Engineering New Zealand Te Ao Rangahau has released a free, self-guided walking tour celebrating Dunedin’s rich engineering heritage.

The two-hour app-based tour includes 15 stops spanning the history of settlement in the area, from the arrival of Māori around 1100 to the 1860s Gold Rush and modern day. Users learn about well-known landmarks, gain insight into the local ingenuity behind the city’s infrastructure, and rediscover how people have shaped the landscape – from the demolition of entire hillsides to reclaiming land from the harbour.

“It’s a great way to explore the city – whether you’re a first-time visitor or a local looking for a fresh perspective on what’s there,” says Chief Executive Dr Richard Templer. “We’ve taken care to design the tour to make sure it’s accessible to people of most abilities and fitness levels.”

Dunedin went through periods of rapid expansion, even briefly becoming the largest and wealthiest city in the country during the gold rush years, resulting in numerous engineering feats and local firsts. One example can be found at The Exchange, an historic transport hub, from where Dunedin’s first cable car began servicing the hilltop suburb of Roslyn in 1881.

The Dunedin tour is the latest in a series of walking heritage tours from Engineering New Zealand – the others being in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Maps and written directions guide users to points of interest. At each stop users can explore history through descriptive text and pictures, and access links to explore the subjects further.

“Engineering heritage is more than a link to the past – it’s entirely relevant today,” says Templer. “By understanding the values that drove society’s decisions previously, we can turn a more critical eye to the practices of today, including when it comes to environment and culture.”

Download Engineering New Zealand’s Dunedin walking heritage tour at the App store or Google Play.

Notes to reporters

  • Engineering New Zealand is New Zealand's professional body for engineers, with some 22,000 members. We represent – and regulate – our members. We also act as the Registration Authority for Chartered Professional Engineers.
  • Engineering New Zealand’s heritage programme includes a register of engineering heritage sites as well as other heritage records, biographies and oral histories. Find out more about Engineering New Zealand’s heritage programme at
  • Engineering New Zealand’s Heritage Group is a cross-disciplinary group for engineers and professionals in adjacent sectors who work with heritage structures, sites, and values.
  • For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Harry Meech on 027 208 4875.