The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45
Arriving at the great Southern Capital, he will have no difficulty in finding his way to any one of the first-class hotels, of which there are several in this city. Expresses and cabs, with porters in attendance, will be found at the railway station in waiting for travellers. When the tourist has rested and refreshed himself, his first curiosity will naturally be to have a look at the town, and he cannot fail to be struck with the commercial importance of the place. page 27 The well-made and well-laid-out streets, with their rows of fine buildings stretching on either side, in some instances over two miles in length, cannot fail to create a favourable impression on the visitor. When it is taken into consideration that it is only a little over thirty years since the first settlers arrived in Otago, the progress which the settlement has made in that time is something marvellous. No other city in the colonies has grown with such rapidity as Dunedin, and the enterprising citizens have every reason to be proud of their
"Own romantic town."
The first public building, to be used as a church and school, was opened on the 1st day of September, 1848, under the auspices of the Free Church Association, by which body the province was settled. The population of Dunedin at that time was 494, and the place was a mere straggling village. The area of the city at the present time is 865 acres, and there are 90 streets, each 66 feet wide, the greater number of them being metalled, and having kerbed and asphalted pavements. The city is brilliantly lighted with gas, and the water supply could not well be surpassed. The length of Princes and George Streets (one being a continuation of the other) is miles. The principal public buildings are the University, Museum, High School, Post Office, Custom House, Government Buildings, Hospital, Benevolent Asylum, lunatic Asylum, and Athenæum.
Dunedin with suburbs has now over 30,000 inhabitants, and from an architectural point of view it is surpassed by very few cities in the Southern Hemisphere. Its handsome hotels and warehouses, and showy shops, its busy wharves and extensive factories, its noble churches and spacious theatres, its numerous educational establishments, its banks, its public buildings, and, in short its general business aspect, give it the appearance of a city that has been established for centuries. As an indication of the importance of this city, we may state that it has four daily papers, two first-class secular and two religious weeklies, besides several monthly publications, all of which are meritorious literary and mechanical productions. But, although such matters cannot page 28 fail to interest the thoughtful observer, the sights and scenery of the place will be still more interesting to the pleasure-seeker, and we will proceed to give him some idea of the places surrounding the city which will repay inspection. Dunedin is acknowledged by travellers who have visited it, to be one of the most romantically situated towns in the world. Nestling by the side of a calm lake-like bay, it is built upon tiers of terraces which swell upwards towards a hilly belt that skirts the city. A walk round the Town Belt on a fine day will be found most enjoyable. The magnificent panorama which from this vantage ground meets the visitor's eye, is a sight not soon to be forgotten. The Botanical Gardens, at the Water of Leith, will repay a visit, They are distant about two miles from the Chief Post Office, and steam tramway carriages ply backwards and forwards every few minutes. The fare each way is only threepence, and the cabs which ran to and fro charge a similar fare.