The steepest street in the world.

Runaway Juno is sixth months old now.
September 8, 2010
Runaway Photo of the week: Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand
September 13, 2010

The steepest street in the world.

Baldwin street at the beginning.

Do you know where is the steepest street in the world? It’s in Dunedin, New Zealand!

Meet, Baldwin street.

According to Wikipedia, A short straight street of a little under 350 metres length, Baldwin Street runs east from the valley of the Lindsay Creek up the side of Signal Hill towards Opoho, rising from 30 metres (98 ft) above sea level at its junction with North Road to 100 metres (330 ft) above sea level at the top, an average slope of slightly more than 1:5. Its lower reaches are of only moderate steepness, and the surface is asphalt, but the upper reaches of this cul-de-sac are far steeper, and surfaced in concrete, for ease of maintenance (bitumen — in either chip seal or asphalt — would flow down the slope on a warm day) and for safety in Dunedin’s frosty winters. At its maximum, the slope of Baldwin Street is approximately 1:2.86 (19° or 35%) – that is, for every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally, the elevation rises by 1 metre.

Sounds complicated and dangerous.

I didn’t know Guinness record book has such category. Well, Guinness has all sort of ‘guinness record’ things.

It was on our way to Lake Tekapo. The bus driver wanted to show us really special place. (About the bus, I’m gonna talk about it in different article.) He show us all sort of fun things on the way and it was one of them.

Baldwin street is just in a residence area. Not touristy at all, in my opinion.


Anyhow. Have you seen the movie “Inception“? It was the hottest movie for a while. Do you remember when Adriana makes a street all bandy? That scene actually reminds me of Baldwin street.

First we got there, I thought ‘well, it’s a street and people clearly live there, so how steep is this can be?’

So we started to walk, and short while after I could feel the steepness! Feels like my center of gravity is moving forward to make a balance.

When I look back, it makes me dizzy. Woow, I was not on the top! So I just hike up. Yes, Hiking would be appropriate word to describe what we did.

However the view, wow. Althought concrete street is on the middle of that view, but feels like on the top of some small mountain.

Photography at the street level.

Finally on the top. According to the instruction, we are above 100 meters sea level. I have no idea how much that would be, but feel so dangerous for sure. I don’t know how everyone go up and down everyday! Look at the parked car. Doesn’t it look scary? What if the gear is just got loose?

All the worries besides, I feel so thrilled to be up. Look at the view! So refreshing! And there are actual houses people live. They must be so healthy with all these exercises everyday.



See my leg is slightly lifted? It is for making balance. It was crazy fun!

If you are near Dunedin, drop by Baldwin street, the steepest street in the world, and feel the thrill! World most “something” is worth to see, sometimes it’s really lame but not this one.

But, be careful. If you drop a small rock, it could literally kill someone, because of all the kinetic energy, you know.  🙂


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Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .


  1. Meaghan says:

    the house looks like something out of a dr. seuss book! I wonder if they have floodig issues when it rains because of the incline.

  2. ayngelina says:

    I wonder if I would climb it or not…it looks like agony but you kind of have to do it.

  3. beck says:

    I went there when it was covered in ice in winter 6 years ago. Myself and a mate attempted to climb it…what a nightmare!! ha ha

  4. Oh my! I think I got dizzy just looking at that!! That makes San Francisco look like Kansas!

    Speaking of San Francisco, have you ever seen Lombard Street? It’s steep AND crazy curvy!

  5. LeslieTravel says:

    Wow- that house looks like its about to tip over!

  6. Amanda says:

    You know the thing that scared me most about Baldwin Street? Thinking about it in the winter time! Dunedin does actually get snow (and ice!) during the wonter months. Getting up and down a street like this would be a nightmare in bad weather!

    I walked up it, too. But they actually have an annual race that’s called the Baldwin Street Gut Buster every summer, where people actually RUN up and down the street. Insane! I would die.

  7. Davy says:

    I’m not sure if they still do this but they used to release a massive bunch of Jaffa lollies (hard coated chocolate balls!) down that street and they’d voilently trickle down the street – bit like those Sony Bravia ads. Awesome sight!

  8. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the tremendous lucidity in your writing. I will right away grab your rss feed to stay abreast of any updates.

  9. Andrea says:

    We were admittedly lazy and didn’t visit Baldwin St but I’m so glad you posted this so we could see what it was all about! Dunedin is a great town – a must see on the South Island in my opinion =)

    • Juno says:

      Yes for sure! I liked ‘education’ vibe of Dunedin. I visited school, book stores like I was going there. It’s also surrounded by beautiful nature sites like any other New Zealand cities. Baldwin street is in the middle of somewhere, so kind of not on the typical route, I guess.
      Glad you liked it!

  10. I love the photo of the slanted house! So cool. My brother’s wife is from Dunedin. I really need to get there as I have a whole family I can visit and tour with

    • Juno says:

      I liked Dunedin and the whole area. They live in the hill by any chance? I think they have to be an extreme athlete to live a place like that!!! 🙂

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