Moving to Dunedin
Dunedin is situated in the south of the South Island and has a population of approximately 120,000 people, representing a multitude of cultures.
Dunedin is the Gaelic name for Edinburgh and the city is famous for its strong links with Scotland. Locals keep the Scottish traditions alive with memorable Haggis ceremonies and even their own brand of whisky! Dunedin is renowned for its strong culture with many beautifully preserved Victorian and Edwardian buildings. When you move to Dunedin you will find it is an easygoing, friendly and cosmopolitan city close to harbours, beaches and the spectacular scenery of central Otago.
Living in Dunedin
You’ll probably want to rent a property when you first move to Dunedin so you can get a feel for the city and decide where you’d like to settle. When you’re looking at potential areas in which to set up your new home there will be several factors you’ll want to consider, including schooling zones, safety and security and any personal considerations such as proximity to shops, places of worship and medical facilities.
Maori Hill and Roslyn have traditionally been the most desired areas to live in Dunedin as they were the first settled areas in the city. Both these suburbs are located centrally to the city within comfortable walking distance. Roslyn is close to town with schools, bus routes, hospitals, sunshine and great views.
On the other side of Dunedin lies St. Clair, close to the beach with spectacular coastline views, restaurants, golf courses and beach activities all easily accessible. Public transport and excellent roads have made Dunedin's surrounding suburbs and outlying communities another attractive option.
If you choose to rent a property when you live in Dunedin, you will need to pay a ‘bond’ of two to three weeks’ rent. Rent is paid in advance and if sourcing a property through a letting agent you will need to pay a fee of one week’s rent plus GST (Goods and Services Tax – 12.5%). So in total it is likely you will need to pay the equivalent of five to six weeks’ rent up front before you can move in.
Getting around the city
The vast majority of Dunedin’s residents will travel around the city by car. If you decide to join them you’ll be pleased to know that vehicles are driven on the left hand side of the road. The maximum legal speed on highways and motorways is normally 100kph (61 mph); in cities and towns the limit is 50kph (30 mph).
It is possible to drive on an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to a year after moving to Dunedin, however during this time you’ll need to apply for a New Zealand licence. If you’re not planning to apply for a New Zealand licence straight away you would be wise to familiarise yourself with the road rules as there are several which will be different from those you’re used to.
If you’d prefer to take public transport then buses and taxis are the best options. Most suburbs are covered by buses which start running at around 6:30am and finish around 11:00pm. Shorter routes and reduced services are available on the weekend. Dunedin is a particularly hilly city and some of the hill suburbs are unable to be serviced by buses in the winter due to ice and snow conditions.
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