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According to the Guinness Book of records this is the steepest street in the world, with a gradient of 1 in 2.86. This leg burner is 161.2 metres in length and climbs to a height of 47.22 metres. Looking at the houses which are angled out from the landscape you would have to assume that the residents either have sculptured leg muscles, or regularly replace the brake pads on their cars.

William Baldwin, the street’s namesake, was a member of the Provincial Council and founded the Otago Guardian in 1873. He was also the main developer for the Baldwin Street subdivision.  From an engineering perspective the street is so steep they had to use concrete on the road surface as they couldn't pour tar seal.

Every year during the Dunedin festival, athletes run up and down the hill in the 'Baldwin Street Gutbuster'. The record for the fastest time for men is 1.14 minutes and women 1.37 minutes. I personally took at least five minutes just to get half way! Another well attended event is the Baldwin Street Jaffa Race. As part of the annual Cadbury Chocolate Carnival 30,000 Giant Jaffas are numbered and rolled down the street. A chute at the bottom catches the round orange candies and decides the prize winners. All the money raised goes to various charities, both national and international.

It’s definitely worth visiting Baldwin Street, especially if you ate lots of chocolate on a Cadbury’s Tour. You can check out the Otago University, Botanical Gardens and Signal Hill on the way. If you don’t have a car and walking doesn’t appeal, the ‘First City’ double decker bus sightseeing bus leaves from the Octagon Visitor Information Centre and will take you there as part of the tour.

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