The World's Steepest Street & the Speight's Brewery Tour

When you think of steep streets, San Francisco usually comes to mind. But what many don't know is that the world's steepest street is found in a small town in New Zealand.



Photo Credit: Kelly Tyndall

We made a pitstop in Dunedin and couldn't believe our eyes when we saw Baldwin Street. Just look at that incline!

This 350 metre street currently holds a Guinness World Record with a 38 per cent grade at its steepest section. If you want to get a better sense as to how steep it is, imagine walking and experiencing the ground elevating a metre for every 2.86 metres traveled.



A race needed to happen. My fellow Contiki friends lined up at the starting point. Everyone wanted to win the free drinks reward. I definitely was not in. Have you seen the shape I'm in? This street would kill me in a heart beat. I decided to sit back, snap pictures and take my time walking up the massive hill instead.







After a few minutes of huffing and puffing, I finally reached the top. The view was pretty awesome. Baldwin Street is located in Dunedin, the second largest city in the South Island. The scenic city lies along the Otago Harbour while its rolling hills are the remnants of an extinct volcano.

When the race was over, we climbed back on the bus and headed to downtown Dunedin. It was time for a tour of the famous Speight's Brewery!



Speight's beers are an old kiwi favourite. In fact, the brewery has been producing award-winning beers since 1876. Today, the brewery still occupies it's original site in Dunedin.


Our enthusiastic guide showed us around the brewery and taught us the entire beer making process. I recently visited the Cooper's brewery in Australia and wrote an in-depth description of the beer making process. If you're interested in learning how beer is made, click here.


We got to touch and smell a variety of hops and barley. At the same time, our guide explained what role each ingredient played and how it was processed. After, we explored the old part of the brewery and saw how beer was produced centuries ago.



We finished off the tour by checking out the new brew house. This was where all the magic happened!


After an hour of walking around, we were all a little thirsty. Our guide answered our prayers and led us to the in-house bar. Here, he announced that we had full access to the taps for an entire hour. Hallelujah!



The beers never stopped coming. We made sure to take advantage of this power hour!




Speight's offered a refreshing cider, a hoppy pilsner, a dark beer, a summer ale and my personal favourite, the Gold Medal Ale. This beer got its name in 1880 where it won two gold medals at the Melbourne Exhibition.


At the end of our hour, we had exhausted the taps and were ready for a bite to eat. We jetted next door to the Speight's Alehouse for dinner.


Our table was full of laughs and chatter. I had a blast getting to know the other people on my Contiki tour. We had a good mix of nationalities in our group. I met a ton of other Canadians, Australians and even people from Germany, the UK and Norway. It's always fun meeting people from around the world and trading stories about home and travel. When dinner was served, I couldn't hold my excitement.


Yes, it tasted just as good as it looks! I ordered a tender lamb shank which was oven roasted with thyme and garlic. It was topped with a savoury gravy and served over a bed of buttery mashed potatoes.

Walking up the world's steepest street, meeting new friends, all you can drink beer, and a delicious dinner? Oh man, what a perfect day in Dunedin!

Melissa Li

I’m a Canadian girl on a quest to step foot in every continent before I’m 30. You’ll most likely find me chowing down on Japanese ramen, partying at a music festival, hiking to the top of a scenic lookout, cuddling with cats, or chilling out at the beach. I’ve visited over 60 countries so far and hope to inspire you to do the same.

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