Dunedin Baldwin Street Steepest Street

Baldwin Street is almost a cliff face from the top of the street

Dunedin Baldwin Street House Steepest Street

House on Baldwin Street

New Zealand is home to the world’s steepest street. In the delightfully Scottish-influenced city of Dunedin on the South Island, Baldwin Street obtains a slope of 19 degrees or 35 percent (that is, travel 2.86 metres for a one metre vertical rise). Over 161 metres, the street rises 47 metres in height. Joggers exercise on the street every day while it is a serious test of car brakes.

Dunedin Baldwin Street

Another view from the top of the street

Proudly signposted, the superlative claim is supported by entry in the Guiness Book of Records. A shop at the bottom of the street allows you to buy a certificate saying you climbed Baldwin Street.

Indeed, in the annual Baldwin Street Gutbuster, folks race to the top of the street and back again. Some wear fancy dress while others boldly climb riding unicycles.

The explanation has it that town planners in the 1800s laid the city out with neat grid streets from the comfort of their London desks with no regard for the terrain or natural obstacles or without having ever been to New Zealand. The steep portion of the road itself is concreted as asphalt could potentially run in the warmer summer months.

And no…I drove up the street.



4 Responses to The Steepest Street in the World (Dunedin, New Zealand)

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  • Bertram says:

    I’d have to get my protractor out but I’d say quite a few streets in Hong Kong would give Baldwin Street a fight for its title.

    A hint: most streets on Hong Kong Island in the older parts (steeper parts before they began filling in the harbour) are concrete too for the same reason …

    • Mark H says:

      Bertram, I suspect there are quite a few cities that could make a viable claim. I’ve been to San Francisco and they have quite a number of steep streets too and like you say, Hong Kong has some incredibly steep roads. I will watch the comments with interest about other cities with credible claims for “steepest street”.

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Welcome to Travel Wonders
My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.
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