCTAGON?

From the Octagon, Dunedin’s centre, approximately 4 km, 50 – 60 minutes walk.

INTERESTING FACT

Baldwin Street, Dunedin when it was constructed in the 19th century concrete was used as the steep gradient led to the possibility of asphalt melting and running down the street on hot days.

Baldwin Street is a mere 350 metres in length with residential houses along its entire length. At the top of the street you are 70 metres from the bottom of the street. The slope of Baldwin Street is about 1:2.86 (19° or 35%): in 2.86 metres (9.4 ft) travelled horizontally, the elevation changes by 1 metre (3.3 ft). Wikipedia.

ODD HAPPENINGS ON BALDWIN STREET, DUNEDIN

  • Ian Soanes (stuntman) who rode a motorcycle down Baldwin on one wheel, turned around and rode back up on one wheel.
  • Harry Willis, 11-years old, climbed the street on a pogo stick. Taking about ten minutes to the top, Willis raised $11,000 for the Ronald McDonald House in Christchurch.
11-year-old rides pogo stick up the world's steepest street, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand @Stuff
11-year-old rides pogo stick up the world's steepest street @Stuff
Baldwin Street Gutbuster, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand @GETTY IMAGES
Baldwin Street Gutbuster @GETTY IMAGES

BALDWIN STREET FESTIVALS

The street is the venue for an annual event in Dunedin, the “Baldwin Street Gutbuster”. Every summer since 1988 (usually in February). Participants run up the street trying to break the record of 1.56 seconds (established in 1994). Endurance running up the street and balance tottering down back the street is the hallmark of Gutbuster participants.

INTERESTING FACT

Are you old enough to remember the cinemas and rolling jaffas (Cadbury chocolate centred sweets coated in orange) Baldwin Street as the site of over 30,000 rolled down Baldwin Street on 14th July 2008 as part of the Cadbury Chocolate Festival. Each Jaffa confection raised money for charity.

 

 

The jaffa race is no longer operating however there are signs it may return.

Baldwin Street is part of the top 11 things to do  in Dunedin.

 

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