Dunedin's Engineering Heritage Trails
Two engineering focused walks of central Dunedin highlight the vision, skill and tenacity of Dunedin’s engineers. Their work was pivotal in the city’s development and early prosperity.
Engineering has a wider scope than most people realise, including civil, electrical, fire, hydraulic, mechanical, structural, transport and telecommunications works. Because of this, places visited on the Engineering Heritage Trails range from locomotives to grand churches, public buildings to the sites of major earthworks.
Printable PDF trail brochures, with place information and maps, are available below.
Dunedin’s Engineering Heritage Trails are easy walks around central Dunedin, but comfortable shoes are recommended.
Walk 1: The Octagon Route (approximately 2 kilometres/1.5 hours)
Read the Walk 1 brochure (PDF 2MB).
This trail starts at the Otago Settlers Museum, and then progresses north, cutting westward through the Octagon and then looping back around to finish at First Church, which is south of the Octagon.
Walk 1: Octagon Route items
The items in the Octagon Route are:
- Otago Settlers Museum, 31 Queens Gardens
- Josephine and Locomotive JA1274 in the Otago Settlers Museum, 31 Queens Gardens
- South Island Main Trunk Railway, Anzac Avenue
- Dunedin Railway Station, Anzac Avenue
- Dunedin Law Courts, 1 Stuart Street
- Former Shoreline, Dunbar Street
- Cumberland Street and Stuart Street intersection traffic signals
- Buildings on reclaimed harbour mud, Cumberland Street
- Public transport, The Octagon
- Municipal Chambers, 38 The Octagon
- St Paul’s Cathedral, 36 The Octagon
- King Edward Technical College, Corner Stuart Street, York Place, and Tennyson Street
- Dominican Priory, Corner Smith and Tennyson Streets
- Otago Girls High School, 41 Tennyson Street
- Tennyson Street Electrical Substation
- View from Tennyson Street
- Dowling Street Steps, Corner Dowling and Princes Streets
- First Church, 410 Moray Place.
You can then make your way back to the Otago Settlers Museum to link to Walk 2 of the Engineering Heritage Trails.
Walk 2: The Exchange Route (approximately 2 kilometres/1.5 hours)
Read the Walk 2 brochure (PDF 770KB).
This trail starts at the Otago Settlers Museum and follows the original Dunedin shoreline south, before heading north along Princes Street and completing a loop by finishing at First Church, which is near the museum and south of The Octagon.
Walk 2: Exchange Route items
The items in the Exchange Route are:
- Otago Settlers Museum, 31 Queens Gardens
- Bell Hill Cutting and Reclamation, Burlington Street, Moray Place, Princes Street
- Main Intersecting Sewer, Queens Gardens
- One way street system, Queens Gardens
- Cumberland Street Overbridge, Intersection of Jetty and Cumberland Streets
- New Zealand Express Company Building, 7 Bond Street
- T & G Building, Corner Princes and Jetty Streets
- ANZ Bank Building, 319 Princes Street
- Chief Post Office, 283 Princes Street
- Shoreline Plaque, Princes Street
- Grand Hotel, 118 High Street
- The Exchange – a transport terminus, Corner Princes and Rattray Streets
- Cable Car Underground Chamber, Corner Princes and Rattray Streets
- Bank of New Zealand Building, 205 Princes Street
- National Bank Building, 193 Princes Street
- First Church, 410 Moray Place
- Plane Table, behind First Church.
The walks were created by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) Otago/Southland Engineering Heritage Chapter, with assistance from Otago Settlers Museum and Dunedin City Council Community and Recreation Services.
Many of these items are listed on Heritage New Zealand’s New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero as historic places.
Search the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero
Central Dunedin, both walks beginning at the Otago Settlers Museum, 31 Queens Gardens.
Additional image gallery details
Railway Station, Dunedin [early 1920s]. Smith, Sydney Charles, 1888-1972: Photographs of New Zealand. Ref: 1/2-046486-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
The Exchange, Dunedin [circa 19 October 1949]. New Zealand Free Lance: Photographic prints and negatives. Ref: PAColl-8163-60. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of these images.