Dunners in drive for Jafas to roll down to Deep South

By Vaughan Elder

St Clair Beach, South Dunedin, is one of many attractions in the southern city. Photo / Ross Setford
St Clair Beach, South Dunedin, is one of many attractions in the southern city. Photo / Ross Setford

Dunedin is about to begin an aggressive marketing campaign aimed at getting Aucklanders to move south.

The effort comes as the latest data from QV's House Price Index showed the average house price in Auckland had reached $931,807, more than three times the average in Dunedin of $306,614.

Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said the "big marketing push" involved running a substantial supplement in the Herald highlighting the benefits of the Dunedin lifestyle.

"We think we have got a pretty compelling proposition when you look at the cost of housing, the time it takes to drive to work and the educational opportunities," Mr Christie said.

Apart from aiming to get Aucklanders to make a permanent move south, the push was also aimed at highlighting the study and holiday opportunities in the southern city.

"We know there are a lot of Aucklanders that are keen to visit Dunedin for short breaks and the domestic tourism market for us is quite a substantial one."

Increasing the number of tourists from Auckland was part of a wider campaign aimed at growing capacity and improving flight schedules on the Auckland to Dunedin route.

Southern Wide Real Estate was among the companies to advertise in the supplement and its managing director, John Faulks, said the "huge gap" between house prices in Auckland and Dunedin meant it was the right time to push for Aucklanders to move south.

He believed Dunedin and the wider Otago region offered a much better lifestyle than the "rat race" of Auckland. "You are not held up in traffic, you have a lot easier access to good schools for your kids.

"Dunedin's infrastructure for the size of the city is outstanding."

Five things to do in Dunedin

1 Get spooked: Take a spine-tingling tour through the haunted streets of old Dunedin with Hair Raiser Tours. The company has been offering ghost tours in the city for more than 15 years.

2 Take on the Haggis Basher: Mountain bikers of all skill levels will find a downhill track to suit on Signal Hill - from the easy Roller Coaster, through the moderate Happy Hooker, to the challenging Haggis Basher.

3 Get your choc fix: Cadbury World's sensory lab lets sweet-toothed visitors learn about the chocolate-making process and try all the different elements - from cocoa beans to chocolate. Visitors can even make their own chocolate creation.

4 Explore the wild: Take a night-time kiwi tour at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary - home to rare forest birds, reptiles and plants - or visit the area's yellow-eyed penguin or albatross colonies.

5 Try the Baldwin St Gutbuster: Push your muscles to the limit in this annual race up the world's steepest residential street.

- Otago Daily Times

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