When walking up Dunedin’s Baldwin Street, don’t be ashamed if you need to stop and catch your breath for a while. After all, this short, steep, concrete street is famously known as the steepest street in the world, and thousands of visitors annually make the leg-straining climb to the top. With grades that reach up to 35 percent, the street astoundingly climbs 232 vertical feet over the course of only 0.2 miles. In fact, the street is so remarkably steep, that when it was first constructed in the mid-19th century, concrete was used in lieu of asphalt so that the tar wouldn’t melt and roll towards the bottom on the hottest days of summer.
Thanks to its superlative steepness and fame, Baldwin Street hosts a number of events that take place throughout the year. Each July, thousands of revelers gather at the bottom during the popular Cadbury Chocolate Festival, and thousands of chocolate candies are rolled down the entire length of the hill. In summer, committed runners sprint up the street during the torturous “Baldwin Street Gutbuster,” where endurance is required to run up the street, and balance for running back down.
Baldwin Street is located in the North East Valley suburb about 2.2 miles from the city center. There is much needed drinking fountain at the top of the street, and once back at the bottom, a shop where you can buy a certificate of completion for conquering the famous street.