Dunedin

Dunedin Railway Station

Marvel at the size, architecture and rich embellishments of Dunedin Railway Station - it's the grandest 'Gingerbread House' you'll ever see.

In the early 1900s Dunedin was the commercial centre of New Zealand. A magnificent railway station befitting this status was opened here in 1906.

Today the station remains, fully restored to its former glory. The ornate Flemish Renaissance-style architecture features white Oamaru limestone facings on black basalt rock. The sheer size, grandiose style and rich embellishments of the station earned architect George Troup the nickname of Gingerbread George.

The Evening Star newspaper of the time was hugely enthusiastic about the new station: "The ornamentation of the ceilings is delicate, and the whole atmosphere of the place is one of costliness... the lavatory and sanitary arrangements are luxurious".

The booking hall, for example, features a mosaic floor of almost 750,000 tiles of Royal Doulton porcelain. The one kilometre main platform is the country's longest and every year in October becomes what is probably the world's longest catwalk, for the South Island's main fashion show.

An excellent tourist excursion service is the only train now using the station. Much of its ground floor is used as a restaurant, and the upper floor houses an art gallery and a sports hall of fame.

Visitors are welcome to view the exterior from the well kept grounds and wander inside to marvel at the ornate interiors.