Dunedin Railway Station: One of the Nicest Old Buildings in New Zealand
Why Visit Dunedin Railway Station?
Dunedin Railway Station is a must-see when touring around the southern city’s historic downtown area. This impressive piece of history, completed in 1906, is also home to a weekly farmers market and is the start-point for several scenic train rides.
Dunedin Railway Station
Constructed of dark basalt (with Oamaru Stone facings) in the Flemish Renaissance style (I’d never heard of that style either!), Dunedin Railway Station is a thing of beauty. Dunedin Railway Station shares many similarities with several other old buildings throughout the city, including Otago Boys High School and the University of Otago.
Dunedin Railway Station, at one time the busiest station in New Zealand, is a throwback to a time when this great city was the most prosperous and important in the country. The gold, coal and farming industries all relied on it to flourish, and back then it was also a hub for various passenger services. Rail travel has since dried up in New Zealand but there are still a couple of scenic tourist routes on offer, including the Taieri Gorge rail journey and the coastal service to Oamaru.
One of the best things about a visit to Dunedin Railway Station is relaxing on the park benches in the well-manicured gardens — it’s a great place to eat lunch.
Inside Dunedin Railway Station
The interior of the station features and impressive mosaic tiled floor. It’s not the biggest space, and the outside is far more interesting than the interior, but it’s definitely worth having a look inside. There’s also a cafe and the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, which is probably only of interest to hardcore sports fans.
Otago Farmers Market
The railway station plays host to the weekly Otago Farmers Market (Saturdays 8 am – 12.30 pm, year round). Don’t miss it if you’re looking for the freshest fruit and vegetables, as well as fancy cheese, coffee and snacks. It can get quite busy, especially when there’s a cruise ship in town, so try and get there early for a more relaxing experience.
Things to see and do near Dunedin Railway Station
Dunedin Railway Station is located in the heart of the city and there is heaps to see and do nearby. The Octagon, home to numerous bars and cafes, is a short walk away. There are lots of cool old buildings in this area, including the courthouse (currently undergoing renovation), the old jail and Dunedin Town Hall.
The Otago Settlers Museum is a short walk away from the railway station and is definitely worth a look – it’s one of my favourite museums in New Zealand.
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