City Escapes: Top 5 Green Spaces I Discovered in Dunedin

Bentley Porterfield is a student at the University of San Diego and a current ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Dunedin, New Zealand. 

I arrived to Dunedin, New Zealand a little more than a week ago.  As I viewed the city through the airplane window, I was immediately infatuated with the stunning landscape. Now, with just over a week of exploration under my belt, I have already discovered beautiful green spaces in Dunedin; perfect for when I need to clear my head or just breathe in some fresh air.

Here are the top 5 green spaces I have explored so far:

1. Dunedin Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens are located minutes away from the University of Otago campus and they have so much to offer.

There are wide open green spaces; perfect for taking a blanket and reading. There is also a breathtaking rose garden, massive trees, a rock garden and an abundance of bright, beautiful flowers. According to the Botanic Gardens website, the garden has wild native bellbirds, wood pigeons and tui, and more than 6,800 plant species!

The Botanic Gardens are a great place to explore with friends, go for a beautiful run, people watch or kick back and relax with a good book.

2. Ross Creek Reservoir

Ross Creek Reservoir is currently my favorite place in Dunedin. I enjoy trail running and this is the perfect place to do it. Located near Wooghaugh Gardens off Duke Street, it is easily accessible from many student flats.

Ross Creek is extremely lush, home to a beautiful stream, abundant foliage, singing birds and a stunning waterfall. Entranced by its charm, running in Ross Creek Reservoir never fails to clear my mind. I always return home feeling refreshed.

3. Pineapple Track

The Pineapple Track is a hike in Dunedin that offers amazing views of Dunedin’s skyline and of the Taieri Plains. The terrain changes throughout the hike, starting in the bush (lush area similar to Ross Creek Reservoir), and continues above the bush line, offering breathtaking Panoramas of the city of Dunedin and the areas around it.

I did the hike with other ISA students and we walked from campus. Round-trip, we walked about 11 miles and it took approximately five hours.

Curious after my hike, I looked up why it is called the “Pineapple Track.” I thought it was because the bushes near the top looked like the top of a pineapple; however, I was wrong. It turns out that in the 1920s a local grocer who guided people up the track gave hikers a snack of tinned pineapple as they caught their breath at the top of a steep incline. I wish someone were there to give me pineapple when we hiked it.

4. Logan Park

Logan Park is a massive park near the University of Otago campus, which is also close to the rugby stadium. As a former soccer player, I love big fields as they offer endless opportunities for fun. Many sports teams practice at Logan Park although it’s not only reserved for professionals.  It’s not abnormal to find recreational teams playing as well. It’s a great place to play frisbee with friends, kick a soccer ball around or do some sprints.

5. Signal Hill

The top of Signal Hill offers a beautiful view of the Otago Peninsula. To get to the top, there are various trails that can be walked and biked. It is a great day hike. If you are feeling lazy, you can drive to the top of the hill and still enjoy the immense beauty that is the Otago Peninsula.


Overall, Dunedin is bursting with green spaces waiting to be explored and I cannot wait to discover more of them.  I fall more and more in love with each new adventure and I am so glad that I am lucky enough to call this enchanting city home for the next few months.

The world awaits…discover it.

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