The good thing about Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr is that it’s the only stadium in New Zealand with a roof, meaning the weather can never stop play. It seemed like a foolproof plan to time a post-lockdown visit to the great Southern city around the much-anticipated Highlanders v Hurricanes Super Rugby game — the last match of the season.
But unfortunately, 2020 and a global pandemic had other plans — as the country moved back into alert level 2, the game had to go ahead behind closed doors, with no fans allowed. I was disappointed, yes, but with accommodation booked and my car packed, I decided to take the opportunity to visit anyway, travelling from my home in Christchurch for a weekend away. I decided to shift my focus from rugby to doing all those Dunedin things I have often said “I must do one day”. Here are my highlights and recommendations.
Start at the Octy …
Every city has a centre and the beating heart of Dunedin is the Octagon, so what better place to start? And where better to get a sense of the city than in one of the Octagon’s most popular pubs? I headed to the Stuart St Mac’s Bar to sample local brew Emerson’s.
This was my kind of establishment — a bar with jokers to the left of you, foreign exchange bankers to the right, and me seated comfortably in the middle talking about the Highlanders 2015 Super Rugby win. Honestly, what could go wrong?
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