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When asked, "What is the World's steepest street?", most people would reply, "The zig-zag one in San Franciso" or "The one Steve McQueen had a car chase on in the film Bullit". They would both be referring to Lombard St in San Francisco.
Lombard St is definitely zig-zaggy and is steep but, compared to Baldwin St in Dunedin, New Zealand, it is no more than a gentle slope.
Baldwin Street is just another hidden gem in Dunedin, which of itself, is one of the South Island's greatest hidden gems!
Some Facts and Figures
Baldwin Street is located in the suburb of North East Valley about 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) northeast of Dunedin's city centre.
It is a short straight street of a little under 350 metres in length, 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, giving it 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.
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