The Town Belt Traverse

Town Belt TraverseThe Dunedin Amenities Society is celebrating its 125th anniversary and is going to celebrate by returning to the roots of its foundation with the Town Belt Traverse.

The traverse is a 7.9 km walk through the Town Belt from the Southern cemetery finishing at Woodhaugh Gardens on Sunday 3rd November. The route is a pram friendly event for people of all ages stopping off at five points along the way. The Participants will receive a map and ticket at the old morgue building next to the Southern Cemetery. The traverse starts at between 10-10.30 am and all participants must complete the traverse by 1.30. Collect a stamp at all five marshal points and you can be eligible for some great local  prizes.

The Dunedin Town Belt is one of New Zealand’s oldest reserves and plays a special part in the physical and historic landscape  of Dunedin. It has a rich history  that dates back to the planning of Dunedin before settlers arrived here in 1848. The Town Belt covers 203 hectares and includes the two historic cemeteries and the Botanic Gardens. With its extensive parkland and forest remnants it creates a green corridor through the heart of the city.

Today the Town Belt is an important recreational and ecological asset for the city and provides invaluable habitat  for kereru, bellbird, tomtit, tui, rifleman, morepork, and shining cuckoo. The vegetation is an eclectic mix of exotics that dominates the southern area of the ‘belt to the more kanuka and fuchsia dominated ridges and gullies of the northern areas. At Woodhaugh an old stand of kahikatea remains as a reminder of a significant wetland forest that once stood there.

For the Dunedin Amenities Society the protection and enhancement of the Town Belt was the beginning of its foundation in 1888. The Society was founded through the energy of Thomas Brown and Alexander Bathgate to protect, enhance and promote Dunedin’s landscape and biodiversity. The Town Belt Traverse is your opportunity to explore through a self guided walk one of New Zealand’s great reserve sites.


Traverse Highlights

  • The outstanding views from Admiral Byrd’s lookout at Unity Park
  • Walking through Jubilee Park (Thomlinson’s Paddock) the site of the foundation of the Society and a  temporary camp for miners on their way to the goldfields
  • Serpentine Avenue where toitu stream once flowed
  • Learn about the old tram line running through Robin Hood Park from the High Street cable car group
  • Visit the gardens and grounds of the Olveston stately home
  • Experience the lushness of the fuchsia dominated forest of Queens Drive to Cosy Dell
  • Hear local poets perform at the Clear in honour of Charles Brasch at Prospect Park
  • Enjoy lunch at the old wetland forest remnant at Woodhaugh (Free BBQ supplied)

What to Bring

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • A warm jacket (you won’t need it because it’ll be warm and sunny!)
  • A drink and a snack for energy (we have a chocolate bar to get you started)
  • Your camera
  • Your inquisitive nature
  • Your friends and family (dogs on leads thanks)


Parking can found at the starting point around the Oval. You can return to your vehicle using the Normanby – St Clair bus that leaves opposite the George St entrance to Woodhaugh at approximately, 1:45, 2;45, 3:45 and goes to the Oval via the Octagon.

Check the Bus timetable here….

This event is free and open to anyone wanting to enjoy Dunedin’s best kept secrets. We have a selection of great prizes from local venues around the city. So take this opportunity to visit the Town Belt, get some fresh air and exercise and enjoy wonderful part of your city.

Check out the Route

Use the map to find were the Town Belt Traverse  starts and finishes. You can change from a map view to an aerial view and navigate using the toolbar on the map. Good luck and we look forward to seeing you at the Traverse.

7 Comments on “The Town Belt Traverse

  1. Thanks for this – don’t need a pram as I think I will be able to make it on foot. Congratulations to Paul on becoming part of Community Board. Cheers David

  2. Hey Paul does that mean I have to clear an overgrown section of the track up from the Southern Cemetery. Great that you got on the Community Board.
    Cheers Jim

    • No Jim, no clearing work for you, just get your walking shoes on!

  3. Pingback: Town Belt Traverse | 3 November | What if? Dunedin...

    • Hi – please can you let me know how to register for this event? cheers, Linda

      • No need to register, just turn up at the old morgue building next to the southern cemetery opposite the Oval from 10-10:30 am.

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